My words, thoughts and photos from a Swedish perspective

The church of Saint Olof

The construction of the Church of Saint Olof in Sigtuna was completed towards the end of 1000 AC and its architecture shows strong influences of early eastchristian churches. The vikings’ expeditions did not always mean burning cities down, battling and looting – they could also explore new cultures and new openings for trade and commerce and they could return with new commodities for sale, money and discoveries of different ways of life and loads of new impressions.

Sigtuna was then an important viking city where coins were stamped and had a bishop’s office which later moved to Uppsala. Sigtuna was known outside Sweden and was visited by people from abroad. Yes, I did take a walk around there, but there were far too many tourists on the streets which means that it was difficult to take pictures with a good view of the place so I will go back there later. Let’s concentrate on the church instead.

The church fell into disrepair during the 17th century and was a ruin towards the end of it. I have not found any information why. Maybe the parish had grown and using the adjacent Church of Maria was a better solution, maybe it was considered old fashioned and dark or the financial means needed to keep it in shape were not at hand or a combination of all suggestions.

It has been preserved as a ruin since then which means that we can still today get an understanding of how an early stone church in the landscape of Uppland looked.


4 responses

  1. Awesome stone work! Wow! I love the stone archway doors view. What a ruin to explore!

    19/07/2010 at 15:06

  2. Staffan H

    Anna: Thank you! I must say that I got very impressed by the ruin thinking of what they could do back then. The church was built almost a thousand years ago and walking around in the ruin was something special. On the other hand, many of the big cathedrals in France are older than this church. Note to self: Time is something infinite.

    19/07/2010 at 23:21

  3. I like the face in the last photo. Sorry I’m so far behind commenting, it’s been a rough time, but I’m glad to see that you have been doing some exciting work and had a chance to relish in your youthful travels.

    21/07/2010 at 03:57

  4. Staffan H

    Lynn: Thank you! Don’t worry, I know you’ve had a rough time. My youthful travels…? Thanks a million for the compliment! 😀

    21/07/2010 at 13:00

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