Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Møgeltønder churchMøgeltønder kirke and Schackenborg, Tønder, Højer and lø herred, Tønder amt.

Tønder, Højer and Lø herred 
(the history of the whole district is so complicated that three herreds are assembled in one).                                                                                       


 The large, interesting church in Møgeltønder is consegrated to Sct. Nicolai. It has a Romanesque choir and nave with late Romanesque or early Gothic extensions to the east and west, a late Gothic tower to the west, a stairhouse to the gallery from 1692 at the north side of the nave, a burial chapel from 1763 at the north side of the choir and a porch from 1898 at the south side of the choir. It is probable that the original section of the nave was built at an earlier choir, of which are kept a few granite details in the western section of the building and a couple of window lintels in a house in Slotsgade, but the present building is built in monk bricks. The oldest section is the eastern part of half the nave from ab. 1200, which longwalls are crowned with round arch friezes, with no contact to the corner lisens/pilastres. There are left no details, except some faint traces of windows. The early choir with three round arched windows to the south is in early Gothic style, probably from ab. 1275. It was extended to the east. The gable got a three-window-group, which outer windows are bricked, while the middle is extended.  The whole choir was overvaulted with two octagonal vaults, very related to the vaults in Løgumkloster church. At the same time the nave was extended to the west, and this section has to the north two round arched windows and a round arched door in a faint protrusion. The south door is point arched.  The western nave section was somehow disturbed by the building of the late Gothic tower, which eastern wall rests upon a interposed wall. The walls to the north and south are drawn in at the roof-height of the nave and rest upon a strange udkragning ( free beam) with several buestik (like bricks placed vertical). Both nave and tower room have flat beamed ceilings.

The octagonal pyramid spire with four partly re-newed pointed gables was finished in 1630 as a replacement of a 15 alen higher spire, which broke down in a storm shortly before Christmas in 1628. (Danish alen = 60 cm) The grevelige (county) burial chapel at the north side of the choir was built in 1763 with rustik-ashlars on the corners and a curved Baroque gable. It was earlier in connection to the choir in a round arched door, which was bricked in 1853, when a portal in Baroque style was inserted in the northern gable. The oddly placed porch at the south side of the choir replaced in 1898 an older porch at the same place. The church is white-washed except the upper section of the tower in red monk bricks. The spire has a slate roof, the stairhouse has a tile roof, the rest is roofed with lead.

In and around the church are many burial memorials, epitaphs, ( one from 1592 for Pether Henricson who died 127 year old, with a portrait). Some of the epitaphs are richly decorated. Many grave stones from the 1700s and 1800s, there is a burial crypt under the southern part of the choir, probably equipped for the Rantzau family in the 1500s, but in 1696 for the Schack family. Here are three similar Baroque sandstone sarcophagus with members of the Schack family, and furthermore three children coffins. In the Schackenborg- burial site north of the chapel are burials of members of the family Schack. Upon the church yard is a memorial from 1922 for the killed soldiers from the parish from the WWI 1914-18.


Upon the vaults and walls of the choir and the western gable of the nave are frescoes from various periods.  There are rests of a biblical decoration in circular fields from ab. 1275, vine decorations from the beginning of the 1300s and a rich decoration in early Renaissance which has been kept un-restored upon the western wall of the nave, while all the other frescoes were heavily restored in 1894-98 by A. Wilckens who did add large parts of frescoes, like two gentlemen, grev Hans Schack and son, and also a frescoe of himself.

The inventory is unusually rich and varied. The communion table is in monk bricks, probably contemporary to the choir extension, it is covered in a panel with hammer-shaped fields from ab. 1650. The altarpiece is a pretty four-winged late Gothic piece from ab. 1500 with a Golgatha-scene with many figures in the middle and the apostles in the inner wings. Upon the outer sides and the outer wings are eight Passion-paintings. In ab. 1700 was added a top piece with a Resurrection-relief and achantus-wings from Peter Petersen's workshop in Tønder. From some disappeared side-altarpieces are kept two large figures from the late 1400s, a Madonna and a bishop figure, probably Sct. Nicolai, and a pretty relief of the birth of Christ. The altar chalice is from ab. 1550, the foot from the 1600s and a cup from the 1700s. The oblate-box is from ab. 1750 with a rich filigree-work , it has the initials of Anna Ernestine grevinde v. Schack. The vine jar is from 1674, similar to the vine jar in Tønder, it has the initials of Hans greve v. Schack.

