Friday, April 08, 2016

Fovlum/Foulum church, Himmerland

Fovlum church, wikipedia

Fovlum/Foulum Kirke
Vesthimmerlands Kommune, Region Nordjylland 
Before 1970: Gislum Herred, Aalborg Amt. 

Fovlum church in Himmerland lies in the village Fovlum 7 km southwest of Farsø. The church  is one of the best preserved Romanesque granite churches in Denmark. The apse, choir and nave  are built in granite ashlars in ab. 1125-1175 -  and a porch was added in 1879 ( in Romanesque style in red bricks upon a granite plinth). The two church portals are preserved, both with frame stones formed like half pillars with richly profiled corbels and buestik with rundstave (curved and round sticks) . Above the bricked south door is a relief of an animal flanked by two spear-armed warriors. In the tympanum below is a traceable, weathered relief of a bird -  maybe the Holy dove. The male entrance is bricked with ashlars, and among those is a chessboard like a similar ashlar in Skarp Salling church's triumph wall.

photo: Google Earth
The Romanesque windows are kept in the apse and on the north side of the church. In the porch are five gravtræer (grave-trees) = grave frames in oak, with inscriptions from the 1600s. They were brought to light from the church floor in connection to a restore in the 1870s. Both the pulpit from the ab. 1600s and the altarpiece from 1633 are equipped with newer paintings. Only the painting in the top piece of the altarpiece is original.

Upon the church yard is a bell frame -  and until 1872 was a long dolmen. The church was reinaugurated in 2012 after a restore with a new altarpiece painted by Anita Houvenaeghel (born 1945) -  and the church has got a new colorized kneeler, pulpit, pews and loft in order to create a full colorness. 

Fovlum, chessboard, wikipedia

Source from a website of Fovlum church.
The Danish writer Martin A. Hansen travelled in his time round Denmark and visited the Danish churches. He called the church in Fovlum "the noblest building in the country". Few Danish churches have been kept as original as Fovlum church. The long dolmen in the churchyard is now traceable as a long east-west rise above the earth.

The stone master in charge of the church building more than 800 years ago might also have built Skarp Salling church and the original cathedral in Viborg.

photo: Google Earth
The north wall of Fovlum church is untouched while the south wall is was worn out from changing temperatures and was rebricked about 100 years ago and equipped with larger windows. The porch was built outside the original woman entrance. The big planks on the wall are gravestones in wood frpm the 1600s which were placed as a lid upon the graves inside the church.

The big crucifix is new and created by the artist Erik Heide from Mors (island in Limfjorden) , who also made some gravestones in the church yard , a water stone by Ullits school and a monolite of flying birds which form small crosses at a new church yard in the village Farsø.

The church walls were red in the Middle Ages. They are now white washed and in a few places the red colour breaks through the white.