Källa Old Church
Källa Old Church from the 13th century has been expanded and renovated during several centuries. When a new church was built in 1880 the old church was left to deteriorate. It was not until 1928 that interest in the old church was sparked again and it was renovated to once again receive visitors.
The Old Church in Källa is located along the road to Källa Harbour. For a long time, Källa Harbour was one of the most important harbours on the northeastern part of Öland. Around the church, Vi alvar (limestone plain) is located with plenty of ancient remains from the Iron Age. Thus, the church site is an old central location in Källa parish.
Reconstructions of the Old Church in Källa
The first church in Källa was probably a small wooden church. As early as around 1170, the old wooden church in Källa began to be converted into a parish fortress made of stone. At that time the church towers were either built in connection to the wooden church or in the form of a separate defence tower (a tower-like defence building made of stone).
In the beginning of the 13th century the wooden church disappeared and construction started on the longhouse made of stone. During the 13th century the longhouse was gradually expanded, giving it a fully wide choir and two additional floors above the church room on the entrance level. The western tower was lowered and a ridge turret made of wood was built in the centre of the longhouse roof.
The church porch on the south side was added in the middle of the 13th century. During the following centuries, only minor changes were done to the building. In the 17th century the roof was covered with chips and the windows were also changed. The sacristy is from the 1760’s and the tower was also changed at that time.
Decision to build a new church in Källa
A larger renovation and reconstruction was performed in 1802-1807. The medieval arch was removed and replaced with a barrel vault and the church was given an interior polish. The windows were made bigger and the ridge turret was removed. Maintenance work was also done in the 19th century but an inspection in the 1850’s showed that more extensive measures were needed.
The time was coming to build a new church. Where the new church should be built was the cause of a lengthy discussion. It was not until 1882 that the land was purchased where the new church in Källa is located. The old church was abandoned but the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities forbade the parish from tearing it down. Interior from the reconstruction in the beginning of the 19th century could be removed and used in the new church or sold. The old church began to deteriorate.
The deterioration is stopped
In the beginning of the 20th century, interest in the old church was sparked and in 1911 the government granted Källa church funds to repair the church. It was decided in the vestry in 1928 that the church would be handed over to the Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities and be managed by the Swedish National Heritage Board. In the end of the 20th century, large sections of the church were repaired, which is today used for weddings and concerts.
The Old Church in Källa, dedicated to S:t Olof, with its cemetery, is fenced in by a wall with two lychgates (entrances). Next to the parking lot there is a building with a toilet for visitors that are attending scheduled events. The church is open 28 June - 13 August, Wednesday-Sunday (every week) at 11:00 a-m. - 4:00 p.m. Today the church is no longer formally a church but sometimes used for weddings.
The Old Church in Källa is one of the properties that the National Property Board of Sweden took over from the Swedish National Heritage Board on January 1st 2015.
Place on map
387 71 Löttörp
- Year of Construction:
- Construction year: 13th century
- Architect: unknown