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Bollerups Kyrka is located in Bollerup, a village in Skåne län/Scania in southern Sweden.
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Visiting Bollerups Kyrka
Bollerup church is situated on the estate of a former castle, which is now used as an agricultural school. The church is usually locked, and as my visit was already later in the evening, I did not call the contact telephone number. So this is a church we definitely have to visit again.
The nave, choir and apse were originally built in the 12th century, while the church tower was added in the late 12th century. The material used for the construction is hewn limestone from the land. The probable builder was the Due family, an old Danish noble family, as they were the first known owners of Bollerup. Vilhelm Due came to Bollerup as early as 1130 and was then the owner of the farm. In the nave there were south and north doors through which one entered the church. The south door was for the men and the north door for the women. There was also no furniture except for the stone benches on the walls where the elderly could rest. The other churchgoers had to stand. The baptismal font dates from around 1200 and the vaults were built in the 15th century.
Thanks to donations from Mrs Barbara Brahe and her son Oluf Stigsen Krogenos from one of the richest and most powerful families in Denmark, the church was embellished in 1476 with a new roof, a clock, paintings and missals. On the arched pilaster to the north, which was the women’s side at the time, is a fresco of Mrs Barbara Brahe, and on the south side, which was the men’s side at the time, is Oluf. Both are standing in full figure, holding between them a ribbon of text that follows the arch across the church. The text is in Old Danish and reads in a modernised form: “Years after the birth of God, in 1476 the wealthy Mrs Barbara Bahre and her son Olug Stigesen had this whole church re-roofed and the bells in the tower consecrated and painted the church interior and bought a new manual and exhibition book. PRAY FOR US “.
In 1475, Mrs Barbara went on pilgrimage with the Queen of Denmark, Dorotea. On the journey, Mrs Barbara met Pope Sixtus IV, who then gave her the benefit of having those who worshipped in one of her churches forgiven for their sins. As a thank you and confirmation, Mrs Barbara had strange paintings painted in Bollerup’s church, among other places. The paintings show, among other things, John the Baptist with angels and the dead rising from the grave. Hell is depicted with devils torturing sinners, including a king. Another painting shows the saved being welcomed into the heavenly castle of St Peter.
In the 16th century, altarpieces and baptismal fonts were added. The altar and pulpit date from the 17th century. In 1649 the choir was built with the support of the Rantzau family. The altarpiece was added in 1650.
In 1740-41, parts of the church were restored. Among other things, a new crown was made for the pulpit and new silver. In 1869-1874, the church was extended to include the present chancel and its cross arms, as well as the apse-shaped vestry. Another restoration took place in 1955-1965, this time including arch paintings and galleries.