Sunday, January 10, 2010

Østbirk church / Østbirk kirke, Voer herred, Skanderborg amt.

Østbirk church, ab. 15 km southwest of Skanderborg
Østbirk sogn, Voer herred, Skanderborg amt.

The large church has a probably late Romanesque nave with a late Gothic cross arm to the south and tower to the west - and a longhouse choir from the Renaissance period and a porch to the south, very rebuilt ab. 1800. The Romanesque part of the longhouse is built in granite boulder and travertine in the beginning of the 1200s, but without special details. A couple of octagonal granite pillars in the vicarage-garden, which supposedly were parts of the church portals, more likely belonged at Urup manor. In the late Gothic period was in the Romanesque nave built three cross vaults, and at its eastern end were added two cross arm chapels, of which only the southern still stands, furnished as a burial chapel. The similar north chapel, which was furnished as a burial for Peder Skram and others, was broken down in 1856. The tower is also late Gothic; it has a cross vaulted bottom room, a pointed tower arch and a staircase in the southern wall with a flat curved door.

In the medieval nave were found frescoes from the beginning of the 1500s and coat of arms for Christen Skram (+ after 1512) and Anne Reventlow. The altarpiece was brought here in 1582 from Ring kloster; it is a pretty, late Gothic carving, which according to a disappeared inscription was made in 1480 in the prioress Dorthea Lauridsdatter's time by the painter Vilhelm. It reminds in structure about Bernt Notkes high altarpiece in Århus Cathedral and has three large figures in the middle field; inside in the movable wings are lesser biblical figures and outside and upon the outer wings are well-kept biblical paintings. The altarpiece was restored in 1892. Chalice 1745 with Grabow coat of arms. An earlier chalice is now used in Yding church. The massive Renaissance candelabres were in 1577 given by Peder Skram and Elsebe Krabbe. A Romanesque granite font, unusually large with flat reliefs of two lions , dragon and a small human figure with shield or hammer. A small south German bowl ab. 1550-75. A carved sounding board in Bruskbaroque, probably a Horsens-work with painted year 1706. Very elegant pulpit in high Renaissance from the time just before 1600 with biblical reliefs, closely related to the pulpit in Århus Cathedral and probably made by its master Gert van Groningen. Later sounding board ab. 1700. Gallery in rural Rococo from ab. 1775 with finely painted allegoric pictures and figures. Two church ships from ab. 1920 and 1950, the last "Trefoldigheden." Late Romanesque bell without inscription.

Several grave memorials. Memorial at church yard for Peder Skram, a 2,5 high stone with the relief of a ship of the line. In the choir two very pretty grave stones 1) 1579 For Christen and Peder Skram, both + in 1566, with figures of warrior and boy 2) admiral Peder Skram of Urup( + 1581) and wife Elsebe Krabbe (+ 1578) with two figures, warrior and lady. The church belonged to Voer kloster in the Middle Ages.

Urup was in 1448 owned by Henrik Madsen, in 1450 by Peder Skram, whose son-in-law Erik Christensen (Fasti) is written to it in 1466-71, while the brother-in-law Christen Skram owned it 1487 and still at his death in 1512. The farm was inherited by his son rigsadmiral hr. Peder Skram (+ 1581) and his son Niels Skram (+1601), whose only child Elsebe Skram ,who was married to Eske Bille of Svanholm (+ 1608) dissipated all her estate. Later owners Corfitz Ulfeld, Groeben, Gyldencrone, Gersdorff, v. Pentz, Stjernholm, Trampe, Soelberg, Schmidten, Kiær, Bremer, Mørck, Juhl, Høgdall. Owner from 1943 A. Enggaard.


Julianelyst, a copy of the main building in the pond.

Sophielyst (Julianelyst) was established by Ulrik Christian Schmidten, it got name after his wife and was sold to baron Ove Henrik Juul of Rysensten, who after his wife gave it the name Julianelyst. Owner 1947 J.T.Jørgensen.

Lillerup in Ovsted was by Peder Skram transferred to Østbirk sogn; it was for a long time under Urup. In 1795 Ulrik Christian Schmidten sold it to kancelliråd Anders Kruse in Horsens and Erik Chr. Grave Hoppe. From 1957 H.A. Friis.

Birknæs was pawned by the Crown in 1563 to mayor Christoffer Skaaning in Horsens. 1790 it was a farm under Urup, later divided into two farms.

Peder Skaft willed in 1264 a farm in Purup to Øm kloster, which was confirmed in 1293 by his relatives Mogens and Christian Bentsen and king Erik Menved.

Names in the Middle Ages and 1600s: Østbirk (* 1267 Byærkæ, 1345 Byørkye, 1544 Bierck szogen, Østbierck) ; Vestbirk (* 1425 Westerbierck marck, 1511 Westbierck); Sattrup (* 1471 Satrop, 1494 Sattrop); Monbjerg (* ab. 1363 Manæbyærgh, 1476 Moneberigh); Vrænge (1683 Wrenge Agre); Purup (* 1264 Pugetorp); Birknæs( * 1425 Bierckenes); Urup (* 1448 Vrup, 1487 Wrop); Lillerup ( * 1499 Lillerop marck); Tingstedholm (* 1433 Tingstedt mølle, 1568 Holms Mølle, Tingstedholm); Naldal (* 1519 Naldal, Nalldals marck).

Listed prehistorics: In Julianelyst forest a dolmen chamber without cover stone. 10 hills of which several are large: two south of Østbirk, one somewhat outdigged south of Vestbirk and one very outdigged at Lillerup.

Demolished or destroyed: 124 hills, mainly in a broad belt through the parish from south east to north west. In a hill at Vestbirk was found a grave from early Bronze age with sword, knife, flint, gold ring etc. - At Monbjerg was found a strange richly decorated bone knife. In Sattrup Mose were found 150 neck- and arm rings in bronze from Celtic Iron Age. An early Roman period grave with two bronze casseroles were found at Monbjerg.

Source: Trap Danmark, Skanderborg amt, 1964.

photo Østbirk church 2004: grethe bachmann

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