The Churches of Gotland

HEJNUM

Fundaments of a little 12 th century apsidial church have been found under the floor. Building material with arch mouldings and reliefs from this church have survived in the facade of the present one~ To the oldest building a tower was added about 1200, and it was signed in runes by the stone mason Botvid, perhaps the father of Lafrans Botvidarson. At any rate Lafrans was the master builder of the present church. He has also carved the alms-box formerly the pedestal of the Holy Rood; this was made for the old church at the beginning of the 13th century and was transferred to a ringcross some decades later. At the same time the vaults were decorated with elegant ornaments. Not very much later the "Michael master" made a fine composition around the chancel arch like in Hejdeby, but only two angels swinging censers have survived (originally making their worship in front of Christ enthroned at the top of the arch; the figure was painted over the Life-tree but is now lost). On the walls there are fragments of paintings by the "Passion master". The church has two baptismal fonts: one from the 13th century and one from the 17th.

Photo Hans Hemlin

Text Dr. Bengt G Söderberg


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