There are four pairs of candelabres: 1) early Gothic, 2) late Gothic upon lions, 3) Baroque, 1659, given by ridefoged (bailiff) Jens Andersen and wife Margrete, 4) late Baroque , ab. 1750, in brass plate with flowers. Upon the altar lies Chr. IV's Bible in original black binding with brass mountings. The crucifix upon the chasuble origins from an earlier chasuble. A mass bell from 1650.  The altar railings are from the 1700s and the high choir grating from 1653. A late Romanesque granite font, carved in one stone, with waves of garlands upon the basin and foot. A smooth dish from ab. 1700s. A six-sided sounding board in Renaissance from ab. 1625.  A Baroque pulpit with Corinthic corner pillars from 1694 was made in Peter Petersen's workshop and given by Nicolaus Tych. The foot section of the pulpit is shaped as a group of children in play. The previous pulpit from 1580 is in Keitum church upon the island Sild.

The pews are mainly from second half of the 1500s, some probably from 1554,others a little later. The gables of the pews were cut down ab. 1740. A priest-stool from 1690s, a parish clerk-stool in late Gothic from ab. 1550, but remade in the 1690s. In the south door is a Gothic door-wing, changed in the 1600s, and between the nave and the tower room is a door-wing, probably from 1578. There are three galleries: 1) in the west end of the nave, the original sections are from 1578 and the gallery carries the organ, 2)  upon the north wall of the nave, from 1691, narrowing to the east, where it meets 3) Schackenborg's stool from 1692 with entrance from the stairhouse outside at the north side of the nave. The interesting organ is from 1679 and is considered the oldest in use in  DK.  A series pastorum is made from an epitaph from ab. 1640. Upon the south wall of the nave almost life-size priest-portraits: 1) Lago Johannis, + 1707 and 2) Godske Møller, + 1741. Furthermore a painting of lensgreve Hans Schack + 1905. Two paintings of the guldhornene from Gallehus is now at Schackenborg. A church ship "Margrethe" from 1934 or 1935. A tower watch from 1663. Bells: 1) 1333 with casting-mark,  2) 1642 by Baltzer Melchior.

Schackenborg, Møgeltønder belonged from old times to Ribe bishopric, and a bishop's manor is mentioned already in 1258 to which the peasants had to pay some taxes. Later this manor was called Møgeltønderhus. It was broken down in 1265, probably during a feud between the bishop and hertug Erik; but it must have been rebuilt soon after, since king Erik Menved in 1288 promised to assist the castle if it came under the siege of hertug Valdemar. From 1407 it is assumed that Møgeltønderhus with estate was incorporated in the Danish kingdom as a part of the West Schleswig- enclaves. During the fights between Erik of Pommern and the Holsteiners Møgeltønderhus was in 1417 endowed to the ridder from Zealand, Morten Jensen Gyrstinge; later the vasalry came back to Ribe bishopric. Its last episcopal vasal was Peter Rantzau, who in the reformation-years had to transfer the castle to the royal vasal Detlef Ahlefeldt, to whom it was pawned in 1546. On his request the pawn was redeemed in 1562, and he was followed as a vasal by Niels Lange (1562-64), who also was a vasal at Riberhus. The vasalry was already pawned again in 1564 to the successor Claus Rantzau. His widow Magdalene kept it until 1573, when Bendix Rantzau acceeded. He bought the vasalry in 1583, but it was bought back to the Crown in 1599, and it had thereafter vasal together with Riberhus. Albert Friis was the vasal in 1601, after him Albret Skeel 1601-39, Gregers Krabbe in 1639-51, Mogens Sehested in 1651-55, Otto Krag 1655-58 and from 1658 feltherre Hans Schack. (military chief). In the Torstensson-feud 1643-45 and in the Karl Gustav-war 1658-59 the castle and the vasalry suffered a great damage; among other things the forest Lindskov disappeared completely. In Bendix Rantzau's time a big deal of peasant-estate was included under the main farm-taxt. After the Torstensson-feud the farm-operation was discharged, and the serfdom was reduced.

