The Churches of Gotland

FARDHEM

Fardhem was one of the three "asylum-churches" and thus one of the oldest in the isle. But that was a wooden predecessor to the present one,which is one of the few homogeneously Romanesque churches but none the less built in three stages ranging from the middle of the 12th century to the second quarter of the 13th.The chancel, perhaps the oldest preserved in the isle, has a remarkable portal with peculiar, rather primitive reliefs representing the following subjects: the Visitatio, the aerial flight of Alexander the Great in a gondola carried by griffons (a symbol of the deadly sin Superbia), a lion, a rider with rings in his hands (triumphal wreaths or cymbals?), trampling a prostrate figure under the horse's hooves, two apostles and a bishop with an old-fashioned mitre. The interior has nothing much left of antiquarian interest.

Photo Hans Hemlin

Text Dr. Bengt G Söderberg


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