Hedared Stave Church is Sweden's only preserved medieval stave church. For a long time it was assumed Hedared stave church dated to early medieval times because it was built as a stave church. Already at the beginning of the 20th century, the archaeologist and architectural historian Emil Ekhoff argued that the church was considerably later than the stave church in Hemse on Gotland, fragments of which he had found under the floor of the current Romanesque stone church during an 1896 excavation, and other stave churches that he had recorded either archaeologically or through written sources. Ekhoff posited a late-medieval, 14th or 15th century, date, with a preference for the former. He based this on some of the carpentry techniques used in the church.
Dendrochronological methods have later confirmed Ekhoff's suspicion of a late dating and have been able to narrow it down to the very end of the medieval period. The logs date to some time around 1498-1503, with 1501 as the most likely year for the felling of the trees and a building year in the following years, to allow for the drying of the wood. A 1506 letter from the bishop mentioning the construction of a church in the parish is likely to refer to this building.
The interior is tiny (35 square meters) and very plain, and when originally built, the church had only walls and a roof, earth floor and no windows. It has been modified and added to a couple of times, gaining wooden floor in 1735 and the present windows in 1781. Before that it only had a small light hole (lysglugg). In 1901 its exterior was restored to be as original as possible, but the windows were kept. In 1934-35 the interior was restored, and when removing the inner walls an altar painting was discovered. It was painted directly on the wall. A more advanced restoration took place in the 1990s. The church was raised some 70 centimetres, and the old wooden ground was replaced.
There is an old altar (kalk) in the church, dating from the 13th century, wooden sculptures of Virgin Mary and Saint Francis and beautiful old paintings. Those are done by Johan Ehrenfrid, although the altar painting is older and assumed to have been made some time during the medieval times. As the church is dated very late in the medieval times this could indicate that the painting was done when the church was built.References:
The Holy Trinity Column in Olomouc is a Baroque monument built in 1716–1754 in honour of God. The main purpose was a spectacular celebration of Catholic Church and faith, partly caused by feeling of gratitude for ending a plague, which struck Moravia between 1713 and 1715. The column was also understood to be an expression of local patriotism, since all artists and master craftsmen working on this monument were Olomouc citizens, and almost all depicted saints were connected with the city of Olomouc in some way. The column is the biggest Baroque sculptural group in the Czech Republic. In 2000 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites list.
The column is dominated by gilded copper sculptures of the Holy Trinity accompanied by the Archangel Gabriel on the top and the Assumption of the Virgin beneath it.
The base of the column, in three levels, is surrounded by 18 more stone sculptures of saints and 14 reliefs in elaborate cartouches. At the uppermost stage are saints connected with Jesus’ earth life – his mother’s parents St. Anne and St. Joachim, his foster-father St. Joseph, and St. John the Baptist, who was preparing his coming – who are accompanied by St. Lawrence and St. Jerome, saints to whom the chapel in the Olomouc town hall was dedicated. Three reliefs represent the Three theological virtues Faith, Hope, and Love.
Below them, the second stage is dedicated to Moravian saints St. Cyril and St. Methodius, who came to Great Moravia to spread Christianity in 863, St. Blaise, in whose name one of the main Olomouc churches is consecrated, and patrons of neighbouring Bohemia St. Adalbert of Prague and St. John of Nepomuk, whose following was very strong there as well.
In the lowest stage one can see the figures of an Austrian patron St. Maurice and a Bohemian patron St. Wenceslas, in whose names two important Olomouc churches were consecrated, another Austrian patron St. Florian, who was also viewed as a protector against various disasters, especially fire, St. John of Capistrano, who used to preach in Olomouc, St. Anthony of Padua, a member of the Franciscan Order, which owned an important monastery in Olomouc, and St. Aloysius Gonzaga, a patron of students. His sculpture showed that Olomouc was very proud of its university. Reliefs of all twelve apostles are placed among these sculptures.
The column also houses a small chapel inside with reliefs depicting Cain's offering from his crop, Abel's offering of firstlings of his flock, Noah's first burnt offering after the Flood, Abraham's offering of Isaac and of a lamb, and Jesus' death. The cities of Jerusalem and Olomouc can be seen in the background of the last mentioned relief.