The oldest part of the church is the apsidial chancel, which was built
about 1200 and was speedily followed by the nave; in the beginning of the
14th century it was decided to raise a huge west tower but could not afford
to complete it; the big Gothic portal, too, became a patchwork. The old
Romanesque portal with a man's head and an eagle on the capitals was placed
on the northern side. The interior is dominated by the imposing Rood, almost
entirely filling the rood arch, an excellent work of art from the mid-thirteenth
century. On the north wall there is a series of scenes from the Passion
of Christ, executed by a painter known as the "Master of 1520"
(see Lau) in his singulary careless decorative style, which puts him on
the borderline to popular art. Notable is a tombstone laid in 1317 over
Botvi, the house keeper of the vicar Botvid in Alva, "who may rest
in peace". Seldom has such an honour been bestowed on a woman in such a humble position in the Middle Ages!
Photo Hans Hemlin
Text Dr. Bengt G Söderberg
©1997 Created by Sören_Gannholm