Friday, August 07, 2009

Grønbæk church / Grønbæk kirke, Lysgård herred, Viborg amt.

Grønbæk Church, 14 km northeast of Silkeborg
Grønbæk sogn, Lysgård herred, Viborg amt.

Grønbæk Church is especially known for its Romanesque frescoes in the apse-vault, but the church is also rich in Romanesque granite sculpture. As for the architecture the church is a rare example on a Jutland granite church where the new building material, burnt stones, were used for the finish of the building. The church yard is one of the prettiest in Jutland.

The Romanesque apse, choir and nave were built in granite ashlars ab. 1225 . Some original windows in apse, choir and nave are preserved. The frame stones around the bricked-up south door are decorated with animal figures, i.e. a dragon as a symbol of paganism opposite God's lamb. Upon the southside under the roof is a strange relief with a troll sneaking towards two people. The long granite ashlar ends in a bearded male head. The tower is from the late Gothic period built in ashlars and monk bricks. In the west window of the tower a modern glass-painting . The porch is from 1907.

In 1903-04 were Romanesque frescoes brought to light; they were restored in 1905, cleansed and repaired in 1956. The frescoes are contemporary to the church building, from ab. 1225. The decoration covers the whole apse-vault, and the pictures were undoubtedly painted immediately after the finish of the church building. All figures have stucco haloes, which probably were gilt originally. Two fields in the apse are dominating with two mighty, smiling, winged animal figures, the Lion of Mark and the grinning Oxen of Luke. The window niches are decorated in winding leaves and flowers. The frescoes in the apse in Grønbæk Church are a unique work of Romanesque art.

Inside are also interesting Romanesque stone pictures upon the kragbånd of the choir, i.e. a fire-breathing dragon and human figures; the dragon is kept back with a firm grib in the tail by God's hand. The colossal baptismal font in limestone is a Gotland work from the beginning of the 1200s. A granite communion table with a cross from 1906. New altar rails in wrought iron. A chasuble from 1725 with a silver embroidered crucifix. A rich Bruskbaroque pulpit with Evangelist figures in high relief, a contemporary entrance and sounding board from 1686 with relief carved initials R T F K I D M. Many memorials in the church, epitaphs etc. A church bell cast in 1485.

figures from the pulpit.

pulpit and crucifix in apse

figures from old altar piece

kragbånd with dragon and lion.

Romanesque frescoes, Lion of Mark and Oxen of Luke.

A unique church with a pretty church yard.

Names in the Middle Ages:
Grønbæk (*1231 Grønæbec); Brårup (*1231 Brothærthorp); Roe (*1231 Rythæ, 1525 Roy); Ris (*1394 Riisz); Naderup (*1425 Naderup); Kongensgård (*1444 Kongensgard).

The farm Ris was in 1394 conveyed by Peder Høeg to hr. Jens Nielsen Løvenbalk, who in 1412 sold it to Alling kloster.

Just outside Grønbæk was a sacred spring, Vissenkilde.

The vicarage's stuehus (living house) , which is listed in class B, was built in 1757 by provst Niels Hurtigkarl, who according to tradition saw to the production of the 54 cm long bricks and other formstones himself.

West of Grønbæk was excavated a ruin, the so-called Erik Glipping's Hunting-house, consisting of the foundation of a medieval building, in raw and cleaved granite boulder (inside measures ab. 11 x 6,5 m). The place shows no sign of fortification.

Listed prehistorics: 13 hills, all small or medium size.
Demolished or destroyed: 39 hills,east of Roe was a large group of 15-20 hills, and a close group of now over-ploughed 5 hills were north northeast of Roe.

Source: Trap Danmark, Viborg amt, 1962; Niels Peter Stilling, Danmarks kirker, 2000.

photo Grønbæk kirke May 2006: grethe bachmann

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