The Churches of Gotland

VIKLAU

The name of this, in itself rather plain, church is widely renowned in art history. For nearly 800 years it was the home of the Viklau Virgin, still equally gold-shimmering and rosy-cheeked as when she came from her master's hand, until she, to the annoyance of many Gotlanders, was bought by the Historic Museum in Stockholm and substituted by a copy, even though a good one. Of the madonna's church the choir (though lengthened in the east) and the nave are left; the tower was built about 1250. The Holy Rood is roughly contemporary with the Madonna, thus from the 1170s, but is not made in the same workshop, and the same applies to the baptismal font, which belongs to the "Hegwald group" but is not by the master's own hand.

Photo Hans Hemlin

Text Dr. Bengt G Söderberg


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