Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Forshem Kyrka, Interior. Old Odin Traces

Forshem Kyrka
Find Odin 
Religions Appropriate Symbols, Rituals

Easier to swallow the new, if the old is also on the spoon

Crucifixion; and Odin hanging on Yggdrasil in the wind, nine days, a sacrifice, wounded by a spear.

It is not a far leap to accepting a version of the Jesus story, when already familiar is the Norse story of Odin: Odin hung on Yggdrasil and there he learned the meaning of the runes.

Find a contemporary, pop art Odin hanging at Odin

The story is at Havamal, "Sayings of the High One," at Timeless Myths. He hung there nine days, wounded by spear, his own spear. Nine is a symbolic, magical number; he drank the mead from the horn Odrerir; or, other versions, he had no food nor mead.  There was a rope around his neck. Hanga-tir -- "god of the hanged." The price of learning the runes was sacrifice, death, so Odin sacrificed himself. On the ninth day, with the last rune, he ritually died, darkness fell, chaos ruled until midnight when the light came back, he revived.  Sacrifice by hanging a victim was also known in Rome, their accounts of Germanic practices. See the Timeless Myths site.

Mythologies, pantheons, old ideas blended with new dogma.  Sweden, with its seemingly untouched old churches, retain much of the old.  There are renovations, additions, repairs, but see the traditional Odin still there. And the Reformation seems to have taken a calmer path.  The gilt, statues, all have remained -- none of the stark Calvinist forced austerity that is seen in Switzerland's Geneva, for example.  Is that so?  The Swedish Churches remain breathtaking. Unvandalized.

1.  Horns, or horned gods, the Tree of the Lives, the World Tree Yggdrasil. It would take a heraldry expert to decipher and check, but a first look shows ties with the past religion.  Still checking.

Would those be mead horns?

Wall plaque, carved in relief.  Looks like a flower, lily, horns, a crown, a globular mask or simply an openwork globe, a necklace (the globe must be a head, and is that curls?  Leaves entwined, perhaps a World Tree, Ygdrassil, but three flowers down on left, four on right, so very stylized. Unreadable area with perhaps etching. A stick for holding it all up? Procession?

Etched writing? Heraldry, Forshem Kyrka, SE

Start at the Swedish Heraldry Society.

Aha.  Counts wore "three barred helmets" (three [3] helmets each with bars, or three-barred helmets?), with a "count's coronet" instead of a wreath (is this one?). We have a count. Viscounts wore two barred helmets. Untitled nobility wore one barred helmet.  Perhaps that is this one. We are not looking at a coat of arms, however, with its four quarters. The barred helmet with a necklace meant a noble; a mere burgher did not have a necklace. Here is a necklace.  For arms of the provinces, see See also the use of the hammer symbol in heraldry there, including new heraldry. There are also crowns there, and the bauble-balls on  this one looks like the coronet of the untitled nobles.  See armorialblog.  For three barred helmets, see Looks different.

More heraldry.  Arms extended up at top, hands holding or building a graduated tapering block shape, pyramidal, similar barred helmet and necklace, shield with more wall-block shapes, surrounded with many heraldic symbols.

To identify each: would have to enlarge and check each one -- later) and crossed spears at bottom, and heart-shaped area with illegible writing or etching.  Many feather shapes.

The list of priests ("Kyrkaherdar' - herder of the church?) starts at1290, it looks like.  Are those bishops?  We would expect a cross sign if so; as is shown in the later names.  Who was in charge between construction in 1150 give or take, and 1290?

What is commemorated on this wall plaque, vines, and it looks like hebrew at the top.

To find the Hebrew, go to the alphabet, and from there to a site to translate, try  It does not look like "INRI"

Pulpit carvings:  Note that the disciples, the gospel writers, are blonde.

The scallop shell would stand for a pilgrimage site.  This church was a "grave church" or designated substitute for pilgrimage, since people could not get to the Holy Land easily. See post re exterior of church.

Saint Mark, Saint Luke.  Also blond. 

Stork heraldry, single barred helmet, is that a necklace or not?  Stork, or crane.  Usually shown holding a rock, see Birds in Heraldry. While the flock slept at night, the watchbird held a stone so it would awaken if it fell asleep and the stone fell, and the pygmies along the Nile attack. The heraldry legend is French! Who knows.

Is this the Storckenfeldt family?  Read carefully.

Find them still listed at

Now to ceilings, frescoes at Forshem:

Who can read the words above the frame area?

