Husaby Things to Do
Husaby kyrka (church) was my introduction to Sweden’s magnificently painted old church interiors. Well, not exactly, there is one little church in Uppsala I have visited some years ago. These richly painted interiors caught my attention because it is very rare to find these in my own country (and I am not talking about the overly decorated baroque churches in Bavaria, of which we have so many). So it was logical that we stopped here for a visit on our way from Kinnekulle to Lake Mälaren.
Husaby kyrka was Sweden’s first bishop seat; king Olof Skötkonung was baptised here in 1008. These days the church was a stave church which was transformed into a stone church in 12th century. Later, the vaults were painted with magnificent frescos showing scenes of life of Christ. These, however, have been painted over for quite a time but thankfully have been brought back through extensive renovation early 20th century. In addition to these gorgeous paintings much of the interior is left from the past, such as the wonderfully carved rodd screen, the bishop’s chair (which is the oldest piece of furniture in Sweden) and the richly carved pulpit. In the chancel we found another hagioscope. Next to the rood screen is another very specific detail, an ambo/ambon, formerly used as the place from where the priest said the litanies. Travels as “learning instrument”, I have never heard of these ambons before. Like for many churches in Sweden, this one also had an (free of charge) audio guide. Look for the little box with buttons and languages on it. The speaker who tells about Husaby is a very much professional one. I loved listening to his voice, and felt myself transported back in time. He must be Swede, but his English and German were excellent!
And also don’t miss to walk around the outside of this church to look at the old tombstones. Many of them are very old, weathered and overgrown with lichens, like the ones I saw in Ascot under Wychwood. In front of the church is an old sarcophagus which is said to be the one of Olof. And only a few metres to the north of the church is the old spring where Olof was baptised. It is still in use for baptising today.
More photos of the church and its surroundings are in my albums below.
Husaby kyrka is located at the southeastern part of Lake Vänern, between Lidköping and Mariestad. To go there, take the road 44 and exit east of Götene. Follow the signs to Husaby kyrka (brown sign).
Location of Husaaby kyrka on Google Maps.
© Ingrid D., April 2011 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.)