In 1661 Hans Schack was endowed for life with Riberhus and Møgeltønderhus as a renumeration for "troskab og villig tjeneste"(loyalty and willingness). His widow got after him a yearly pension.of 3000 rigsdaler. The son Otto Didrik Schack could also for life enjoy the income from the estate. Shortly after the endowment in 1661 Hans Schack bought the whole estate with Møgeltønder, Ballum and Lustrup judicial rights and with jus patronus and church taxes of the churches in Møgeltønder, Daler; Ballum, Vesterland-Før and Amrun. After he became a count, the estate was extended in 1673 by buying land in Højer, Lø and Hviding herred and jus patronus and church tax in Emmerlev parish. With some smaller buyings later the estate was divided in 30 villages, but the condition for being a county was still not quite enough, anyway the county Schackenborg was established 23/6 1676. In the erectile letter there were rights to operate oyster fishing in the Vesterhavet (North Sea) as far as the front-beaches of Schackenborg stretched along the coast. Hans Schack had died a half year before,  and the county and the other estates, Gram and Gisselfeld, were taken over by his son lensgreve Otto Didrik Schack, who from 1674 was stiftsbefalingsmand in Ribe (military title). In 1682 he renounced to the king Sønderland at Rømø, List on Sild, Vesterland-Før and Amrum, and he and his son was in return paid 1000 rigsdaler a year.

O.Schack tried to re-introduce the serfdom, but the peasants protested by going to Copenhagen in 1672 in a regular peasant-procession. The case caused long-winding processes, which ended in the Supreme court, and they gave their judgment in 1678. But still after the turn of the century the Lord of the manor and the peasants were in a feud and a new process was brought before the Supreme court in the 1720s, and here it was resolved that the widowed countess Anna Sophie, née Rantzau (+ 1760), had bribed højesteretsjustitiarius (top-member of the Supreme court ) Chr. Scavenius , who was discharged because of this in 1725.

Otto Didrik S. (1.) died in 1683 and was succeeded in the estate by Hans (2.) (+ 1719), who again was succeeded by Otto Didrik ( 2.) (1710-41), for whom his mother Anna Sophie administered the county, until he was of age. During his successor, the son Hans (3.) (1735-96) an administration-commission was in 1768 deployed because of debt. The commission introduced some reforms which were also of benefit for the subjects of the estate. The king granted in 1770 that the peasants could have their farms as property tenant farms, and they could be freed of the rests of the serfdoms by paying a yearly tax and a recognition in change of ownership. The main part of the manor land was left to the peasants as copyhold, and in 1771 the farm buildings, except a barn, were broken down. This barn burnt in 1891.

After generalmajor Otto Didrik S (3.) (1758-1809) the county went to Hans S. ( 4.) (1786 - 1814), under whom an unsuccessfull attempt was made in 1804 to sell the county in an auction,  and then to lensgreve Otto Didrik S (4.) (1810-1856), who started the plant of Gallehus forest.
Later owners: lensgreve Hans S. (5) (1852-1905), lensgreve Otto Didrik S. ( 5),  who died in 1949, from 1949- 1978 lensgeve Hans Schack (6).

Schackenborg today: (1978-1993) Kongefamilien, (1993-) H.K.H. Prins Joachim
Schackenborg slot is listed in klasse A.

cattle in the marsh, by the inner dike.

Råde (Røj) in 1500 Peter Bennicketsen is mentioned on R., in 1578 Laurids Mikkelsen got Fr. II's letter that one of his sons could get the farm after him, later it was bought by Bendic Rantzau of Møgeltønderhus, but in 1601 the above mentioned Laurids Mikkelsen's son Laurids Lauridsen got a kongebrev (royal letter) that he should have the farm  as a tenant. In 1617 Michel Chistensen (+ 1646) was a tenant at R., whereafter Claus Lauridsen or Lorentzen owned it until 1664, when he sold to Hans Schack. The farm was thereafter under Møgeltønderhus main farm tax, and the lands were rented out in 1667 to the inhabitants in Møgeltønder and Daler parish. Only a little piece of land stayed with the buildings, but the later tenants rented land from the castle field.
Later owners: Søren Jochumsen (1740-1798), Anna Maria Adolphs (1798-1807), Chr. Boysen (1807-1813), Redlef Brodersen (1813-1817), Garmsen (1817-1823), Boy Feddersen from 1823, after him his brother Berend Feddersen, Preussian domain in 1903. Lessee from 1904-26 H. Reuter, in 1951 folketingsmand Peter Petersen (Røj),  the farm burnt in 1915. In an exchange R. came in 1951 under Schackenborg.