An old art course used to describe these all-over patterns as "horror vacui" or fear of anything left empty.  Here, vines, angel faces on wings, even looks undinished, as though all the colors were not filled in.
 That is a chandelier hanging down.

And we are still looking for Anna Kajsa.  We found one here, the name is common and this one was born in 1847, died 1876?Anna Kajsa,  and was apparently married to Alex Strom --not the same one as in our family?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Forshem Kyrka, Kinnekulle Area

Forshem Kyrka
Forshem Church

Forshem Kyrka is easy to pass by, because later architectural changes make it look too modern. See the contrast between the current church and its believed original appearance at  The church was built 1135-1137 AD or so.

Forshem Kyrka now looks ordinary, and is easy to pass by. Look closer and find old reliefs above arches and doorways.. That is the South Doorway in the center. The West Portal is the entry through the tower.

Built 1135-1137:  See original form, below.

How did this date fit with the Crusades?  This is important because it is said that one stone relief here at Forshem shows a figure perhaps as a Crusader on the Western Doorway stone relief. Is it likely that a newly converted and partially-converted area, such as this in Sweden, suddenly got committed enough to send a Crusader to the Holy Land?  Maybe it happened. See West Doorway section below. Here is a fair use thumbnail of Forshem Kyrka as it may have appeared in 1200 AD, fair use thumbnail also from the wadbring site.

There were many changes made, see  Please, Forshem, take off the commonplace witch's hat steeple top and replace it with an approximation of the original. It may be impossible to remove the new additions, but the steeple should be manageable.


1.  The West Portal, Main Double Door, Tower. Builder, blessing, founder. Crusades.
2.  The South Doorway, Single Door, Arch above; and separate second Arch preserved.  Consecration: Paul, Jesus, Peter; Roman Alphabet; Yggdrasil pattern?

3.  The Arch above the South Doorway, St. Sigfrid? or Martin of Tours and Claus of Myra.  We say Sigfrid. Symbols fit. Still checking. Lettering from Order of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem. Pilgrimage site in lieu of ability to travel to Holy Land, "Grave Church"

4.  Rear side view:  sarcophagus, inscriptions in recessed area, mystery plaque.

5.  Side addition, above lintel (writing)

6.  Church yards.  Gravel raked, stones lean against building, all tended.
1.  Forshem Kyrka, The West Portal, 
Tower Main Double Door Entrance 

There is room for discussion in identifying these side figures in the stone relief above the west door portal.  

The figure on the left, seen from viewer angle, looks like a builder, and this site calls him a stonemason see the stonecutting tool, site Svenskakyrka, above. Jesus in the center is blessing the work, and the church itself is shown (looks like the one from the 1200's shown above from the Wadbring site. But the one on the right:  some say a knight, some say a "cross knight" or crusader.

The figure stepping on the feet of Jesus is apparently a sign of homage, see the Svenskakyrka explanation.
 SvenskaKyrka identifies the figure as the Founder of the church, not necessarily a knight or crusader. That individual is not known.  What is he holding, or is it Jesus holding something. A mallet from the Founder?

Is this even a representation of a crusader?  For background on the Templars in particular, a Norwegian site, see Scroll down for symbols, including kabbala menorah, lion's head, hourglass, places, people, crosses, skull and bones,

Crusades and the South Portal.

There was a man named Aranas at a nearby castle who had been to Jerusalem, says the Wadbring site, and he could have been the founder of the church, possibly. The Crusades were active at the time. 
  • The First Crusade was 1095-1099, see an Arab view of events and what they found important, at Chronology of the Crusades, just for a change from our rosy religio-centric views, at  Then came the Occupation of Jerusalem by Crusaders, varying alliances, re-alliances. See site.
  •  Second Crusade, 1144-1155.  1148 was a time of victory for Muslims over the German Emperor and French King at Damascus
  •  Third Crusade 1187-1192 and so on. Saladin and Richard the Lionheart, each sometimes wins, each sometimes loses
  •  Fourth-Fifth Crusades 1194-1201; and then on through numerous other Crusades until 1291 when the Crusaders are finally thrown out.
Wadbring identifies the figure as a "cross knight" - knight of the cross, or crusader, we think, but a special kind. 

See the "Grave Church" connection to the Order of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, and the names"cross priests" for those who tended them, see below at the arch above the South Doorway.

