Stokkemarke Church dates from the mid-1200s. It was built in the Romanesque style with later additions in the Gothic period. The church was dedicated to St. Clement in 1396 although it was later associated with St. George, probably as a result of a panel from St Jørgens Hospital in Bregerup which hung in the church until 1878. A reliquary found in the high altar was a gift from Bishop Gisike of Odense (1286–1300), possibly a gift for the reconsecration of the altar on the completion of the apse which is just slightly older than the chancel. From the 14th century, the church was the property of the Crown but from the beginning of the 16th century, it was administered by Engelborg Manor on Nakskov Fjord. In 1687, it was transferred to the Bishop of Odense and later to Knuthenborg until it gained independence in 1912.
The church consists of a Late Romanesque chancel and nave and an apse, sacristy, porch and tower which were added during the Gothic period. It is built mainly of red brick with some fieldstone and with limestone trimmings. The chancel has corner lesenes and saw-tooth decorations. Both the north door and the former south door are now bricked up but traces of the original round Romanesque arches can still be seen. The tower is unusually large and almost as wide as the nave. The tower room has a pointed arch and a star-shaped vault. There is a small spire with a copper dome.
The chancel has a pointed arch and a vaulted Gothic ceiling in six segments. The original Romanesque windows in the nave were first converted into large Gothic windows with pointed arches before being replaced by today's smaller more modern windows which probably date from 1815. The cross on the altar dates from the end of the 15th century and was originally on the chancel arch. The Renaissance pulpit has four shell-shaped niches with figures of the Evangelists flanked by pilasters and covered with pointed arches.References:
The Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood is one of the main sights of St. Petersburg. The church was built on the site where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated and was dedicated in his memory. Construction began in 1883 under Alexander III, as a memorial to his father, Alexander II. Work progressed slowly and was finally completed during the reign of Nicholas II in 1907. Funding was provided by the Imperial family with the support of many private donors.
Architecturally, the Cathedral differs from St. Petersburg's other structures. The city's architecture is predominantly Baroque and Neoclassical, but the Savior on Blood harks back to medieval Russian architecture in the spirit of romantic nationalism. It intentionally resembles the 17th-century Yaroslavl churches and the celebrated St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow.
The Church contains over 7500 square metres of mosaics — according to its restorers, more than any other church in the world. The interior was designed by some of the most celebrated Russian artists of the day — including Viktor Vasnetsov, Mikhail Nesterov and Mikhail Vrubel — but the church's chief architect, Alfred Alexandrovich Parland, was relatively little-known (born in St. Petersburg in 1842 in a Baltic-German Lutheran family). Perhaps not surprisingly, the Church's construction ran well over budget, having been estimated at 3.6 million roubles but ending up costing over 4.6 million. The walls and ceilings inside the Church are completely covered in intricately detailed mosaics — the main pictures being biblical scenes or figures — but with very fine patterned borders setting off each picture.
In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, the church was ransacked and looted, badly damaging its interior. The Soviet government closed the church in the early 1930s. During the Second World War when many people were starving due to the Siege of Leningrad by Nazi German military forces, the church was used as a temporary morgue for those who died in combat and from starvation and illness. The church suffered significant damage. After the war, it was used as a warehouse for vegetables, leading to the sardonic name of Saviour on Potatoes.
In July 1970, management of the Church passed to Saint Isaac's Cathedral (then used as a highly profitable museum) and proceeds from the Cathedral were funneled back into restoring the Church. It was reopened in August 1997, after 27 years of restoration, but has not been reconsecrated and does not function as a full-time place of worship; it is a Museum of Mosaics. Even before the Revolution it never functioned as a public place of worship; having been dedicated exclusively to the memory of the assassinated tsar, the only services were panikhidas (memorial services). The Church is now one of the main tourist attractions in St. Petersburg.