Skara Cathedral

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Cathedral of Saint Mary
Skara Cathedral.jpeg
Skara Cathedral
Coordinates: 58°23′11″N 13°26′21″E / 58.38639°N 13.43917°E / 58.38639; 13.43917
Location Skara
Country Sweden
Denomination Church of Sweden
Diocese Diocese of Skara
Bishop(s) Åke Bonnier

Skara Cathedral (Swedish: Skara domkyrka) is a church in the Swedish town of Skara. The cathedral is the seat for the bishop of the Church of Sweden Diocese of Skara.

Its history is traced from the 11th century, but its current appearance in the Gothic style is from the 13th century. The choir dates back to the early 13th century, whilst the transept and nave took shape a century later. The cathedral was damaged and restored on several occasions, making its current appearance a rather modern building. In the 1760s, it was given a baroque southern facade, and between 1886 and 1894 it underwent a dramatic restoration that gave it its current style and shape. The previously flat twin towers were given pointed Gothic spires. The flat towers made the local people think of a pair of upside-down trowsers, earning the cathedral the colloquial nickname "the britches of Skara".

The 37 mosaic stained glass windows were created by the artist Bo Beskow in cooperation with glazier Gustav Ringström between 1945 and 1976. The motifs are mostly biblical, but the two Swedish saints Bridget of Sweden and Helena of Skövde are also depicted. No windows from the medieval church have been preserved.

There are four bells in the two towers on the west side. The northern tower contains the large bell, cast in 1725 and enlarged in 1785, whilst three smaller bells hang in the southern tower.

The church has a medieval crypt that was found in 1949 after having been buried under stones since the 13th century. A grave, containing a skeleton, was found in the crypt, which is within the oldest (11th century) part of the cathedral. Some remains of the original 11th century structure can still be seen in the crypt.

The church is 65 metres (213 ft) long and the towers reach a height of 63 metres (207 ft).[1]



  1. ^ "Skara Domkyrka", as below