Bäl Church

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Bäl Church, external view

Bäl Church (Swedish: Bäl kyrka) is a medieval Lutheran church on the Swedish island of Gotland. It belongs to the parish Väskinde, in the Diocese of Visby.

History and architecture[edit]

The current church was built during the first half of the 13th century and replaced an earlier stone church on the same site, fragments of which still remain in the wall between the choir and nave. Of the presently visible church, the choir is the oldest part, with the nave and tower being built successively. Paintings were added in the 1200s and 1400s. For some reason, the tower was never finished and does not reach its originally intended height.[1]

Fresco depicting Saint George and the Dragon.

The church has two portals on the western façade, one leading to the choir and a larger main portal, located on the south side of the nave. The smaller is the older and still Romanesque in style, while the main portal is Gothic, and more profusely decorated.[1] Additionally, there is an entrance on the north façade. The window openings are all original, and have not been enlarged during later centuries.[2]

Inside, the church is decorated by frescos, uncovered in the early 2000s. They depict the Passion of Christ and scenes from the Bible.[3] The church has some medieval items: a triumphal cross (late 13th century), a baptismal font (13th century),[1] and a wooden sculpture depicting Mary.[3] The altarpiece is Baroque, executed in 1664, and the pulpit is from 1744.[1]

The church was renovated in 1965-66,[1] and again in the early 2000s.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Lagerlöf, Erland, ed. (1973). Gotlands kyrkor (in Swedish). Uddevalla: Rabén & Sjögren. pp. 115–116. ISBN 9129410355. 
  2. ^ "Bäl kyrka" (in Swedish). Region Gotland. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Bäl kyrka". Church of Sweden. Retrieved 18 June 2014. 

Literature[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 57°38′41″N 18°37′58″E / 57.64472°N 18.63278°E / 57.64472; 18.63278