Wall Paintings in Denmark
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Elmelunde Kirke - Kalkmalerier View fullscreen QTVR panorama
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Danish Medieval Church Frescoes
Denmark probably has the largest amount of medieval wall paintings in Europe. In Danish they are called Kalkmalerier = Chalk paintings, as they are painted on a layer of limewash.

Denmark has about 1700 preserved medieval churches. Most of them has probably been decorated with wall paintings. Today we have about 600 churches with visible paintings and there are probably many undiscovered paintings behind the many layers of limewash which was used during the 18th and 19th centuries to cover the paintings.

The oldest paintings from 1100-1300 are of Romanesque type and were painted by painters imported from south Europe, but during 1300 - 1600 it changed to a Gothic style and Danish painters took over and developed their own style.

During the Protestant Reformation in the 16th and 17th century, some of the pintings were destroyed but fortunatelly most of them was just covered with a layer of whitewash

During the 19th and 20th century these cultural treasures has been rediscovered. Some of them as late as during the last centuries.

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Elmelunde Kirke - Kalkmalerier View fullscreen QTVR panorama

Elmelunde kirke on Møn is one of the most well known. The wall paintings are from the end of the 15th century and was created by the artist "Elmelunde Mesteren" the Master of Elmelunde.

The paintings were whitewashed in the 1530's and was not found again until 1880

This artist also decorated 2 more churches on Møn and several on Falster.

Marie Magdalene Kirke - Kalkmalerier View fullscreen QTVR panorama

The church Marie Magdalene on Djursland is according to tradition named after 2 maidens, Marie and Magdalene who were cured by the water from the spring close to the place where the church is built. They built a chapel as a tribute to this at the place where the chuch later was built.

However it is probably likely that the name is after the Mary Magdalene we know from the Bible.
The present church was built around 1450 and in spite of being built in Gothic time the ground plan is romanesque. The oldest wall paintings in the apsis above the altar are from the middle of 1400.

The other wall paintings in the church are from the beginning of 1500. The main painting in the centre vault shows Christ as the judge of the world. He is sitting on a rainbow with his feet on the earth. Devils are dragging the souls ahead to be judged.
On the other side of the vault you see a painting which when it was found in 1909 was considered so offensive that it was immediately covered again. However since 1966 it has been visible again.

Sulsted Kirke - Kalkmalerier View fullscreen QTVR panorama

Sulsted Church in North Jutland was constructed c. 1150-1200

The frescos, was all created in 1548 by Hans Maler from Randers.

They are telling the story OF Jesu life from birth to death.

Contrary to other frescoes in Denmark these ones have never been whitewashed.

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