The Churches of Gotland

HELLVI

In the chancel portal, decorated with a fine acanthus-vine, there is an inscription in runes, that tells us: "Lafrans, the son of master Botvid from Eskelhem, made this church" (see also Hejnum). He seems to have been the leader of a Gotlandic early Gothic art-undertaking pursuing architecture, stone and woodcarving and probably even painting. The year 1239, proved by document, must be applicable to this building. The interior has no medieval works of art to offer. The pulpit was made in 1633. Interesting is the old organ gallery (formerly in the western part of the church) which was made and decorated at the expense of 16 skippers from Sönderborg, who evidently regularly visited the harbours of Kyllej and St Olofsholm in the parish.

Photo Hans Hemlin

Text Dr. Bengt G Söderberg


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