Gammelgarn Church

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Gammelgarn church, external view with defensive tower to the left

Gammelgarn Church (Swedish: Gammelgarns kyrka) is a medieval Lutheran church on the island of Gotland, in the Diocese of Visby (Sweden).

History[edit]

Detail of the richly sculpted main portal

The church is built next to a defensive tower, erected in the 12th century, and probably designed to protect the congregation from raiders from across the sea. The present-day church is largely from the 14th century. Only the tower remains of an older church on the same site. The tower was originally part of the nave of this first, Romanesque church. The current tower roof dates from 1755.[1][2]

Architecture[edit]

The church is a High Gothic building, characterised by a spacious nave, divided into four vaults by a single central column. The choir lacks an apse and instead the eastern end of the church is adorned with three Gothic windows.[1]

Possibly the most noteworthy part of the church is the southern portal, which is richly sculpted. Dating from the 14th century, it was executed by the Gotlandic workshop commonly referred to as Master Egypticus. It displays in a hasty manner scenes from the Old Testament.[1]

The interior of the church is adorned by frescos, of which only fragments remain. The altarpiece however is an unusually accomplished piece dating from the 14th century, and the church also has a medieval baptismal font. There is also a gravestone set in the floor of the choir, which is inscribed with runes. Other furnishings date from the late 17th century (the pulpit) and the 18th century (choir stalls and pews).[1][2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Lagerlöf, Erland (1973). Lagerlöf, Erland, ed. Gotlands kyrkor (in Swedish). Uddevalla: Rabén & Sjögren. pp. 145–146. ISBN 9129410355. 
  2. ^ a b Jonsson, Marita; Lindquist, Sven-Olof (1987). Vägen till kulturen på Gotland (in Swedish). Visby: Gotlands fornsal. pp. 155–156. ISBN 91-971048-1-7. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 57°24′16″N 18°48′16″E / 57.40444°N 18.80444°E / 57.40444; 18.80444