Thursday, July 30, 2009

Visborg church / Visborg kirke and Visborggård, Hindsted herred, Aalborg amt.

Visborg Church, 4 km northeast of Hadsund
Visborg sogn, Hindsted herred, Aalborg amt

The impressive church in Visborg, situated upon a hill with a slope to the south and west,has a rather unusual building history, since the original Romanesque church is almost totally rebuilt during the Renaissance period. It has the rests of a Romanesque nave with a tower from the Reformation period and a choir-part, sacristi, chapel and porch, probably all from the 1590s. The tower has a cross-vaulted bottom room and a flat-curved tower arch. A very pretty flat-curved window to the west shows a close connection to the porch-portal in Astrup Church, dating the tower to the 1540s. The building was renovated in 1943.

The rich inventory is mainly marked by the Renaissance. The altar piece on the re-built communion table is from ab. 1600, given by Sophie Bille with the coat of arms of Rosenkrantz, Seefeld and Bille. The original painting was brought back after a renovation. Altar-rails in wrought iron from ab. 1600. In the choir are two pairs of choir-stools, each with four seats and carved gable-planks with extraordinally coarse animal figures in high relief. South German baptismal bowl from 1575 with the Habsburg-coat of arms. Pulpit from the same time and with the same coat of arms as the altarpiece. The pews are from various periods 1) 1570 with the coat of arms of Johanne Nielsdatter Rotfeld of Havnø ; 2) from 1574; 3) from 1587 with the coat of arms of Jakob Seefeld and wives; 4) from 1636.

A glazed tile with the year 1585 was found in the floor in the renovation in 1943, it is now on the wall of the nave. Small chandelier from 1721, given by ritmester Jakob Kjærulf. A door wing is between the porch and nave , iron bound with the year 1592. A painting "The Coppersnake in the Desert" from the 1700s hangs in the chapel. Church bells: 1) from the beginning of the 1400s, small without inscription; 2) from 1672, given by Birgitta Urne and Claus Seefeld. Church Ship: Warship "Hendrik Harren" from ab. 1850.

The church is rich in burials, under the sacristi and the choir were large burial vaults, which have now been cleared. In the sacristi are sandstone coffins with colonel Andreas Arenstorff, + 1764, and his wife Sophie Marie von Schiebel, + 1761. From earlier funerals are several plates and some armour-pieces on the walls. A a coffin plank - which was a piece from a wardrobe-chest from 1585 with the coat of arms of Oluf Krognos and Anna Hardenberg - is at Aalborg Museum. Above some wooden-grating doors is a large family-group picture painted in 1600 imaging Jakob Seefeld and his wives and children. Several gravestones, for families Seefeld, Rosenkrantz, Bille from the 1600s.


Visborggård belonged in 1343 and 1351 to Anders Nielsen, in 1401 to Jens Nielsen Munk (Vinranke-Munk), possibly Anders Nielsen's brother; in 1408 and 1422 to their sons Niels Andersen and Mads Jensen (Munk). After Mads Jensens' death ab. 1442 it came to his son hr. Jens Madsen Munk, + 1501, who was the owner from 1445. After him V. went to his son's sons Jens and Jakob Munk, but they died childless, and V. with 37 farms and 16 bol (small farms) came to their mother Inger Andersdatter Bjørn, married 2) with Jens Thygesen Seefeld , + before 1537. In 1534 Visborggård was burnt down by Skipper Klement and his peasant army. After Enevold Jensen Seefeld , + 1557, it came to his son Jakob Seefeld, + 1599, . After his death his widow Sophie Bille was the manager of his many estates until her death in 1608. After the family Seefeld during the 1600s various owners , families Urne, Svane, Benzon, Arenstorff, etc. Since 1938 Visborggård is a home for the mentally sick.

Visborggård, the sandstone-portal

The main building is listed in class A. It is surrounded by broad moats. A three-winged plan, dominated by the south wing, a fine Renaissance-building, built in 1575-76 by Jakob Seefeld. The walls are red monkbricks upon a tall granite-plinth which stands directly in the moat without a bank, except around the gable and the side-winges where is an area between moat and wall. The facade is flanked by octagonal corner-towers. The tall cellar has windows in the shape of arrow slits. A rich sandstone portal in high Renaissance with plate with the coat of arms of Jakob Seefeld and his two wives decorates the entrance gate . Above the gate was once an enormous gate tower, and all walls had cornices; the disappeared gables were decorated with sandstone. Fragments are kept in a cellar-room at Visborggård. Jakob Seefeld's building plan was very impressive, the still preserved wing was connected to two side wings, an eastern and western - and the legend says - probably true -that it had seven towers, besides the others were stairway towers in the inside corners, and at the northern gables were corner towers . The stairway towers are still traceable.

A painting at V. (portrait of Claus Seefeld) from 1668 shows the towers equipped with spires and the building with weather vanes in the form of jumping deer. The original side wings were probably demolished ab. 1730. Various changes during the years. Some loft-paintings are preserved . A terracotta-fireplace is at the National Museum. Opposite the bridge which replaced the original drawbridge are two sandstone bears with the coat of arms of the family Arenstorff.

The sandstone-portal and a French-inspired Baroque-garden are the attractions of Visborggård. Public access to the court yeard and the garden.


Havnø was in 1468 owned by hr. Jens Madsen Munk (Vinranke-Munk) of Visborggård , +1501. With his daughter Eline it came to Hans Lykke , + before 1511, and his children hr. Peder Lykke, + 1535, and Erik Lykke, whose widow Anne Kaas (Sparre-Kaas) had it by law 1541. Their son Hans Lykke, + 1553, owned Havnø, and after him his widow Johanne Nielsdatter Rotfeld of Eskær, + 1577, and son Erik Lykke, + 1602. After his widow Dorothea Krabbe Havnø came to Iver Christoffersen Lykke between 1609 and 1614. Various owners, families: Seefeld, Krag, Rosenkrantz, Benzon, Sehested etc. Some outparcelling.

Havnø Mølle

Names in the Middle Ages and 1600s:
Visborg ( ab. 1343 Wisburgh, 1351 Wisborgh, 1401 Wæsebwrgh); Glerup (*1456 Glerup); Strandkær (1552 Strandkiergord); Glargårde (1571 Glashytten, 1664 Glargaarden); Møllegårde (1664 Møllgaarden); Visborggård *1456 Wiszborggaardt); Havnø (*1468 Haffnøe, Hannøe, 1477 Haffneøø, Haffuenøø) .

The Thing was earlier at Visborggård, in ab. 1680 and 1743 it is mentioned in Visborg By. (town)

Upon the road between Visborg and Visborggård is a small hill with trees and a memorial stone for the white horse which the king, Christian X, rode across the border on the tenth of July in 1920. (Genforeningen).The owner of the horse was grev Danneskiold-Samsøe of Visborggård.

Listed prehistorics: One longhill and 22 hills.
Demolished or destroyed: 16 hills

Important kitchen middens from Ertebølle-kulturen are known from Havnø (Lundebakke, Visborg Bjergbakke). In a moor by Glerup was an important sacrifice-finding from Bronze Age . Several stone graves from early Roman Iron Age, one at Møllebakken in Visborg and a weapon-grave at Glerup.

Source: Trap Danmark, Aalborg amt, 1961.

photo Visborg kirke/Visborgård 2003-2007: grethe bachmann

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