The Churches of Gotland

STENKYRKA

Fundaments of an early Romanesque church have been found under the floor (Could it be the church, that Lickair Snelli, the father in law of Botair of Akebäck, is said to have built?. See Akebäck). The present church was begun before the middle of the 13th century, and choir and nave were consecrated in 1255. A couple of decades later it was decided to erect one of the mightiest towers in Gotland, with its three-sided gallery exceeding even the tower of St Mary in Visby. The magnificent decoration of the broad chancel arch is from 1255, while the marmoraceuos pattern in the tower arches was painted about 1300, probably by the Gothem painter, who has also done the baldachin of the tower vault. The rest of the murals~ scattered all over the church, were executed at the end of the 14th century. Iconographically very remarkable is the representation of the Ascension on the northern wall of the tower, where the Lord is mounting a ladder held by angels. The baptismal font is a fine work by the 12th century master "Majestatis". Another prominent work of art is the Rood (on the northern wall) from the beginning of the 14th century.

Photo Hans Hemlin

Text Dr. Bengt G Söderberg


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