See also this site. Without information to vouch for authenticity, here is the Bing translation of a Norwegian site discussing, at this section, Templars and Forshem Church (scroll down at the site to find it and pictures of it) at

"Forshem Church is the only church in the Nordic countries that are dedicated to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. The Church is built in 1135-1137. The Church as it appeared in the 13th century, to the right. The Church is located between Vanern and Vattern. In West Götaland. (West Gothia). The Church is located in an open landscape, the image shows how it looked for 800 years ago. Who built the Church is not proven yet. But Knight and tempelridderkorset is evidence that suggests that there may be people who took part in the crusade, until Jerusalem, the Holy land. Adornments are made when the Church was built. It is striped Templar cross in the Church at the entrance, which may have been carried out in recent times. Three people, Jesus in the middle. Why the one Knight each Jesus on foot is unclear. Over the head of Jesus there is carved a Templar cross. In Jan Guillou's documentary film about this story, it was used a metal looking inside the Church at a time. Against the outside door. Here aparatet on the metal is having sword there? Maybe the Knight Templar Arn Magnusson. The name Guillou has found. But the place is named Aranes. Therefore the name "the Knight Templar Arn", which is of great interest for the story.
Knights Templar Arn Magnusson Sweden Forshem church. The Year 1100."

2.  The South Doorway, Side wall, Forshem Kyrka

This apparently represents the consecration of the church, with Jesus in the center, and Paul on the left, Peter on the right, seen by the viewer. Peter is on Jesus' left. The door is ornate, the strengthening iron holding the slats firmly would also be defensive.

Details on the higher arch are below, at end of section.

Forshem Kyrka, South Doorway, arch and entry, side of church, Sweden

See this site for details on many of the carvings, at /

a.  Consecration relief stone carving

Wadbring site identifies the figures as Jesus in the middle, with Apostle Paul on the left, and Peter on the right.  How is that known? Why would Paul be on the right when Peter was the "rock"?  

It also identifies a St. George's cross above the head of Jesus. Yes, that is there, although it looks like another shape here.

Look closely at the base, and see a Roman alphabet. Words go around the top, translated as "May this church be consecrated in honour of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Grave."  (No mention of resurrection; perhaps that point was not considered at all essential.  All points of human added dogma are extraneous to a direct message of a founder, useful to those for whom it is useful, is that so?).

The Roman Alphabet would be a teaching tool.  Runes continued for centuries after this, see the Svenskakyrkan site.

b. South Doorway Threshold:  

See the threshold stone.  The pattern recurs inside and outside, and elsewhere in Sweden. We see the pattern as "hearts," and think of the now-overused kitschy Swedish country-gift shop designs that are exported here. There is more to it.  The pattern appears to originate in the Norse, Viking Yggdrasil, the Tree of the Lives, the World Tree. 
Multi-deist culture. 

Sweden did not convert easily or fast, and neither did Denmark or Norway. 
  • Saint Ansgar introduced Christianity to Sweden in 829, but that was only after Charlemagne had ruthlessly and forcibly converted Saxons (believe or die) in wars just across the Baltic from 770-814, see Medieval Sourcebook, Einhard, Charlemagne's Wars.  Vikings had already attacked Lindisfarne Monastery, off Ireland, in 793; and continued their attacks. The timing of 793 suggests a retaliation against Christian incursions right to Scandinavian borders (Denmark) by 814, is that so?  See, Sweden  There was great threat to old ways and the coming of a few missionary monks could well portend the force to follow if people did not comply.  
  • Saint Sigfrid came, by invitation, in the early 11th Century, to places including Vaxjo, and the violence that was probably typical of the times, and martyrdoms ensuing, still showed that religious belief was a life or death matter.  Saint Sigfrid's own three nephews were murdered (some say sons) while Sigfrid was in the Husaby area baptising Sweden's King Olaf.  Read about the repercussions, the talking heads, also not unusual in people's miraculous remembrances, at, St. Sigfrid.  Keep this story, of the three severed heads (bodies are supposedly marked by three stones near Vaxjo, but we didn't know the story).
With this turbulent background, it is hard to imagine someone from here joining a Crusade.

Back to the pattern that survives and even gets appropriated into Christian designs. See a Viking Lily Stone, pattern of the World Tree at Kinne-Vedum churchyard, here shown again at FN 1. Is that Viking? Without pamphlets or informational places in the churchyard, we have to rely on later look-ups.  Tourists indulged, but not welcome as far as information goes.

