Monday, August 03, 2009

Asmild church / Asmild kirke, Nørlyng herred, Viborg amt

Asmild Church, at Viborg
Asmild sogn, Nørlyng herred, Viborg amt. 

Asmild Church is situated on the eastern side of the lake ' Viborg Søndersø.' It was built around 1090 under the rule of king Oluf Hunger and is one of the earliest stone churches in Denmark. The first building was a large three-naved church with choir and apse to the east and a great hall to the west, which raised above the roof of the nave as a low tower. It was larger than many other village churches built in the 1100-1200s, and with its placement upon a hill by the lake with a view to Viborg it was an impressive building. An explanation of its size was that it was the cathedral of the district before the building of the cathedral in Viborg had finished 1133, but even after this year the bishops still had constant connections to Asmild.

The bishop's own house was placed about 375 m east of the church, and bishop Eskil probably lived here in 1132. While celebrating mass bishop Eskil was killed on 20th of October 1132 in front of the altar. The reason for the murder was the civil war, and it was probably done by order of king Erik Emune. In the 1200s a brick house was built for the bishop on Klostermarken, and rests of a stone house have been found at this place. The famous bishop Gunnar, who wrote the first words in king Valdemar's Jyske Lov "Med Lov skal Land bygges" is mentioned in Asmild in 1251. He invited at least once or twice a year the parish people to his house and treated them with costly dinners and noble wines. The bishop's house is still mentioned in 1543.

About 1165 a three naved Augustine convent was built at the south side of the church. The convent belonged like the parish church to Viborg chapter. The church services were performed by the bishop and his canons. In the middle of the 1300s the church was ravaged by a violent fire, and a complete rebuilding was made of the middle part of the nave. There have been several changes up to the 1500. After the reformation Asmild belonged to the Crown - the nuns were allowed to stay, but after 1552 it became a royal entailed estate.
In 1907 the convent burnt down except the East Wing, which later was demolished in 1958. Today only the church building stands with the furnishing and the inventory which the owners since the reformation have given to the more than 900 year old church.

The inventory is old, rich and well preserved. The style being Renaissance, Rococco and Baroque. The Romanesque granite baptismal font is of a simple style and probably from the 1200s. In the western side of the church is a gallery with original portrait paintings of nine Oldenburg kings. In the porch is a rune stone which was found in 1950. The inscription cannot be interpreted fully. It says : 'Thorgunn Thorgot Thjodulvssøns datter satte denne sten efter Bose, sin mand, tidenders mand....... ' ( 'Thorgunn the daughter of Thorgot Thjodulvvsøn placed this stone after her husband Bose, man of times........) - meaning that he was famous and respected.

On the paved parking place south of the church the old buildings of the convent are marked with coloured stones, so visitors may catch an image of, how large it once was. The old well is digged out, and the deep, prettily put up well is seen today.Upon the low piece of land west of the church is a model of the medieval convent garden with old plants and medicinal herbs which was used by the monks and nuns.


Names in the Middle Ages and 1600s:
Overlund (1556 Offuerlun(n)d(t)); Gammel Asmild ( *1100s Asmiald, 1304 Asmeld, 1551 Gammel Asmildt); Lille Asmild ( 1664 Lille Aszmild); Asmildkloster (* 1441 Aszmild closter); Søgårde (1524 Siøgardt); Tranborg (1664 Tranborig); Dalsgård (1541 Dalsgord); Holmsgård
(1551 Holumsgaard); Søndermølle (1488 Sønder mølle).

Listed prehistorics: 34 hills, of which 25, among those the large Kongehøj, are situated in a group southwest of Bruunshåb; most of these are Stone Ages single grave hills. Other large hills are Langvadhøj in a plantation at Bruunshåb and Odshøj at Gl. Asmild.
Demolished or destroyed: 49 hills

Upon an islet in Nørreådalen is a settlement from Gudenåkulturen. At Søgårde's heath is a grave from early Roman Iron Age with a clay rattle; a grave with 5 claypots from the same time is known from Overlund. In Broddenbjerg mose (moor) is found a phallic wooden figure, probably an idol from Iron Age.

Source: Trap Danmark, Viborg amt, 1962

photo 2003 and 2007: grethe bachmann

No comments: