Tillitse Church was built in the first half of the 13th century and extended towards the west in the early 17th century. Little is known of its ownership in the Middle Ages but the Crown had clerical appointment rights at the time of the Reformation. In 1648, it was transferred to the ownership of the Rudbjerggård Estate where over the years it was governed by F.B. Bülow and Gustav Smith. It came into the ownership of Gustav Smith c. 1850 and was transferred to the Friderichsen family in 1850. In c. 1880, it was taken over by Landsmandsbanken which transferred it to the local congragation in 1907.
The church consists of a Romanesuqe apse, chancel and nave. It was extended towards the west in 1625 with a porch on the west gable in 1856. An arched frieze decorates the upper apse, topped by a saw-toothed cornice. Its three finely finished Romanesque windows have now been bricked up. The profile of the chancel's former south door can still be seen. There is a saw-tooth decoration along the top of the chancel with a more recent cornice. The remains of the nave's south portal extend up to the roof. The old Romanesque windows have been replaced by modern pointed-arch windows. There are lesenes on the east corner but those on the west corner have been removed. There is also an arched decorated topped by a saw-toothed line along the top of the nave.
The carved altarpiece from 1642 is the work of Jørgen Ringnis. It bears the arms of Joachim von Barnewitz, Øllegaard Pentz and Hartwig Passow. The Renaissance pulpit from 1608 presents the arms of Knud Rud and Ellen Marsvin. The church also contains a sandstone epitaph for Joachim von Barnewitz (died 1626) and Øllegaard Pentz (died 1654). There is a Romanesque font.
There is a free-standing runestone listed as DR 212 in the Rundata catalog that is outside the church porch. It was originally found in the churchyard wall in c. 1627 and was later used as a foundation for the porch. Dated to the mid-11th century, it is 143 cm high and 81 cm wide. The stone contains two inscriptions which read (translated): 'Áskell, Súlki's son, had this stone raised in memory of himself. Ever will stand, while the stone lives, this memento, which Áskell produced. May Christ and Saint Michael help his soul.' and 'Tóki carved the runes in memory of Þóra, his stepmother, a good wife.'References:
The Church of Saint Demetrius, or Hagios Demetrios, is the main sanctuary dedicated to Saint Demetrius, the patron saint of Thessaloniki. It is part of the site Palaeochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki on the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 1988.
The first church on the spot was constructed in the early 4th century AD, replacing a Roman bath. A century later, a prefect named Leontios replaced the small oratory with a larger, three-aisled basilica. Repeatedly gutted by fires, the church eventually was reconstructed as a five-aisled basilica in 629–634. This was the surviving form of the church much as it is today. The most important shrine in the city, it was probably larger than the local cathedral. The historic location of the latter is now unknown.
The church had an unusual shrine called the ciborium, a hexagonal, roofed structure at one side of the nave. It was made of or covered with silver. The structure had doors and inside was a couch or bed. Unusually, it did not hold any physical relics of the saint. The ciborium seems to have been a symbolic tomb. It was rebuilt at least once.
The basilica is famous for six extant mosaic panels, dated to the period between the latest reconstruction and the inauguration of the Byzantine Iconoclasm in 730. These mosaics depict St. Demetrius with officials responsible for the restoration of the church (called the founders, ktetors) and with children. An inscription below one of the images glorifies heaven for saving the people of Thessalonica from a pagan Slavic raid in 615.
Thessaloniki became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1430. About 60 years later, during the reign of Bayezid II, the church was converted into a mosque, known as the Kasımiye Camii after the local Ottoman mayor, Cezeri Kasım Pasha. The symbolic tomb however was kept open for Christian veneration. Other magnificent mosaics, recorded as covering the church interior, were lost either during the four centuries when it functioned as a mosque (1493–1912) or in the Great Thessaloniki Fire of 1917 that destroyed much of the city. It also destroyed the roof and upper walls of the church. Black-and-white photographs and good watercolour versions give an idea of the early Byzantine craftsmanship lost during the fire.
Following the Great Fire of 1917, it took decades to restore the church. Tombstones from the city"s Jewish cemetery - destroyed by the Greek and Nazi German authorities - were used as building materials in these restoration efforts in the 1940s. Archeological excavations conducted in the 1930s and 1940s revealed interesting artifacts that may be seen in a museum situated inside the church"s crypt. The excavations also uncovered the ruins of a Roman bath, where St. Demetrius was said to have been held prisoner and executed. A Roman well was also discovered. Scholars believe this is where soldiers dropped the body of St. Demetrius after his execution. After restoration, the church was reconsecrated in 1949.