Hvaler church is probably one of the oldest in Norway. According carbon dating methods on wood samples analyzed in 1960 it was originally built between 920 and 1080 AD. The current church nave dates mainly from the 12-13th centuries. Archeologists carried out extensive excavations during the restoration from 1953 to 1956. They discoverede there was a fireplace under the foundations dating from the age between 120 BC and 80 AD. There may have been a prehistoric pagan site of worship on the church site. Archeologists also found 804 coins under the choir floor. While many originate from Norway, some are from Germany, Denmark, and Sweden. Most of the coins date from the Middle Ages, the oldest is from 1130.
Hvaler church was privately owned from 1724 and became as a municipal property in 1860. The Renaissance style pulpit is from 1620. During its renovation in 1734, Andreas Schavenius, who later owned the church from 1759 to 1778, gave and mounted the canopy and Rococo ornaments. The limestone baptismal font dates from 1250-1300.
The Rococo style altar is from about 1750 and given by Andreas Schavenius. Featured on the altarpiece from 1759 is Eggert Munch's oil painting of the crucifixion. On the altar are two large brass candlesticks probably originating from Holland about 1600.References:
First record of Kastelholma (or Kastelholm) castle is from the year 1388 in the contract of Queen Margaret I of Denmark, where a large portion of the inheritance of Bo Jonsson Grip was given to the queen. The heyday of the castle was in the 15th and 16th centuries when it was administrated by Danish and Swedish kings and stewards of the realms. Kastelhoma was expanded and enhanced several times.
In the end of 16th century castle was owned by the previous queen Catherine Jagellon (Stenbock), an enemy of the King of Sweden Eric XIV. King Eric conquered Kastelholma in 1599 and all defending officers were taken to Turku and executed. The castle was damaged under the siege and it took 30 years to renovate it.
In 1634 Åland was joined with the County of Åbo and Björneborg and Kastelholma lost its administrative status.