Saturday, 18 August 2018

Öland Bridge & Algutsrum Church

Road Trip 2018, Part 9

At the end of Day 2 we arrived at Kalmar, where we had booked rooms for three nights at a hotel on the outskirts of the city, not far from the bridge over to the island of Öland. This suited us well, since we intended to spend one day on Öland, and one day in Kalmar city.

After breakfast on Day 3 (July 18th) we crossed the bridge over to Öland – inaugurated in 1972, and until 1998 the longest bridge in Europe: 6,072 meters long (19,921 ft) and supported by 156 pillars.

This photo taken in the evening from Färjestaden on Öland shows the typical silhouette of the bridge.


This is a view from the car while we were driving over the bridge in the morning (from the mainland towards the island).


Our first stop on the island was at Algutsrum Church, which has a rather unusual tower – almost like a lighthouse.


The view from that tower is said to be spectacular. We didn’t get up there, but I zoomed in the top of the tower from down below:


The first church on this spot was built in the 11th century. That one was made of wood; but was replaced by a stone church in the 12th century. Over the centuries that followed, the church went through a few changes – visually explained on a plaque in the porch:



According to the sign over the entrance door, the present tower was built in 1864, “during the happy [!] reign of King Carl XV”.


The door was open, so we went in. The church is beautifully preserved inside as well.


2018-07-18-02 Algutsrum kyrka


Votive ships are quite common in Scandinavian churches. They were often made and donated by seamen or ship builders as thanks for having been rescued from being shipwrecked at sea.

2018-07-18-02 Algutsrum kyrka1

Left: Baptismal font. Right: Glass sculpture also connected to baptism; with the names of the recently baptised written on little pieces of paper held by the figurines. I don’t think I’ve ever come across this practice before, but we saw more than one similar arrangement in churches we visited on this trip.



Beautiful iron gate


Old sundial outside the church.


Autumnlike colours, yellow grass and bare tree silhouettes giving a hint to how extremely hot and dry this summer was (and this was still only mid July). We were to see a lot more of this before our day on Öland was over.

Between the trees on the horizon I also zoomed in our first windmill of the day:


An internet search informs me that at the end of the 19th century there were around 2000 windmills on Öland. About 350 are still preserved. We did not visit all of them; but we did see quite a few more before the end of the day!

SkyWatch Friday

InSPIREd Sunday


  1. Everything about the church is so beautiful! And the bell tower is gorgeous with the yellow top. I love the gate, the arched ceiling, and the white color. What a wonderful idea to put the names on these figurines! It would make one feel so special, as they should. This is a cute little windmill. I am guessing the door is to make repairs and such.

  2. It's good that it's been looked after, I love the glass angels.

  3. Lovely and mind fresh captures . Lovely design Of ship .Please tell something about my captures on my blog

  4. the inside of the church is just beautiful to me, I really like the ceiling. I am thinking maybe the church tower served two purposes way back when they built it, church and lighthouse to together. which ever, it makes sense to me to have a lighthouse on a church because the church is supposed to draw us to the light and make us feel safe...

    1. Sandra, I've not seen any suggestion that this church tower was ever used as an actual lighthouse. I also don't think it's close enough to the sea for that. Öland has two other famous lighthouses that were built before this church tower, though - one at the north end of the island, and the other at the south end. (This church is more or less in the middle, as you can see on the map - point 'B'.)

  5. Smooth road way . Keep commenting in my blog because I love your comments.

  6. just gorgeous. i enjoy the yellow part. thx 4 joining us at InSPIREd Sunday, i am one of the hosts ...i have been sharing churches for the last 2 weeks ... i don't always get out to see churches seems on our travels lately. i miss hanging out with the church crew. enjoy your day. take care. ( ;

    1. Thanks for visiting and thanks for hosting the InSPIREd Sunday. I don't travel very much nowadays but when I do get out on a tourist road trip I like to visit old churches. Saw quite a few different ones on this little trip in July, so nice to be able to share the photos! :)

  7. Impressive bridge, and beautiful church! I like the light, bright and airy inside, and the unusual shape of the ceiling.

    1. Oh, and the glass figures for the children! At first I thought they were meant to be angels, but they can just as well be people with their arms up, as if about to receive (or give) a hug.

    2. I think you're right about the glass sculpture, Meike. My thoughts go to the gospel quote “Let the little children come to me ... for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Often used in connection with child baptism.

  8. We (my wife and I) had a friend who lived on Öland whom I met when she came on an official visit to see how the Islands' government worked. Her family stayed with us after, however, like a few other friendships, it sort of lapsed after my wife and I separated.

    I have a feeling you have blogged about votive ships before and, indeed, I might have done so myself (must check) when one was installed in Glasgow Cathedral a few years ago.


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