The oldest part of the Stemkumla church is the tower. It was erected at the beginning of the 13th century. Originally it was attached to a Romanesque church dating from the 12th century, but this was replaced with the current church in stages. The choir thus dates from the middle of the 13th century, while the nave of the church was built at the beginning of the 14th century. The church has remained largely unaltered since the Middle Ages.
The almost square nave is supported by a single central pillar. The walls are decorated with church frescos from the 15th century, made by the so-called Master of the Passion of Christ. The frescos depict the Passion of Christ in one set, and another depicts four female saints, probably Saint Bridget, Saint Elizabeth, Saint Barbara, Saint Catherine and Saint Margaret The windows of the nave contain fragments of the original stained glass window panes, as do the windows of the choir. There is another set of frescos in the choir, dating from the 13th century. They depict Saint Lawrence, Saint Peter, Saint Bartholomew and Saint Paul. The choir also contains a wooden tabernacle, dated to the 14th century. Under the chancel arch between the choir and nave, a triumphal cross from the late 12th century is placed; it has been described as the finest piece of art in the church. It was made for the earlier, Romanesque church. It depicts Christ nailed to the cross only through his hands; the feet hang free and in fact are covered with shoes. Other church fittings are from the post-Reformation era, such as the sandstone altarpiece, made in 1681. The pulpit is from the middle of the 17th century and the baptismal font from the 18th century. The church also contains two runestones, dating from the 11th century.
The church cemetery contains the grave of Konrad Petterson Lundqvist Tector, a robber and murderer who was beheaded outside the church on 18 May 1876.References:
The Château d'Olhain is probably the most famous castle of the Artois region. It is located in the middle of a lake which reflects its picturesque towers and curtain walls. It was also a major stronghold for the Artois in medieval times and testimony to the power of the Olhain family, first mentioned from the 12th century.
The existence of the castle was known early in the 13th century, but the present construction is largely the work of Jean de Nielles, who married Marie d’Olhain at the end of the 15th century.
The marriage of Alix Nielles to Jean de Berghes, Grand Veneur de France (master of hounds) to the King, meant the castle passed to this family, who kept it for more than 450 years. Once confiscated by Charles Quint, it suffered during the wars that ravaged the Artois. Besieged in 1641 by the French, it was partly demolished by the Spaniards in 1654, and finally blown-up and taken by the Dutch in 1710. Restored in 1830, it was abandoned after 1870, and sold by the last Prince of Berghes in 1900. There is also evidence that one of the castles occupants was related to Charles de Batz-Castelmore d'Artagnan, the person Alexandre Dumas based his Three Musketeers charictor d'Artagnan on.
During the World War I and World War II, the castle was requisitioned first by French troops, then Canadian and British soldiers. The current owner has restored the castle to its former glory.