Thursday, July 30, 2009

Volsted church / Volsted kirke, Fleskum herred, Aalborg amt.

Volsted Church, 18 km south of Aalborg
Volsted sogn, Fleskum herred, Aalborg amt.

The small church without a steeple in the northern outskirt of Volsted contrasts with the mighty circular shaped village around Denmark's largest forte ( common grounds of a village). The Romanesque church in granite ashlars was built ca. 1150. First of all it is remarkable with its stone carved reliefs which in 1873 were moved to the porch. A carved inscription says that "Goti fecit" (Goti built) and since both name and figures are similar to Gjøl Church in Vendsyssel this is a unique case where the stone mason is known and probably also the building master of two 1100s Danish village churches.

The simple interior is like the church itself. The Romanesque character of the church is marked by the flat wooden ceiling and the choir arch with finely shaped kragsten (oblong reliefstones). The pulpit is a rare late Gothich stool probably from the period around the reformation. (similar to the one in Frejlev Church ). A small church bell from 1732 cast by Laurids Strahlborn was a gift from Anna Lasson. In the choir vault are found fragments of frescoe ornaments. Upon the Romanesque communion table in granite ashlars is a simple carved wooden altar piece from ab. 16725 with a new painting, a Ruben-copy from 1855 "The crucifixion". A Romanesque granite font.

Surrounding the entrance portal at the porch is a fine collection Romanesque sculpture. "The Fall of Man", a wild boar, a bishop and God's Lamb. Cover Stone above the red door is decorated with a strong lion, maybe the symbol of the Evil , which can only be conquered by Christianity. In the east wall of the porch are three ashlars - probably from the walled-in woman's door on the northside - a bird, a fox and a dog and two saints facing one another.

the village Volsted is Denmark's largest and most undisturbed by-plads (forte).

Names in the Middle Ages:

Volsted (*1355 Wolstedt, 1455 Wolsted).

Listed prehistorics: 20 hills, of which 5 south of the village are rather large.
Demolished or destroyed: 14 hills, besides 3, which contained stone graves, two were probably passage graves.

Source: Trap Danmark, Aalborg amt, 1961; Niels Peter Stilling, Danmarks kirker, 2000.

photo Volsted kirke 2003: grethe bachmann

No comments: