Thursday, March 18, 2010

Mariakyrkan - Sigtuna

Sigtuna is the oldest city in Sweden, with a history spanning more than 1000 years. There were many churches in the city, and all except one, are no in ruins. The only church still standing is dedicated to Virgin Mary.

The Church is a basilica in red brick built by Dominican friars in 1230-1255, partly in Romanesque, partly in Gothic style.

In 1255 the local archbishop - earls were buried in the choir, and their burial niches are still visible today.

The convent connected to the church was torn down after the reformation. Bricks were used in castles in nearby Venngarn and Svartsjö.

In 1641 the church was in such a bad condition that the Swedish government demanded that the community to renovate it, thus saving it from the fate shared by all the other churches in this old Medieval city.

It has been extended and changed during the centuries, but it has retained its Medieval character. It is dark and mysterious.

The interior is beautifully decorated with elaborate paintings that were found during large restoration works 1904-1905.

On the walls you find painted Crusader crosses, as well as ornate floral patterns. On one wall you see a depiction of Christ on the cross with his mother and disciples.

More on Sigtuna

Sigtuna - the city by the water - read story here

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