tirsdag den 16. august 2011
Østerlars Rundkirke/Østerlars Roundchurch
Østerlars Church is a historical building located 5 km south of Gudhjem on the Danish island of Bornholm. It is the largest and oldest of the island's four round churches. Built in about 1160, it was dedicated to St. Lawrence. It consists of an apse, an oval chancel, a large round nave and has three storeys. There is evidence the church was once fortified, the top storey serving as an open shooting gallery.
The building is one of Denmark's oldest Romanesque churches. On the basis of coins dated 1157 found in the floor, the date of construction was probably around 1160. The fieldstone wall stands on foundations of Bornholm limestone. The double-arched apse bears similarities to that in Lund Cathedral. The round nave has an external diameter of 16 meters. In its centre there is a large round hollow column, six meters wide. An opening, known as the oven, leads into a small room inside the column.
Originally there were small Romanesque windows but these were enlarged after the Reformation. During the 16th century, a number of pillars were added to support the outer wall.
The bell tower stands separately from the church in the churchyard, and the bell tower was the original entrance and gate tower.