Sources differ on exactly what the tree, Yggdrasil, signified, get a start at, Lotus, Tree, Yggdrasil/  The concept of things fallen deep in the earth then feeding the life that then comes forth in other forms seems to recur.

3.    South Doorway side view, Separate High Arch Preserved Above

Here is more room for discussion as to identity of the figures.  First, see where this is placed, photo above, showing the South Doorway side of the building.  Now, who have we here?

SvenskaKyrkan site says we have St. Martin of Tours on the left, our left, as he is becoming a follower.  Where does that come from?  And SvenskaKyrka says we have St. Claus of Myra, Turkey, on the right, because there is a little ship up there on the top right.
  • The tourist class disagrees. Why reach so impossibly down to Tours, France; and Myra, Turkey, when Sweden's own patron, Saint Sigfrid fits the entire picture..  Martin of Tours and Saint Claus do not fit the symbols on the left -- start there. And any bishop carries a staff.
  • The nephews, or sons. On the left:  Beneath the rider, who is also shown with a staff, are three other figures, lesser.  Those better fit as Sigfrid's sons or nephews who were murdered while he was away from Vaxjo baptizing King Olof -- supposedly at Husaby.  Husaby is just down the road. Nearby.   See account above as to the course of conversion of Sweden.  Unaman, Sunaman, Vinaman.  Names of the dead.
  • What do the words say:  I can't read the Latin. TE CONTEXIT something then lower arch a cross and CATICUONIHUD something something then the lowers arch, a cross and ODARTHIHISAD  and a figure with wings, and a long object and a stouter, and ??  And the little ship top right.

St. Sigfrid, Forshem Kyrka. South Doorway above arch.  Sigfrid, is this you?

First, the words.  The Wadbring site says that the words are from Order of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.  Pilgrims could not get there because of the wars, they could make a pilgrimage instead to the "tomb of churches" instead.  That would explain the figure identified as a cross-knight -- participating in a pilgrimage not to the Holy Land, but next best. The churches were called "Grave Churches" and Priests at those churches were called "cross-brothers".  Thank you, Wadbring.

None of that conflicts with the idea that we are dealing with Sigfrid. The little ship also fits with Sigfrid. Sigfrid was on the King's ship in a lake going to Godo in Slaten Fjord (?) and brought everyone and the ship to safety despite bad weather and waves higher than the ship. See the Monachos site. That figure in the center could be Sigfrid holding the tapers and incense he used, with his vestments, to create the miracle. Wings?  I don't object. Maybe they aren't wings. Are they more waves rearing up?
  • On the right.  Any saint or bishop carries a staff.  Why should that suddenly be Claus, when the ship fits Sig.
 Done.  So far, Sigfrid and not Martin of Tours on the left, and not some Saint Claus of Myra just because there is a  boat there (that would be Santa Claus to us).  Naming makes it so. Now to look up Claus and Martin to check there as well.

4.  Forshem, rear exterior church view

Steeple shape seems out of place, but see from this view a sepulchre-sarcophagus, and two memorial-looking areas, one we could photograph well, the other remains too foggy.

a.  Steeple shape.  You can barely see the "witch's hat" steeple from this rear view of ours, enough to see how different it is from the more squat, square, plain tower-steeples of the old churches that attract immediate attention. "Age!" say the simple steeples. "Later!: say the witch's hat steeples, foreign, even Swiss! or German! tall, thin, six or eight sided to a high point, resting on an angled broad square base.

b.  The sarcophagus. 

A girl was was buried alive at this church in 1350 when the plague devastated the area, and the warbring site describes the use of a "sandwich" (in automatic translation from Swedish).

Does this hinge-looking structure represent that shape?  Is the girl here?  The burying alive shows that the old traditions had not died yet, and that the Christian conversion was still tenuous, we think. 

c. Preserved areas on or in the rear exterior wall, above the round window. 

Sweden's churches often offer no brochures available for tourists, so we take picture now and look up later. Headstone shape beneath the round window:

Names? Haglynn Forssenis ____ anMarathae Tengman, Helenae Ormeniae die XXVIII month Fru(?) MDCCV (1705?) HAEGAE___

There is another area with etched patterns above: illegible. We are still working on it.

5.  Side addition (see top photo) Forshem Kyrka

What are these words?  More from a pilgrimage site reference?

