The Churches of Gotland

SILTE

At the restoration of the church in 1971-72 the fundaments of a stave-church were found, consisting of boulders and limestone flakes, between which the ends of the stave-planks had been thrust down. Such an arrangement has previously not been known. In the plaster on the chancel wall of the present church impressions of the nave gable of the stave-church were observed, giving its approximate dimensions. The oldest part of the present church is the choir, from about 1250; it was followed not much later by the nave (the same master builder) and at the end of the century by the tower. In the choir and the nave there are elegantly drawn ornamental paintings from the two adjacent building periods, and about 1300 a series of apostles was painted on the north side of the tower arch. The representation of the departure of the witch to Hell on the southern wall is dated 1495. The altar piece is remarkable. The shrine has on the wings very fine paintings by a North-German artist about 1500, but the sculptures and the architectonic details are Gotlandic work from the end of the 13th century, originally probably ingredients of a retable. The baptismal font is a work by Sighraf from the end of the 12th century.

Photo Hans Hemlin

Text Dr. Bengt G Söderberg


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