Adelsö Church

Adelsö Church (Swedish: Adelsö kyrka) is a church located on the Lake Mälaren island Adelsö, in Ekerö Municipality in central eastern Sweden.

The Romanesque church, itself founded in the 12th century, is located next to Hovgården, an excavation site and a World Heritage Site dating back to before the Viking Age (c. 800-1050 CE).

History

No traces have been found of the first church on the location, but it is assumed it was made of wood. This original structure was however replaced by a stone building in the end of the 12th century, possibly initiated by the king living at the royal estate at Hovgården. If true, the church thus originally served both the local parish and the royal mansion.

This stone structure originally had a nave furnished with a narrow choir which possibly ended in an apse. The sacristy was added in the 14th century, and during the century that followed the tower and then the brick vaults were added. In the 1470s, the choir was widened and united with the nave. The exterior of the tower was created in 1753. and finally, 70 years later, the entrance was relocated from the southern façade to the western end; old windows were enlarged and new windows were added.

There is a baptismal font from the 12th century and a crucifix from the later half of the 14th century. The pulpit is from 1786 and the gallery from 1832. Two runestones are built into the walls of the sacristy: U 1 and U 10. The votive ship hanging in the church was donated in 1960.

Additionally, the so called Hovgården Runestone, U 11, is located just north of the church, near the ruins of the medieval brick palace Alsnö hus.