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Linköpings Cathedral

Linköping Cathedral – Sweden’s best-preserved medieval cathedral!

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Inside Linköping CathedralInside Linköping Cathedral

Welcome to Linköping Cathedral, one of the best-preserved medieval cathedrals in Sweden. With its high, luminous vaults and a sense of spaciousness, it welcomes visitors seeking a moment of tranquility, prayer, or lighting a candle in a serene corner.

Linköping Cathedral offers much to explore: from the Gothic blind arcades adorned with peculiar stone figures, to the depiction of Mary spreading her mantle of flowers in one of the windows, and the beads of the Frälsarkransen on the floor. The cathedral is open year-round, offering moments for individual contemplation, intercession, a variety of services, and concerts.

Adjacent to the church in the Castle lies the Cathedral Treasury: Linköping Castle & Cathedral Museum, exhibiting medieval textiles, Vadstena embroideries, silverware, and much more.

The cathedral has dominated the cityscape for over 800 years. Its length of 110 meters and 107 meters high towers continue to impress.

Its history dates back to the 1100s when its predecessor, a Romanesque basilica roughly a third of the current size, stood here. In the 1230s, Bishop Bengt of the Folkunga dynasty obtained the Pope’s permission to extend the church with a transept and a new choir to the east. Subsequently, the 12th-century nave was torn down, and the construction continued on a larger scale and in the Gothic style.

Due to the Black Death in the 1300s, construction was interrupted. The Romanesque choir was replaced with three bright chapels in the late Gothic style.

By the early 1500s, the medieval construction was completed. Two towers stood over the Nicolaus and Thomas chapels, while a smaller one, a “takryttare,” sat atop the nave. Instead of a tower in the west, there was an ornate gable with a large rosette window.

In the mid-1700s, the ornate gable was replaced by a tower designed by Carl Hårleman. The current tower, designed by Helgo Zettervall, was completed in 1886.

Linköping Cathedral is architecturally fascinating and remarkably well-preserved. The three-aisled hall church in the Gothic style exhibits a wide range of medieval architectural features and styles, notably English influences such as blind arcades and leaf masks. German craftsmen contributed significantly to this limestone masterpiece.

The exact appearance of the medieval cathedral’s interior is unknown. Traces of paint on stone figures and in blind arcades suggest vibrant colors. Historical records indicate the existence of over 30 altars dedicated to various saints. Fragments of painted windows offer a glimpse of their vivid hues. Among the medieval items preserved are a magnificent crucifix from the 1300s and a bronze baptismal font from the 1400s, crafted in Germany.

Numerous fires during the Reformation in the 1500s destroyed much of the cathedral’s inventory. On King Johan III’s orders, the church was restored, and he donated an impressive altarpiece from Alkmaar. Today, Marten van Heemskerck’s fantastic painting decorates the south wall below the high altar.

The church’s layout and inventory have undergone several changes throughout history. Presently, visitors encounter a bright and airy space where decorations and artifacts from various eras blend harmoniously. The medieval crucifix, the grand Baroque pulpit, Henrik Sörensen’s welcoming altarpiece, Lisa Bauer’s engraved Maria window, and other artworks present a church space steeped in history yet vibrant with life.

Feel free to visit the Cathedral Treasury: Linköping Castle & Cathedral Museum, housed in the old castle adjacent to the Cathedral.

*This text has been automatically translated.

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Picture of the interior of Ryttargårdskyrkan in Linköping.Picture of the interior of Ryttargårdskyrkan in Linköping.



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