Denmark holds more than 650 churches embellished with medieval wallpaintings…

More than 1600 churches in Denmark were built before the reformation in 1536. In more than 600 of these substantive wall-paintings have been uncovered sine the 19th century; Some of these may be very early dated, others were painted after the reformation. The reason so many have been preserved is that no significant iconoclasm took place in Denmark during or after the reformation, which was predominantly inspired by Martin Luther and – amongst other issues – his view on graven images. Later the frescos were simply painted over when shifting fashions dictated new types of decoration.

At least 108 churches hold presentations of the adoration of the holy three kings. During several years an art-historian, Birgitte Sværke Pedersen, has made it her business to take higly professional photos of some of the wall-paintings found in churches around Denmark; photos, she has generously uploaded to flickr.

A few of these have been chosen here to illustrate the variety and not least artistic qualities of these wall-paintings; a treasure which is –alas- not very well-known outside of Denmark.

Fjenneslev 1175 – 1200

fjenneslev Church

Skibby ca 1350

Skibby Church

Sværdborg Church ca 1400

Sværdborg Church

Mørkov Church ca. 1450

Moerkov Church

Vordingborg Church – ca 1465

Vordingborg Church -The Adoration

Brarup Church ca 1500

Brarup Church



Photos by Birgitte Sværke Pedersen, Art Historian and Garden Blogger

The National Museum curates a database –  – with photos of wall – paintings in Danish Churches

Another large and very well-executed database contains photos of churches from Northern Jutland. These photos have been generously provided by Niels Clemmesen and can be used after contacting him by mail – The featured photo of the adoration of the magi (ca 1450) is from the Church of Jetsmark and can be found in this collection.

A video presenting the wall-paintings in the church of Jetsmark can be seen here

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