Round church

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Østerlars Round Church, Bornholm, Denmark

A round church is a church construction with a completely circular plan. There are many Nordic round churches in Sweden and Denmark (notably the island of Bornholm); round churches were popular in Scandinavia in the 11th and early 12th centuries.

Round churches should not be confused with the older types of round-tower church constructions. Churches with many-sided polygonal shapes (such as the 16-sided example in Richmond, Vermont, USA) are likewise colloquially referred to as 'round'.

Round churches by country[edit]


Church of the Holy Transfiguration in Sarajevo.


Cathedral of Brasília


Round Church, Preslav


Our Lady of Victory Church, Inuvik; St. Jude's Cathedral, Iqaluit; Saint George's Round Church, Halifax


Church of Saint Vitus in Rijeka.


Nyker Church, Nylars Church, Saint Ols Church and Østerlars Church, Bornholm; Bjernede Church, Zealand; Horne Church, Funen (with later gothic extensions), and Thorsager Church, Jutland.


Chapelle de l'Oratoire, Avignon, Vieille Charité church, Marseille


Aachen Cathedral. Liebfrauenkirche in Trier. St. Ludwig in Darmstadt, Hessen. There is also a round church in Untersuhl, Thuringia.


Saint Anne Church in Kallósd, Roman Catholic Church in Kiszombor, Rotunda in Öskü, St. Jacob rotunda in Ják, Neoclassical church in Balatonfüred (19th century).


Church of Saint Stephen in Rome; Church of Saint Bernard of Clairvaux in Rome; Old Cathedral of Brescia; Church of Saint Lawrence in Mantua; Santo Stefano, Bologna; Church of Saint Angelo in Perugia; Church of Saint Marie in Forlì.


The Netherlands[edit]



Monastery of Serra do Pilar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal.


Church of Saint Anthony of Padua at Red Cross, Belgrade; Church of Saint Basil of Ostrog in New Belgrade; Evangelical church in Zemun.



United Kingdom[edit]

In England, there are four medieval round churches still in use: Holy Sepulchre, Cambridge; Temple Church, London; St John the Baptist Church, Little Maplestead, Essex, and The Holy Sepulchre, Northampton. St Chad's Church, Shrewsbury, is a Georgian round church, and the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral was built in the 20th century. The 18th-century All Saints' Church, Newcastle upon Tyne, is now part of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in England and Wales.

In Scotland, the medieval Orphir Round Church near Houton on Mainland, Orkney, is in ruins. Kilarrow Parish Church at the top of main street in Bowmore is a round church, built in 1767, on the island of Islay, on Scotland's west coast.


See also[edit]


  • Ann Vibeke Knudsen, The Old Churches of Bornholm. Bornholm Museum, Rønne, 1999. ISBN 87-88179-43-5.

External links[edit]