Fardhem Church, external view
|Denomination||Church of Sweden|
History and architecture
According to the Gutasaga, one of the earliest churches on Gotland was built in Fardhem. If so, this was a wooden church of which nothing remains today. Early graves found in the area however indicate that there might well have been a wooden church at the site of the presently visible one early on.
The church seen today is also of considerable age. It is a Romanesque building, erected in stages from the end of the 12th century to the second quarter of the 13th century. Only the vestry is later, added in 1871-72 and designed by Axel Herman Hägg.
Externally, the church has a uniform, Romanesque appearance. It is considered to be one of the best-preserved Romanesque churches on Gotland (at least externally). Especially noteworthy is the choir portal. It is decorated with a few rather primitive sculpted elements, difficult to interpret. The work has been attributed to the locally active stone sculptor Hegvald but may also be the work of some unknown master from Jutland. There are no comparable works on Gotland.
The interior of the church is less well-preserved. Fragments of frescos from the 14th century were discovered during a restoration in 1951-52, and are now again visible. The baptismal font is Romanesque, probably a work by the anonymous Master Semi-Byzantios, but only the foot remains. Most other furnishings are from the 17th and 18th centuries.
- Lagerlöf, Erland (1973). Lagerlöf, Erland, ed. Gotlands kyrkor (in Swedish). Uddevalla: Rabén & Sjögren. pp. 133–134. ISBN 9129410355.
- Andrén, Anders (2011). Det Medeltida Gotland. En arkeologisk guidebok (in Swedish). Lund: Historiska Media. pp. 221–222. ISBN 978-91-85873-83-8.
- Svanberg, Jan (1995). Karlsson, Lennart, ed. Signums svenska konsthistoria: Den romanska konsten (in Swedish). Lund: Signum. p. 199. ISBN 91-87896-23-0.
- Media related to Fardhem Church at Wikimedia Commons