Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Church of Genarp

The church in Genarp was built in the years 1590-93 at the expense of the Danish King´s Privy Councillor Hack Ulfstand, who lived at Häckeberga Castle in the parish of Genarp in the province of Skåne. This province is the southernmost of Sweden and belonged until the year 1658 to the Kingdom of Denmark.
The church in Genarp is one of the biggest countrychurches in the province. And it´s for the main part built according to the late Gothic pattern.

The Renaissance character however is evident in the gables of the sacristy and the church porch. The altar dates from the later part of the 18th century and shows Jesus in Gethsemane.

This beautiful pulpet is from the end of the 16th century. We can imangine a preast speking for hours to a crowded church. Long time ago there were no seats in churches, so the people had to stand up during the preaching.

It was here the gentlefolks had their seats. They didn´t take place among the ordinary people.
Nowadays there are not many people visiting the church on a common Sunday. Sometimes only about eigth to ten persons. So sadly.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

St Ingrid´s convent

I´m not so much a genealogist as I´m a historian. By now I´m very intersted in Swedish churches and I´ve ended the first book "Kyrkornas Hemligheter", in English "Secrets of the churches". It´ll be two more books about this topic. So I can tell you a lot about our churches and its history. And also about our cloisters.
The fist Swedish convent was founded in 1281 in Skänninge, a place in the south of the province Östergötland. It was a Dominican convent called St Ingrids. Her full name was Ingrid Elovsdotter and she got a donation from her brother Johan Elovsson. The convent was raised next to St Martins church.

The Dominicans, whose most important duty was to preach  the "right Christian faith", often located their convents in towns with large populations. Already in the elevth and twelfth centuries Skänninge was a central place and a juncture for several main roads.
Archaeological investigations has been carried out at St Ingrid´s convent and they have shown that it has a long history.

In 1929 an excavation of the southern parts of the convent was conducted. It shows among  other things that the church was 25 metres long and 11 metres wide. Several finds were for exampel around 50 coins, rosary beads, pilgrim badges and remains from painted church windows.
Sadly Ingrid died already one year after she founded the convent. But we can still enjoy this beautiful place.

Monday, February 20, 2012

An artistic Azalea.

I always used to buy an Azalea for my mum at her birthday. She passed away some months ago and this year I bought one for myself. Usually I can´t take care of flowers, they really don´t like me at all. But look at this one.
I´m so proud of it.
In my genealogical research I´ve found a forest ranger who lived in a small village, Äng. His name was Måns Mattisson Engdahl and I think that his father was a forest ranger too. If I can prove who the father of this Måns was, I can follow the family back to the beginning of the 16th century. And of course Måns has to figure in the suit of novels about my ancestors.
Oh, I´ve forgot to tell you about the continuation of Dagny´s necklace. But I´ll get back to it later on.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Two beautiful churches

A week ago I visited some nice churches in the province of Dalsland. This province is like a Sweden in miniature. Here you´ll find agriculture landscape, wood, hills and lakes. The area isn´t populously today, but it has a great story. The first churches were built in the middle of the 12th century. Dalsland lies adjacent to the lake Vänern. In the old days it was common to go by boat and we can imagine that the people in Dalsland had contact with the people in the province of Västergötland. Västergötland was christianized around 1000 A.D.
The church of Bäcke was built in 1650. During this time it was uncommon to built a woodenchurch. In Sweden we usually used stones because of fire risk.
Bolsta church is from the 12th century and one of the oldest churches in Dalsland. The church is dedicated to Saint Laurentsius. Belive or not, the church accounts from the medieval times are kept at a museum in Gothenburg.
When the sun is shining I really like the winter in Sweden, so beautiful.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The guesthouse of Solviken

This week the first chapter of my novel "The guesthouse of Solviken" is published in a weekly in Sweden. It´s about a woman, who has bought a guesthouse in the Swedish mountain world. The persons in the novel are living their own lifes and it´s so exciting even for me to follow them through this story. This novel I wrote in October last year.

Now I´m working with a book about churches, cemeteries and tourism. During the last eight months I´ve visited more churches than ever before in my life. This book is the first of all together three and it will be published this spring.
And what about the novels about my ancestresses? I´ll write that novels, I promise. And I think it will do it this year, at least part one.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Some plans

The Christmas is comming up soon and there are a lot of things to do. This year I´ve decided to give skis to all four of our grandchildren. But we have no snow here in the south of Sweden yet. I keep my fingers crossed.
By now I´ve some time out and I´m planning to do genealogical research. Perhaps I go to Vadstena and the archives there because I need information, which you can´t find on internet. Hopefully I´ll have interesting news to share.
And if we get snow there will be beautiful pictures on Swedish churches in winter landscape. I really look forward to do this. Christmas is a great religious festival and yesterday we celebrated Lucia. It has been a common habit since the beginning of the 20th century. Today we celebrate on the 13th December, but in the old calender Lucia put in the same night as the winter solstice in our country.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Churches and great grandmothers

Nowadays my life is filled with churches. I think of them, I read about them, I talk about them and I write about them. Of course I find all this very stimulating and interesting. There are so much to learn, so much to see and so much to share. Last week I visited Öland together with my favourite photographer, Hanna Åhman. She really can catch the moment in her pictures. Take a look at this, Källa abandoned church.

Besides all this churches I`m thinking of the suit of novels about my great grandmothers. I´m planning for three books about this strong women. And I´ve really have to start to write their stories right now. As I already told you I have to start with Kerstin Svensdotter born in the middle of the 17th century. What do I know about her? Almost nothing... but I can imagine. So the time has come, I´ll start writing.