Munsö Church is one of a few medieval round churches in Sweden. Traces of permanent habitations dating from the Bronze or Iron Age have been found in the area, and several of the larger farmsteads in the area are traceable back to the Iron Age. Munsö Church was possibly built for one such farm, called Bona.
The church dates from the 12th century. The exact date is unknown, but given the peculiarity that the church is fortified, its history has been connected with raids by Estonian pirates in the area in 1187. At the time, Bona farmstead was owned by the Archbishop of Uppsala, who may have commissioned the church. From the beginning, it was built to be able to serve both as a place of worship and as a defensive building. Above the church itself there was a large room which could house refugees in times of danger, and above this another floor designed for defence, with arrow slits in the wall. These floors have since disappeared.
During the 14th century, the sacristy was added, and the church porch in the 15th century. The main circular room of the church received its presently visible, star-shaped vault in the 1470s. A burial chapel for the owners of Bona farm was added in 1651–58. Further additions were made to the western end of the church in 1704–08. At the same time the church roof was changed into the Baroque cupola and spire visible today. During a renovation in 1856, the church windows were enlarged.
The medieval parts of the church are built by fieldstone and later additions are made by brick, today whitewashed. The church has a shake roof. Parts of both the entrance door and the door leading from the church porch into the church itself are medieval. The lower parts of the original, Romanesque entrance portal has been preserved in the wall between the church porch and the church.
Internally, the round church room is covered by a star-shaped vault, except for the choir and the later, 18th-century western addition. The 17th-century burial chapel is likewise covered by a polygonal vault; from the chapel the medieval stair leads up into the church cupola.
Among the church furnishings, the baptismal font is the oldest (c. 1200). The church also houses four carved wooden sculptures, dating from the 1470s and probably made in the Netherlands. The pulpit is Baroque, dating from 1651–53, while many of the other furnishings are later. The stained glass window behind the altar dates from 1905. Among the more unusual items in the church is a decorated chasuble from the 16th century.References:
Kroměříž stands on the site of an earlier ford across the River Morava. The gardens and castle of Kroměříž are an exceptionally complete and well-preserved example of a European Baroque princely residence and its gardens and described as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The first residence on the site was founded by bishop Stanislas Thurzo in 1497. The building was in a Late Gothic style, with a modicum of Renaissance detail. During the Thirty Years' War, the castle was sacked by the Swedish army (1643).
It was not until 1664 that a bishop from the powerful Liechtenstein family charged architect Filiberto Lucchese with renovating the palace in a Baroque style. The chief monument of Lucchese's work in Kroměříž is the Pleasure Garden in front of the castle. Upon Lucchese's death in 1666, Giovanni Pietro Tencalla completed his work on the formal garden and had the palace rebuilt in a style reminiscent of the Turinese school to which he belonged.
After the castle was gutted by a major fire in March 1752, Bishop Hamilton commissioned two leading imperial artists, Franz Anton Maulbertsch and Josef Stern, arrived at the residence in order to decorate the halls of the palace with their works. In addition to their paintings, the palace still houses an art collection, generally considered the second finest in the country, which includes Titian's last mythological painting, The Flaying of Marsyas. The largest part of the collection was acquired by Bishop Karel in Cologne in 1673. The palace also contains an outstanding musical archive and a library of 33,000 volumes.
UNESCO lists the palace and garden among the World Heritage Sites. As the nomination dossier explains, 'the castle is a good but not outstanding example of a type of aristocratic or princely residence that has survived widely in Europe. The Pleasure Garden, by contrast, is a very rare and largely intact example of a Baroque garden'. Apart from the formal parterres there is also a less formal nineteenth-century English garden, which sustained damage during floods in 1997.
Interiors of the palace were extensively used by Miloš Forman as a stand-in for Vienna's Hofburg Imperial Palace during filming of Amadeus (1984), based on the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who actually never visited Kroměříž. The main audience chamber was also used in the film Immortal Beloved (1994), in the piano concerto scene.