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Jumped Outta The Rut! » 08-18 a Fittja Kyrka 2

Fittja Church

This church’s origins date back to medieval times. The walls are mainly split granite blocks with elements of brick in the upper portions. In the nave south wall a gate was built with medieval ring attachments. A medieval portal has also been discovered in the short western wall. The whole church is plastered and painted yellow with fine embellishments of blind rings on the western gable. Some of the ornamented tiles in the gables are a type very unusual in Sweden. By medieval tradition, the northern wall lacks windows.

The original church was probably built in the 1200’s, likely of Romanesque style. Most of the current nave dates from this time although the sacristy may be of earlier origin.

Sometime in the 1300’s or 1400’s the church was extended to the east. At the end of the 1400’s the nave walls were raised with rows of brick and received their blind rings. The west gable was raised with boards, very unusual for the time. Possibly there were plans to build a tower in front of the western facade. The southern portal was enlarged and had a brick scope with two leaps. The now closed off western portal may have been built during this time. Stellar brick vaults were installed, probably replacing a flat wooden ceiling. The absence of plaster suggests the previous ceiling was flat rather than a barrel vault or open truss.

In 1760 the window in the western side of the nave was taken up. 1781 came the plaster with a coat of white paint. 1785 a new vestry was added north of the chancel.

In 1868 the southern porch was demolished. That same year, the church was abruptly abandoned and stood deserted for a few decades.

Between 1924 and 1925, the church underwent extensive renovation overseen by the architect Sven Brandel. Most of the church’s equipment had been sold in 1868 so new had to be procured for it’s reopening in 1925. 1938 came electric heating.

Another restoration was carried out between 1955-1956. The wall behind the demolished porch was cleaned and whitewashed. Older windows and entrances were identified and marked in the plaster.

As noted, most of the church’s fittings were lost in the 1800’s. The only thing surviving from it’s original history is part of the baptismal font. The font’s smooth basin of gray sandstone is of 1200’s design though the foot of the font was crafted in 1951. When the church was abandoned, the font basin was used as a flower pot at a nearby farm for a time.

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