Alva Church

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Alva Church
Alva kyrka
Gotland-Alva-Kirche 01.jpg
Alva Church, external view
Alva Church is located in Gotland
Alva Church
Alva Church
Location on Gotland
57°12′27″N 18°21′41″E / 57.20745°N 18.36141°E / 57.20745; 18.36141Coordinates: 57°12′27″N 18°21′41″E / 57.20745°N 18.36141°E / 57.20745; 18.36141
Country Sweden
Denomination Church of Sweden
Previous denomination Catholic
Diocese Visby

Alva Church (Swedish: Alva kyrka) is a medieval Lutheran church in Alva on the Swedish island of Gotland, in the Diocese of Visby (Sweden).

History and architecture[edit]

Fresco fragment depicting a Passion scene

The oldest parts of the church are the late Romanesque choir and the apse, dating from the late 12th century.[1] To this the nave was added during the late part of the same century. Construction of the broad tower started about a hundred years later but was never finished; hence the somewhat squat appearance of the church today. It seems in fact that construction of the church came to a rapid end: apart from the half-finished tower, the main southern portal also seems to have been finished in a haphazard, chaotic way.[2]

The choir portal is Romanesque in style and carried some sculpted reliefs, possibly executed by the locally active Master Sigraf. The likewise Romanesque northern portal of the church is also decorated with sculptures.[2]

Inside, the church displays a set of frescos carried out at the end of the Middle Ages, probably just before the reformation and possibly by the same artist who decorated Lau Church. Among the furnishings, the dominating triumphal cross, dating from the middle of the 13th century, and a partly preserved baptismal font, executed by the Romanesque master carver Hegvald sometime during the end of the 12th century, are especially notable. The pulpit dates from 1740 and the unusually decorated altarpiece from 1653.[2]

The church was renovated in 1953–54.[2]


  1. ^ Lindgren, Mereth (1995). Karlsson, Lennart, ed. Signums svenska konsthistoria: Den romanska konsten (in Swedish). Lund: Signum. p. 90. ISBN 91-87896-23-0.
  2. ^ a b c d Lagerlöf, Erland (1973). Lagerlöf, Erland, ed. Gotlands kyrkor (in Swedish). Uddevalla: Rabén & Sjögren. pp. 90–92. ISBN 9129410355.

External links[edit]