Tofta Church, Gotland
Tofta Church, external view
|Denomination||Church of Sweden|
History and architecture
The earliest church on this location was probably built during the end of the 12th century; of this first church however nothing remains. The oldest part of the presently visible church is the tower. The nave and choir both date from the middle of the 14th century. The church walls display fragments of medieval frescos that were found during a restoration in 1958-1959. A few medieval stained glass windows are likewise preserved in the church.
Of the furnishings, the baptismal font is the oldest, dating from the 12th century and richly sculpted. It was probably made for the earliest church. The high altar has a retable from the 14th century, probably made in Lübeck. Two other wooden sculptures from the same century are also preserved in the church, one of the Virgin Mary and one of St. Olaf. An unusually well-preserved medieval bench also stands in the church. In the floor of the choir is a gravestone, made for a farmer and his son who were beaten to death in 1340. The pews and the pulpit date from the Baroque era.
In 2004, an extremely well-preserved mail coif was discovered in a room in the tower during cleaning of the church. Reputedly it is one of the most well-preserved mail coif ever found in Europe, second only to a similar one displayed at the National Museum of Scotland. It may be connected to a civil war that was fought on the island in 1288. The mail coif is now displayed inside Tofta church.
- Svahnström, Gunnar (1973). Lagerlöf, Erland, ed. Gotlands kyrkor (in Swedish). Uddevalla: Rabén & Sjögren. pp. 253–255. ISBN 9129410355.
- Enderborg, Bernt. "Tofta kyrka, Gotland". guteinfo.com (in Swedish). Retrieved July 28, 2013.
- Hoas, Margareta (31 March 2004). "Unik ringbrynja hittad på Gotland". Sveriges Radio (Radio Sweden). Retrieved July 28, 2013.
- Granding, Lena (2008). Ringar från en ringräv. UV UPPSALA RAPPORT 2008:22 GEOARKEOLOGISK UNDERSÖKNING (PDF). Geoarkeologiskt Laboratorium and Swedish Heritage Board. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
- Media related to Tofta Church at Wikimedia Commons