AR on the lower right, and if this were England, Anna Regina for Queen Anne, but that can't be it. When did Queen Anne reign? Born 1665-1714 died. This looks like 1652, see sixth line of lettering top half.  But 1641 bottom? Can someone read that?  Christina was Queen then.  At bottom, a recurrent tree with three leaves on branches on left, and four on the right, like baubles/  See post for the interior for those gain. And the vines. And the coronet above, it looks like, after doing the heraldry from the interior. That kind of coronet is for untitled nobility, we think. That line of little baubles, round shapes in a row.

We focused more on the symbols, because we are interested in one faith system appropriating the symbols and ideas of another, to blend in better and get less resistance, is that so? If Jesus is said to have died on a tree, for example, and we find that Odin also hung on a tree, then the symbols are comfortable.  

For the fastest start in researching Odin and the Havamal, with the significance of him hanging on Yggdrasil, this time go to Wikipedia at 

6.  Churchyards: 

Churchyards are immaculately kept.  We found many, even when the church itself was closed, with rakers smoothing the gravel walkways making tidy parallel lines the full length.

Stone leaning against side of Forshem church. At the top, is someone lifting something.  Center is a round shape, like a wreath?  Try again, a little lighter:

Leaning gravestone, Forshem Church, Sweden

There is something about wreaths vs. coronets - have to check.


FN 1  Trees

Trees are central to this as well as other cultures: heat, transportation, forts, and now we learn that there are trees 8000 years old in Sweden, yes, eight thousand, see World's Oldest Tree Discovered, Telegraph. Co. UK Apr.17, 2008.  "The clones take root each winter as snow pushes low-lying branches of the mother tree down to ground level," says a Professor Kullman in the article.  Then, up comes a straight new stem, and it becomes the next tree, losing contact with the mother tree over time."  Trees and cosmology of cultures:  see Sacred Trees of Norway and Sweden, in Norwegian Journal, by Douglas Forell Holmes

Is Yggdrasil the same as the concept of the  "Lily" intertwined pattern. We think so so far. Next trip, we want to see the Forshem museum that apparently has the finest Lily Stone from the area, a standing stone of phallic shape, with the same pattern as the rectangular we found at Kinne-Vedum.  Have to check more.

FN 2  Tree of the Lives, Yggdrasil, World Tree, burial ground at nearby Kinne-Vedum Kyrka. Lily entwined perhaps.  The stylized form looks heart-shaped, and so the origins were forgotten in favor of the heart, sigh.


Friday, May 20, 2011

Kinne-Vedum Church, Kinne-Vedum Kyrka, 12th C., Gotene, Sweden


This church dates from 1150-1200, see;
in an area not far from the plateau settlement (and now nature preserve) called Kinnekulle.  We are trying to find what the "kinne" means. The K is pronounced like tsch -- Tschinnekulle, not Kin-nekulle.

1.  Its Time

This time frame places this church and area at the very beginning of Christian conversion in Sweden, by Saint Sigfrid, King Olof was converted in nearby Husaby in about 1000 AD, Google Timeline, Sweden's Christian History.

2.  If You Visit

The best way to keep the churches identified is to snap the road signs. This area has many churches.

This is an active parish. 

3.   Start church visits outside.

3.1  Vast green areas

For old sites, these probably contain submerged graves and stones.  Our understanding is that if no-one is left to tend the grave, it will be courteously left to sink.  Very practical. That also is in accord with old Norse belief in Yggdrasil, the Tree of the Lives, in that the buried bodies allowed to blend underground, feed the great giant ash.  Our DK guide book is useless here: only noting that some lily stones are at this church, but explaining nothing. 

3.2  Old stones.

Pay attention.  These are not indoors, preserved.

  • Lily Stones?
 Some of the oldest-looking stones appear to show no writing, but intertwined vine symbols, even different from the runes, with their angular, stick-like forms, that are not uncommon.  Are these the "lily" stones? Those are related to teaching the Resurrection, for Christians.  We think of heart-shapes as stemming from Sweden, Scandinavia, but why?  Are these the kinds of heart shapes that started the tradition?
  • Yggdrasil - older tradition,
Now we think this is instead the old Viking Tree of Life, with the trunk starting below, and branching out, the tree named Yggdrasil.  For an image of such a Tree of Life, from the Forshem Museum nearby, see this jewelry design site,   
  • Where is the research?
Look for tattoos.

