The Churches of Gotland


From the "castal", the stronghold on the hill beside the church, the watchmen on a July morning in 1361 beheld the invasion fleet of Valdemar Atterdag beyond the Karlsöarna (Karl islands). The partly demolished watch-tower was perhaps contemporary with the oldest church, of which the ashlar-built nave from the end of the 12th century still survives; the tower was built not much later. At the end of the 13th century a new church was planned and the Gothic chancel was built, but as at so many other places one came no further. Note the chancel door with original iron work! In connection with the completion of the building mural paintings were executed in the chancel. To the fittings in the chancel also belongs the wall cupboard with excellently carved doors. The Holy Rood originates from the workshop led by the master of the famous Rood in Öja church. An uncommon abundance of figures surrounds the Crucifixion. The font with the funny monsters (14th century) is the only one of its kind in Gotland, but a number of the workshop's product are to be found in churches around the Baltic. The base, though has belonged to a 12th century font. The pulpit is said to be made in 1600 and has interesting evangelist portraits on the stair barrier.

Photo Hans Hemlin

Text Dr. Bengt G Söderberg


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List of the churches in alphabetical order

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