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Åkirkeby, Å kirke [Aakirkeby] [Aa church]locked

  • Lars-Olof Albertson

Romanesque church in the village of Åkirkeby on the island Bornholm, Denmark. The church, dedicated to St Hans, was constructed in the second half of the 12th century and is the largest church on Bornholm. The oldest parts are the apse, the choir, and the lowest part of the nave. The upper part of the nave and the tower were later additions. The porch dates from the first half of the 13th century and is one of the oldest in Denmark. A greenish sandstone and brownish slate were used for the walls. The nave was constructed with two arcade walls, one running in the middle of the nave from the triumph wall to the tower wall, the other one running from the south entrance to the north entrance. Both were removed during restoration in 1874. In the Middle Ages the church belonged to the chapter at Lund Cathedral and was the seat for one of the canons and was also known as ‘Kapitalskirken’ or the Chapter Church.

The church is best known for the signed baptismal font made at the start of the 13th century by Sighraf, a stone master working in Gotland and Scania (Skåne, now Sweden; see Åkirkeby, baptismal font).

Bibliography

  • J. Roosval: Die Steinmeister Gottlands: Eine Geschichte der führenden Taufsteinwerkstätte des schwedischen Mittlealters, ihre Voraussetzungen und Begleit-Erscheinungen (Stockholm, 1918)
  • O. Norn, C. G. Schultz, and E. Skov: Danmarks Kirker: 7. Bornholm (Copenhagen, 1954)
  • F. Nordström: Mediaeval Baptismal Fonts: An Iconographical Study (Stockholm, 1984)
  • S. B. F. Jansson: Runes in Sweden (Stockholm, 1987)
  • L. Berggren: ‘The Export of Limestone and Limestone Fonts from Gotland during the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Centuries’, Cogs, Cargoes and Commerce. Maritime Bulk Trade in Northern Europe 1150–1400, ed. L. Berggren, N. Hybel, and A. Landen (Toronto, 2002)