Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Engum church / Engum kirke, Hatting Herred, Vejle Kommune.

Engum kirke (foto Nordiske Kirker)

Engum kirke lies 8 km northeast of Vejle

Engum church was built in travertine ab 1150 and proably before. The white washed walls rise directly from the ground.

The church lies in the southern part of the small village with open fields to the south and west and with the vicarage as the nearest neighbour to the east. The church is surrounded by broad, double, granite boulder dikes.
At the main entrance by the main village road is a driving gate + small gate with wrought iron wing-doors, a lesser alike entrance to the west. In 1836 the grass covered church yard was being grazed by geese.

Only few Romanesque details are kept, on the northside are dimly seen the bricked- up round-arched windows and inside is kept the Romanesque choir arch with profiled corbels.

Engum church foto Google earth.
The Gothic vault was built ab. 1400 while the broad west tower and the porch were added in late Gothic period ab. 1500.

The choir's triumph wall and choir arch were decorated with Romanesque frescoes from ab. 1200, especially remarkable are the repainted frescoes on the choir arch.

The church was a manor church for the manor Tirsbæk on the northside of Vejle fjord, and it is strongly marked by the aristocratic church owners. A fine portrait stone in early Renaissance is placed over rigsråd Ove Vincentsen Lunge (+ 1540). He was one of the most important landlords in Denmark and started shortly before his death the building of the present Tirsbæk manor.

 Oldest inventory:
The oldest inventory is the Romanesque font in reddish granite, of a simple type.
The communion table is late medieval in monk bricks, but is covered on three sides with a panel. In the table is a reliquary (found in 1979, contents only a piece of green silk) The reliquary was in the shape of a bærealter (an altar to be carried)

The inventory was new-furnished in 1759-60 into Rococo-style

The Rococo inventory is from ab. 1760, the givers were Maren Loss of Tirsbæk  and her second husband, the earlier manager of the estate Jørgen Hvass. He was enobled in 1761 with the pretty name Lindenpalm, which was celebrated by gifts to the parish.

Altarpiece, foto Nordens kirker
The altarpiece is from 1759, made by the Horsens-joiner Jens Jensen the Young. In the big field is a pretty carved crucifix. Jens Jensen is also the master of the other Rococo-piece in the church, the pulpit with a cherub. The pulpit is dated 1765, but behind the flowering Rococo is a simple Renaissance stool. The pulpit is decorated with seven women, symbolizing the cardinal virtues, but they seem  to be not the Christian virtues, considering the seven relaxed challenging graces on the sides of the pulpit.

After a thorough restoration the inventory now stands with the original colours and paintings from 1759-60 (red, blue and much gilding)

Cherub, foto Nordens kirker
Altar rails also from 1759-60 and two cherubs with flaming swords guarding by the choir arch.

Well-preserved pews with 35 interesting  emblem-paintings.

Altar silver from Jørgen N. Brosbøll, Vejle
Wafer box 1778 Matthias Winge, Vejle.

Church ship model: five-masted barque, the school-ship "København",  which disappeared in the South Atlantic 1928-29. 

Church bell: 1765 cast by Michael Carl Treschel, Copenhagen
Church bell 1836 cast by C. Frederik Weiss, Horsens.

Several grave memories ( owners of Tirsbæk )

Source: Danmarks Kirker, Niels Peter stilling, 2000,  Danmarks kirker, National Museet.

Photo: Thanks to Nordens kirker. and Google earth.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Spentrup church/ Spentrup kirke, East Jutland

Spentrup kirke , 9 km north of Randers.

The Romanesque church in Spentrup was built in the 1100s in granite ashlars. Spentrup is known as the church of the Danish author Steen Steensen Blicher, who was priest in Spentrup church for 22 years. He is buried on the north side of the church yard. By the village road, close to the church is a memorial house for Blicher.

