Monday, July 20, 2009

Vraa church / Vraa kirke, Børglum herred, Hjørring amt

The large church in Vrå has a Romanesque choir and nave, a Gothic west tower and a southern porch. It was built in the second part of the 1100s. Today the church is surrounded by the houses of the market town. The Romanesque section is in well-carved granite ashlars; upon a large ashlar on the north side is a triangle-relief, a stone mason mark or a symbol of Trinity? The square north door and a bricked-up Romanesque window are preserved, but the walls are rather re-walled, several Romanesque window cover stones are placed upon the church yard. The choir has a Gothic vault, the nave a beamed ceiling. The great tower with a stairway at the northwest corner is built in re-used granite ashlars in the bottom section, in the upper section in monk bricks, while the top is re-walled. (year 1760). Under the cross vault of the tower was earlier an open burial, from which the coffins of the families Rafn and Berg were buried in 1900. The porch is in monk bricks, but very re-walled. In the east wall are two granite pieces from pillars.

Children had painted a temporary altar piece for the church.
The altar piece was under restoration.

Vrå church is known for its late Gothic frescoes. Upon the choir vault and on the north wall of the nave are interesting frescoes from ab. 1500 (restored in 1904). The altar piece is a frame from 1670 in which middle is placed a pretty carved field from the 1400s. The altar piece was ornamented in 1722 by M.C. Thrane and restored together with the epitaphs by assistance of the National Museum in 1932. (Under restoration in April 2004). A Romanesque granite communion table and baptismal font. A carved pulpit from 1618 with the paternal and maternal coat of arms of Mikkel Nielsen Tornekrans and Ide Bjørnsdatter. In the nave a late Gothic crucifix. The church bell -until 1836 in a wooden gable at the church yard - with inscription in mirror writing, is from the middle of the 1400s.

Triangle relief

Hulsten ( interpretation varied)

Names from the Middle Ages:
Vrå (* 1370 Wra sogen); Nr. Vrå (* 1439 Nørura, 1459 Nørrewro); Sdr. Vrå (* 1429 Sønnder Wraa); Stenvad (* 1444 Stenwadt); Borup (* 1370 Botorp); Østergård (Østergrdt).

Listed prehistorics: a large hill Galgebakken at S. Vrå.
Demolished or destroyed: A large longhill and 22 hill, mainly around Grønderup. - At Vrå Church was found a grave from Iron Age.

Source: Trap Danmark, Hjørring amt , 1960; Niels Peter Stilling: Danmarks kirker, 2000.

photo Vrå April 2004: grethe bachmann

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