The Churches of Gotland

LAU

If the planned tower in the west had been built Lau would have been the biggest church in the Gotlandic countryside. It is imposing even now: a high vaulted three aisled hall consisting of a Romanesque nave from the first half of the 13th century and a Gothic chancel of equal breadth, erected about 1300. The demolished Romanesque chancel had a transept, of which traces can be seen on the southern facade. In the blocked up tower arch there is a singular but highly decorative mural painting by the "Master of 1520", who has here dated his work "mdxx". The Holy Rood from about 1250 on the northern wall is the biggest in Scandinavia and is correlative to the measurements of the church. The baptismal font by Sighraf is badly weathered. Both the iron chandeliers are medieval but are difficult to put a closer date on. The altar piece is a fine Lübeck work from the beginning of the 15 th century. At the restoration in 1960 a new St Mary, caned by the Gotlandic artist Bertil Nyström, was put in. To the north of the church are the ruins of a medieval building, probably the vicarage.

Photo Hans Hemlin

Text Dr. Bengt G Söderberg


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