Memorial house, Blicher, Google earth.
The church consists of choir and nave, built upon a profiled plinth. The men's door is in use behind the walls of the porch, the women's door to the north is bricked-up. The Romanesque windows are preserved on the northside of the church, while the large round arched windows on the southside were inserted in 1884. The church was extended to the west in the Middle Ages, and the Gothic tower was built ab. 1500 like a ridge turret above the walls of the extension. The upper section of the tower is monk bricks, the rest is granite ashlars. In the late Gothic period were built fire bays vaults in the nave with the tower room and one in the choir. The Romanesque triumph wall with profiled corbels is preserved. 

In the choir arch are some unique Romanesque frescoes, painted by one of the masters of the period The paintings were uncovered in 1880s, they are inspired by Byzantine art from ab. 1200s with lapis lazuli as the dominating colour. Those biblical scenes are very beautifully painted on the choir arch. On the triumph arch are some very damaged rests of a Romanesque decoration of Christ 

Spentrup kirke, Google earth.
The granite font is the oldest artifact in the church, it is a colossal font, carved in a huge monolitblock. They were probably so fond of this "pure" piece of stone that they avoided to decorate it.  The communion table is the old granite table wuith a reliquary. The altarpiece is Baroque and carved ab. 1700 by Lauritz Jensen Essenbæk, he was also known for the altarpiece in Budolfi church in Aalborg and Borup church near Randers. He also carved the altarpiece for Gassum church, given by Peder Rosenørn of Tvilumgård. The decoration is from 1734. The altarpiece in Spentrup was given by parish priest Hans Bröchner, because he was protected by God, when a tree fell over his wagon and crushed it without hurting him. The pulpit from 1705 with Evanlgelist reliefs in round arched arcades is a remarkable Baroque work. A Gothic crucifix hangs in the tower room.

Spentrup church was a valfartskirke (pilgrimage church) in high Middle Ages, which explains its size and the fantastic frescoes, later it was marked by that there was no manor in the neighbourhood, it belinged for a time to Dronningborg rytterdistrikt (a military district)

Source: Danmarks kirker, Niels Peter Stilling, 2000, Spentrup kirke. 

photo Spentrup: Google earth.

memorial, photo, wikipedia
From the 20th century is a special gift  with a historical perspective: a baptismal jar with an inscription on the footpiece: "Anskaffet til Spentrup kirke 1947 for en arvepart skænket kirken af Niels Nielsen Kjær, Hvidsten, der faldt for Danmark 29. juni 1944?". Niels Kjær was one of the members of the resistance group Hvidstengruppen who was executed by the Germans in Ryvangen in 1944 After the liberation in 1945 8 urns of the members of Hvidstengruppen were placed upon a memorisl place in the porch of Gassum church.


Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Øster Hornum church/ Øster Hornum kirke , Himmerland

Øster Hornum kirke, 10 km south of Nibe.(Google earth)

The parish church in Øster Hornum is one of the big churches from the early Middle Ages. It was built in the middle of the 1100 and probably inaugurated in 1172. It is situated high in the landscape over the old village Øster Hornum which was once a herredsby  (district town)

The large Romanesque church in granite ashlars consists of apse, choir and nave from the first building and a tower from the 1200s. The tower was rebuilt ab. 1770, and the medieval details were destroyed,among those a fine gallery with pillars, which is traceable in the bottom room of the tower.

The Romanesque granite font is the finest inventory in the church. The magnificent font is from the building period, a "Fons Vitae" with lions and other creatures in high relief.  A Latin inscription is carved along the edge of the font from Davids psalms " I am the source of life - and in your light we see the light".

The choir arch with portal pillars is a rest of the magnate church's  Romanesque interior.  From medieval inventory are two very pretty carved oakwood-figures, an unidentified bishop and  Maria with baby Jesus. Both figures are from the 1200s. The choir arch crucifix with Evangelist medaljons in four corners is Gothic, from ab. 1300. The pulpit from 1604 is also one of the attractions of the church. The altarpiece is probably from the late 1500s, the pulpit, made in Aalborg, is dated 1604.
Altar candelabres from the 1500s.

Link , where you can find photos from the church: 


source: Danmarks Kirker Niels Peter Stilling, 2000, Øster Hornum kirke