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New Ground! » Danmark Kyrka 1

Danmark Kyrka

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This church lies approximately 8 km (5 miles) outside of Uppsala. First mention of it appears in 1291. In the vicinity are dozens of runestones carved with crosses and Christian text. The oldest parts of the building date from the 1300′s and it’s current appearance is much as it was in the late 1400′s. What changes have been made, both inside and out, were due to repairs after fires due to lightning strikes ravaged it in 1699 and 1889

The name of the church is a bit of a mystery though there are several theories. Accoring to Olaus Magnus History of the Northern Peoples, the church ‘has forever been named after the enemy’s homeland, since the magnificent building erected for war booty taken from him, and thus stands there like a evardeligt (ever present maybe?) memorial to the fallen’

Another theory is the name derives from the words ‘danskar’ and ‘daner’ which translates to ‘Danes’. The suffix ‘mark’ (which today means land) in older usage meant ‘woodland’ or ‘forest edge’. This would mean ‘Danmark’ would mean ‘Dane’s Forest’ and could have been a place where the Danes lived or settled. Yet another theory considers the prefix ‘dan’ which in old Norse means ‘dank wet’ or ‘marshy’. Danmark would thus mean ‘the forest by the marshy meadows’. Place-name scholars of today support this theory as the most likely.

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