Slotfelt, farm under Schackenborg.

sheep in the marsh

Ved Åen were 13 farms in the middle of the 1600s. All farm buildings were placed on værfter (small banks), some of them were by Hans Schack included in the main farm taxt  and then abolished or outrented for higher sums than before. Among the important marsh farms was Vesterfelt,  and V. Anflod . Some værfts (banks) from previous farms are still visible in the marsh.

Trægård. In 1489 Rewer Feddersen is mentioned in Trægård. Claus Iversen Rosenkrands of Kogsbøl (mentioned ab. 1500) had the son Erik Clausen (mentioned 1515), who was written of Trægård. He was accused of murdering the bailiff of Højer herred, but was acquitted. Trægård belonged later under Kogsbøl in Emmerlev parish. The farm was desolate in 1599. A smallfarm lies at its site now.

The parish was plagued by floods in 1436, 1578, 1582, 1630, 1634, 1655 and 1825.

The unusually well-preserved buildings at Kærgårdshof, which possibly was built in 1777, iare listed in klasse B. The farm was in the ownership of the family Brodersen from 1663 until 1924, it lies upon a high værft ( bank), and it is seen far and wide with its large hipped thatched roof. The four winged closed plan is built in darkburnt redpurple stones with finely profiled cornices. The farm with its richly carved and painted wood is a witness of the marsh farmers solid wealth, it was in 1951 thoroughly restored with fundings from Det særlige bygningssyn after a long period of neglect.

the marsh by the coast.

The buildings at Supskog, which are listed in klasse B, were until a few years before 1966 the best example of a preserved marsh farm, but a heavy rebuild 1957-58, where the thatched roof was replaced by a large eternit roof, which was built across the yard, where the walls were partly broken down, has strongly reduced its worth. The red brick farm (rebuilt barn 1836) has however kept its wonderful placement upon a high værft and is visible far and wide across the low marsh land.

The listed buildings(klasse B) at Nr. Sødam represent a little older and less solid cast farm-type than the impressive, architectonic marsh farms like Kærgårdshof. The farm is built in large redpurple bricks upon a plinth of granite boulder, it lies upon a high værft and has a long living building, which holds rests of a very old construction. Upon the east gable is the year 1734. The barn was built in 1761, but the walls were later re-newed and the hipped thatched roof was replaced by an eternit roof.

Lindskov mølle (mill) listed in klasse B, is a fine three-winged thatched redbrick-plan from the late 1700s, the barn is from 1856. The water mill, which has been out of work since 1941, where the mill pond surrounded by high dams was  out-dried in 1955, has kept its old machinery, which is a witness of Frisian-Dutch influence.

café in Slotsgade, Møgeltønder

The town Møgeltønder has kept its unusually fine and unique cultural townscape. The high quality of the settlements with the beautiful and balanced proportions cause that even the smallest houses are able to stand up. They have a simple and strong colour effect in the burnt redpurple bricks with the white joints and the white-painted woodwork and the large, soft, thatched roofs. the main street slotsgade, was probably built ab. 1680 by Otto Didrik Schack.

Gallehus was, so far you can go back, only two smaller farms and some minor houses. They were placed in a triangle around a large open place. At Gallehus was the former rettersted (court place with gallow).

A house in Gallehus (kådnerhus) is listed in klasse B. It is a pretty little, thatched redbrick building just west of the two memorials which were raised by Otto Didrik Shack at the finding place of the two guldhorn (Golden horns).

Much estate in Møgeltønder belonged to Ribe bishopric already in the 1200s. It came to the king at the reformation and became a n independent vasalry.  On the 3/3 1661 Hans Schack got a deed on Møgeltønderhus, (later Schackenborg), Møgeltønder judicial birch and all estate, which had belonged to the vasalry.

At the place called Lægan was in the old days a quay or harbour .

There are no preserved prehistorics in the parish, but there were a dolmen and 9 hills. The dolmen close to the former railway-station was Holger Danskes Høj with 5 supporting stones and a large cover stone. Two hills were Tinghøj and Galgehøj north of Møgeltønder. A hill in town had possibly a passage grave. In a large sand pit in the western part of town were found several clay pots of various age, from the single grave culture of Stone Age till early Roman Iron Age.


Source: Trap Danmark, Tønder amt, 1966

photo 2002: grethe bachmann