Saturday, May 01, 2021

Gørding church, Southwest Jutland (Region Syddanmark)


Gørding kirke/ Gørding church is a Lutheran church norh of Gørding station-town ab. 21 kilometer east of Esbjerg . 

The church (from 1100-1200s) and the church yard are situated north of  Holsted river. South of the church yard lies the school, northeast the inn and to the east the vicarage with a garden down to the river.

The church has a Romanesque choir and nave  - extended to the west probably already in the Roman period. In the late Middle Ages was added a porch in front of the south door of the nave. The porch seems to have been an entrance hall and a windbreak only. In the gable of the porch is a Romanesque gravestone and a cover stone above the door. 

The west tower is built in monk stone, but at the bottom to the south and west are used granite ashlars from the west gable of the nave. A reparation is marked by iron numbers: 1759 and the initials of the church owner and his wife HCW, Henrik Christian Worm and IT, Ingeborg Teilmann . The tower room opens to the nave with a round arched arcade, decorated by small tiled crow bands. The room is covered by a crossvault . The entrance to the tower is from outside by a spiral staircase.

A palmette decorated window lintel in the choir and a cover stone from the southdoor of the nave - now in the porch - connect the building to a group of southwest Jutland ashlar churches from the time of king Valdemar Sejr. The church might have been built by stone masons who earlier worked in Grimstrup, Brøndum and Brørup

The church walls rest upon a beautifully carved profiled double granite plinth.  

The choir might have had 5 windows. The window in the eastern gable has a decoration of round sticks and palmette which is characteristic of about ten west Jutland churches like Grimstrup, Vester Nykirke and Brøndum.

The walled north door is seen inside as a broad flatbowed glare. Outside is only a trace of the bottom. 

The roofworks above choir and nave are probably medieval. They are in heavy oak timber, braced by earlier dated storm battens. The roofwork of the church is lead. The porch is an alike construction but since 1928 with a tiled roof.

By a reparation in 1916 came up frescoes in the northside of the nave - a painter later decorated a loft decoration and frescoes in a rather bastant way - but they were removed by a restoration in 1950. Some frescoes in the northwall of the nave were probably late medieval, they were sketch like scenes but they were washed over and are known from photos,  showing animals looking like fable horses/ Unicorns.

Before 1528 the church had two bells, one from ab. 1350 -  the other is not known since king Frederik I was allowed by the Danish Rigsråd to collect the bell in order to build canons. In 1970 the church was given bell nr 2 with inscription: given by Aksel Emil Petersen, parish priest in Gørding 1947-63 , bell carved 1969 .

 In the eastern part of the church yard is a mortuary from ab 1927,  whitewashed and with crennelated gables.

 

Inventory


The main decor is from the period of king Christian IV. A manor chair from 1597 has the coat of arms of Frands Pol of the later abandoned Stårupgård, the west pulpiture is dated 1620,  and the pulpit from 1622 has coat of arms for Margrethe Krag of Varho and the initials of the church guardians and the priest Niels Pedersen Præstkjær.

The late Middle Age is represented by the bell  from 1350-1400, by the kernel of the Gothic altar board from ab 1500 and from a clerk chair from ab. 1525 with the coat of arms of bishop Ivar Munk and probably the parish priest or the church guardian. The Gothic altar piece - which might have had a modernization in king Christian IV's period - had its present look by a repair in 1732, made by the church owner Christian Carl v. Gabel of Bramminge.

The Romanesque font in reddish granite is from the same time as the church building. It is of the west Jutland type like other fonts in the region. The tall foot has some big strangely loopy corner knots which are seen in Horne, Vester Starup and Hunderup church. The font has its present place in the middle in front of the choir entrance. 

 A pulpit from 1622 given by "Fruen på Varbogård" Margrete of Jylland .Upon the sounding board is seen her coat of arms with the crow as a symbol and the year 1622. The pulpit is decorated with 5 reliefs with scenes from the childhood and youth of Christ. 


About 1250 the church got a crucifix which is a very rare piece of church art. Today it is placed upon the wall on the northside of the church. There are only two of this kind in the Christian world (info from the National Museum). The crucifix is a mix of Gothic and Romanesque church art. In the Roman period ab. year 1200 the victorious Christ is seen with a golden crown and an upright symmetric attitude -   in the Gothic period the suffering Christ is seen with the thorn crown and an assymmetric suffering attitude. By the crucifix are figures of the mother of Christ and of the disciple Johannes.  

The crucifix group must be a local work, made from west European role models in the breaking time between Roman and Gothic style. Characteristic is the attitude of Christ, probably known from a French Christ figure in Le Mans, dated 1210-30. A Nordic feature is that Maria wears a crown like Christ.

The altar chalice is Gothic from ab 1600, the Netherland baptismal dishes from 1648 have the coat of arms of Erik Bilde and Margrethe Krag of Varho. 

Altar candlesticks , 1648, with coat of arms and initials of the givers Erik Bilde and Margrethe Krag of Varho. 

A copy of Frederik I's bible belonged to a family in Ilsted and was according to inscription given to Gørding church in 1974. It has a pretty leather binding from 1787 and ornamentik and brass fittings and  the year and the former owners initials. 


 






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