SkyscraperCity Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

The Big Cheese
1,721 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a thread about some of the oldest churches in Sweden, all from the Västergötland and Östergötland regions. The churches was mostly built by monks and other foreigners, since no one could build anything like this in Sweden at that time.
Personally i prefere these churches the most, because of the material and the architecture, and because they're old, and extremly cute ;)

This is a map ofÖstergötland which is the region we'll start with. I've painted some dots(check the colors of the name with the colors of the dot) on the map so you'll see where the chruches are located and as you can see they're all located close to the lake Vättern (very beautiful area) You could say that this is the place where Sweden was born

Herrestad's chruch built around 1112, it is Sweden's oldest for certainly dated church! (Dalby church is not counted)The tower was also intended for defence. Inside an altar screen from 15th century.

a closer view of the tower
Örberga church is from 1116.Please note that the cylindrical objects on both sides of the tower are stairwells.The ugly roof/top is from the 18th century.

Heda church date from middle of the 12th century, it has been rebuilt many times but has kept its original character.
This one is probably my favorite church in this thread but there is one more which i really like, but that church is located in Västergötland

Väversunda church is from around 1160, extremly cute interior (not on the map)

Bjälbo church
in the middle of the rich fields of Östergötland was owned by the Folkunga dynasty. If you want to point at one central place for the building of the young Sweden you would point here. With other words you could say that here stood the cradle of Sweden, or more precise four cradles, the Bjälbo dynasty was powerful and bore sons who became lords, bishops and also four kings over Sweden, Norway and Denmark. Probably the best known is Birger Jarl, who was born in Bjälbo at the beginning of the 13th century. During the period when he was effectively the ruler of the land he laid foundations for a stronger monarchy and of what Sweden would come to be, and introduced laws against harassment and founded the city of Stockholm.
Probably it is Birger Jarl's mother, Ingrid Ylva - the orderer of the bells that still today chime in the church tower - we have to be grateful to for the union of Sweden, without the knowledge she taught her young coming kings like write and understand Latin and greek democracy and everything a becoming king should know Birger Jarl should not got such success and we maybe shouldn't have speaking swedish today.
Today the tower of Bjälbo Church remains as evidence of the Bjälbo dynasty. Bjälbo church dates from the beginning of the 12th century on the place of an earlier wooden church. The tower was built in the 1220s and is a remarkable structur, and it is also remarkable untouched during all centuries. Originally it had six storeys and has been used as a dwelling, a storehouse and possibly as a sanctuary in times of unrest. Probably was the estate immediately west of the Church the main property of the family.
Birger Jarl's son Valdemar become the Swedish king 1250 but came into dispute with his brother Magnus Ladulås who got into power 1275. Magnus Ladulås' three sons duke Erik, duke Valdemar and king Birger you may have heard about in the “play of Håtuna” and the following “feast of Nyköping” 1317.

Alvastra Monastery was founded 1143 by french Cistercian monks and became Sweden's largest monastery. Today there are olny ruins left so idotn understand why i gave it a dot, sorry for that

Vadstena Abbey is St Birgitta's own Abbey: Brigittine Nunnery. Birgitta we celebrated year 2003 because it was 700 years ago she was born.
It begun with the former Royal Palace - now the Nunnery - toward north. Duke Birger (Jarl) Magnusson built this palace for his eldest son Valdemar. In 1250, Valdemar aged 12 was elected King of Sweden and the property became a Royal Palace. Vadstena means the stonehouse by the water.
In 1346 King Magnus Eriksson donated the palace to Birgitta's newly founded Birgitta Order.
Birgitta died in Rom 1373 and was canonised 1391 and is the only Swedish saint, and since 1999 she is also patron saint of Europe.

Rogslösa church built in the beginning of 1100 (not on the map, but very close to the other dots)

End of part 1. next part will contain the churches of Västergötland, some quite unique and interesting churches.


2,858 Posts

this was one of the most interesting threads EVER!

i really really love these old churches, without all the glitter and decorations...

i think you're very lucky to have vadstena in a good shape like this. in tallinn there are 2 similar monasterys but they're both in ruins =(
(not that i don't like ruins, alvastra is cool!!)

looking forward to part two.

13,693 Posts
THANK YOU, RINGIL! :eek:kay: What a superb thread! :master:

These plain and simple churches are SO beautiful! It's amazing that there are so many of them in that comparatively small area along Lake Vaettern. Alvastra Monastery -- it may be a ruin, but I'm glad you included it! The view of the complex from above is particularly impressive. I get a bit of a sense of French flavor there.

You don't give a date for St. Birgitta's Church ... it seems timeless.

Like Jarmo, I'm looking forward to the next installment. Thank you again, Ringil! :applause:

1,075 Posts
Örberga & Heda church are really beautiful IMO as are all of them !!!! Vadstena abbey has a really cool tower & the Alvastra Monastery ruins are truely impressive !!!!!!!!!!! :eek:kay:

Thanks for showing these lovely pics.

255 Posts
Thank you very much for pictures, Ringil!

I've been in Sweden, Småland, only once (five years ago).
We had a trip to the same places - Linköping, Göta kanal, Motala and Vadstena.
Very nice country.

A pulpit of church in town close to Linköping (unfortunately I forgot its name )

I have just the same photo of Vadstena Church

I was a bit surprised that it is Catholic church

Some pictures of Alvastra Abbey

1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.