Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lønborg church /Lønborg kirke, Nørre Horne herred, Ringkøbing amt.

Kongskirken (the King's church) in Lønborg was inaugurated to the Danish kongehelgen St. Knud - and it must have been built on Royal order once in the 1100s. It is placed high upon a hill with a magnificent view to Skjern Ådal (river valley) and the west delta to Ringkøbing Fjord. The choir and nave is Romanesque, while tower, porch and sacristy are late Gothic additions, but the south side is completely re-walled ab. 1804. The porch and tower are built in monk bricks late in the 1400s -and the later sacristy is built in re-used granite ashlars. Both doors are preserved , the northern women's door is walled-in. The original men's door is now the entrance to the church room from the porch. Two Romanesque windows are in use in the nave, while a similar window in the choir gable is bricked-up.

The granite communion table is covered in a pine panel from the end of the 1500s. The altarpiece is Renaissance and has a Holy-Communion painting in the big field, dated 1668. In the 1900th century rests of a Catholic triptychon were found in the middle section. Small Gothic altar candlesticks with animal paws. The Romanesque granite font has rope decorations with leaves. In the choir is a peculiar parish clerk chair in carved oak, decorated with a pig playing a bagpipe. In the sacristy is the original baptismal copper dish from the 1600s with a rosette in the bottom. The pretty pulpit is an excellent woodcarver work in Gothic-Renaissance from the end of the 1500s. It is similar to pulpits in Sønder Bork Church etc. The sounding board has the year 1605 with the coat of arms of Munk-Lange, Gersdorff and Gyldenstierne, referring to Else Munk and Kristoffer Gersdorff, who was a vasal at kongsgården Lønborggård.

The whole church is vaulted probably shortly before 1487 according to a Latin inscription. The present decorations were restored in 1992. They are Renaissance frescoes from the middle of the 1500s. Doomsday has got a special place in the north section. In long rows the diseased - dressed in contemporary clothes - are walking to the saving Heaven's Gate, while the sinners are punished and the devils are blowing in alphorns.

Lønborg church upon the hill at Skjern Å (river) with a grand view over the large river landscape and the delta at Ringkøbing Fjord with Holmsland Klit far away to the west. The church yard is partly surrounded by big trees along the dike. In the southern walled church yard gate is a cattle grating.

Skjern Aa

Names in the Middle ages and 1600s:
Lønborg (* ab. 1140 Løneburg, * 1231 Lønæburgh); Vostrup (1610 Wostrup); Lavstrup (1688 Laustrupbye); Fjerbæk (1610 Fierbeck); Nr. Bøel (* 1298 Bøle), Sdr. Bøel ( * 1298 Bøle); Kyvling ( ab. 1300 Kyfling(h); Styg ( 1489 Stygh); Lønborggård * 1595 Lønboriggaard); Varisbøl (1688 Warispill).

Lønborggård belonged in the Catholic time to Ribe bishopric and is often named Lønborg Bishop's Manor. It seems that in the end of the 1400s it was endowed to bishop Hartvig Juel's sister Johanne, married to Christian Steen whose son Erik Steen was a vasal there in 1502. In 1511 it came to Eiler Bryske and in 1533 to Christen Fasti of Vennergård. In his time the manor was plundered by Skipper Clement's peasant army. After the reformation Lønborggård was taken by the Crown , and hereafter various administrators and owners.

At Lønborggård was earlier a salmon-farm which was abolished in the 1800s.

West of the church was a Kongsgård (King's Manor) which is already mentioned in Valdemars Jordebog as Lønæburgh from where Erik Glipping 1278 issued letters. Upon a map from a priest-report 1638 is sketched "Borigvold" (Castlebank) at Lønborg Bjerg west of the church. The name is preserved in Lønborg village, but the original farm was destroyed in the war 1638, and the fields later came to Lønborggård.

At Lønborg east of the church was according to a priest-report 1639 a sacred well, Skt. Knuds Kilde, which was visited by many people during the Middle Ages.

After a witch-process in 1683 a woman was burnt at Vostrup Hede.

When digging at Nørregård, Bøel were in 1902 found 8 Danish-Norwegian sletdalere (1653-79), 3 Netherland gylden (1628-72) and 4 silver rings.

Listed prehistorics: 30 hills and 3 small longhills, these are together with another large hill and 4 lesser hills in a group in the southern section of Lønborgårds heath. In Lønborggårds plantation is a large hill Annebjerg, to the south another large hill, where once was a larger group of hills.
Demolished or destroyed: 19 hills. - From Lønborggård is known an urn grave site from Celtic Iron Age, and jordfæstegravpladser (interment) from early Iron Age are known from Styg (early Roman period) and west of the church.( late Roman period).

Lønborg and Egvad sogn(parish) were once divided, but was united in 1594. The priest in Lønborg applied in 1631 and several times later for that he wanted to live in Egvad, since "Lønborg Præstegårds Jorder grænse til Fjorden, så at de tit lide Skade og Kvæget drukner"
(the land of vicarage bordered to the fjord, which caused damage and the cattle drowned), but this wasn't granted. Since 1929 Lønborg has its own parish.

Sources: Trap Danmark, Ringkøbing amt, 1965; Niels Peter Stilling, Danmarks kirker; 2000; Axel Bolvig, Danmarks kalkmalerier, 2002.

Lønborg church seen from the delta

One of two centers with exhibitions of the flora and fauna at Skjern Å.

Exhibition Naturplan

Nationalpark Skjern Å

photo 2005 and 2006: grethe bachmann

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