Romanske runde kirketårne: et skandinavisk perspektiv

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Romanesque round church towers - a Skandinavian perspective:

The aim of the article is to discuss the interpretation of the Romanesque round church towers seen from a Scandinavian perspective. After a research history and a geographical outlook, which passes Ireland, England and Holstein, the article focusses on the 15-19 churches with round towers in medieaval Denmark, Sweden and Norway, with the main part in Southern Schleswig and Scania; none are known from Finland. The chronology and social context, function and meaning of the church towers are discussed. The Romanesque round church towers are also discussed in relation to the 33 known Romanesque round churches in the same area. Finally a catalogue of the round church towers in Scandinavia is presented.

The theses of the article is, that the building material was not decisive for the choice of the round architecture, at least not in Scandinavia. The round church towers were unfortified burial memorials and bell towers, where the architecture, as was the case for the round churches, copied central church buildings in the West. In a period, where most churches were without a tower or had square towers, the round church towers were examples of a “conspicuous symbolism”. The initiative to build the round church towers must have been taken by an aristocracy, who participated or were inspired by the contemporary crusades at the Baltic Sea, and who used the towers in their mutual competition on status.Corrections in the pdf 2015.
Original languageDanish
Pages (from-to)101-120
Issue number36
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Archaeology


  • round church tower
  • Romanesque

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