Looking further at that authoritative site, that contains also a tattoo selection, see a tattoo you can buy at,

The blurb indeed says the stone with this pattern, in the Forshem museum not far, is so named because the intertwined foliage represents Yggdrasil, there described as the "World Tree."  Why is it that tattoos and jewelry offer more of interest than a guide book? Or the internet, so far. This should be a fine topic for all kinds of tourists.

Search for Forshem museum and there it is:  go to  But it took a tattoo parlor to get there. This is ridiculous. We also were at Forshem, so continue there. 

3.3  Evidence of Traditions and cultures:

The history of Sweden and its people is complex, with some accounts tracing some to tribes in Biblical times, the Tribe of Dan, for example, migrating up the Caucasus, see  This fits other accounts of Sigge Fridulfsson, see  That may contribute to the variety and evolution of design, but these stones must be researched somewhere.  Looking.  Even a Pentecostal site (looking back for it) traces the Swedish people back to ancient Israelites, but offers no authority.  Where are the DNA tests?  Should be easy enough. We give up.  You take over, start at

Note the additions through the years.
  • Yggdrasil. 
 The giant ash.  See  Still researching.  This looks more like balanced design than tree branches.  And the design does not fit Norse symbols, as shown at

The ash links all the worlds. Look these up:  information from are three realms, Asgard, Aflheim and Niflheim.  There are three wells at the base of the trunk: Wells of Wisdom, Fate, and the Roaring Kettle, the source of mighty rivers. There are four deer that represent the four winds, and run across branches and eat buds.  The gossip squirrel lives there also, and the tree snake, and the golden cock on the top.  Serpents gnaw on the roots. When Ragnarok (like day of judgment?) arrives, Surt (the fire giant) will set the tree afire.  The Tree is also known as Odin's Horse (have to look it up); Hoddmimir's Wood; and Laerad.

4.  Discuss

If we think pre-Christian peoples were lacking in explanations that well meet the needs of life, we are mistaken.  Are ours any more reliable than theirs?  

Put yourselves in the leather boots of a potential convert.  Why believe in a Resurrection? 

In many ways the Tree of the Lives surpasses.  Resurrection, rising not from an altered state, but from actual "death.'  That was Paul's idea, for doctrine and institutional purposes, not related necessarily to the facts at the ground, see

5.  Old church burial grounds are not jammed.

The burial ground is vast, but not crowded.  Wise.  Let the oldest ones fall back into the earth.  

There is a person, lower right, side view, holding something diagonally to the right.  Will try

Is this more like Yggdrasil, the giant Norse ash of mythology.  Did the Christians put an Easter-type overlay (intertwined lilies) over the Norse idea to make the old Norse feel at home?  Need a site for the Norse Christian Symbols Appropriations Committee.  

These green areas probably contain submerged gravesites.  Need to check.

We tried Kinne Vedum in an online translator, and could not find it.  Heritage of carpentry:  how were these roofs constructed, and how did so many survive -- see

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Kinnekulle - Nature Preserve, Old Towns, Churches; even Medieval

Gotene Area
Osterlund Parish Hunt

1.  Location

We are coming from Mariestad, to the north, toward Kinnekulle, still on Lake Vanern.  There is a sudden plateau rising up in its own flat way, and now comprised of a nature preserve. Go there for hiking, flora-fauna, with the old villages and churches still intact.  The plateau is visible from a distance. With the rest of the land so flat, this does stand out. On the way, south of Mariestad, is the Gotene area. That is where the fine old church, Kinne-Vedum is located, before coming to Kinnekulle area itself.

I am confident that some of our photos are mixed - there turned out to be so may fine old churches, and interesting scenes. Need time to research this saint or that, from the symbols.

2.  Orienting for Kinnekulle.

Sibbe the Hitcher went to Kinnekulle just because it was there.  He offers a thoughtful overview of the elk hunting once in the area, the King's preserve around here, and towns like Halleberg and Hunneberg on the lake and inland.  See  We are still at Lake Vanern. Kinnekulle area juts out, a peninsula. 

Sibbe says it is possible to see 63 churches from up there, and we believe it.

3.  Churches, churches.

Here is a site for the ones just in the Parish of Gotene, at  Somebody named Bike Tommy has a fine album of many of the churches, for your overview, at   For grave hunters, there were three main parishes on the plateau itself, Osterplana, Medelplana, Vasterplana. Then, on the downslope, partially on the flats, were five more:  Husaby (we think that is ours); Kinne-Kleva, Kestad, Fullosa and Fesham.

Fesham. Is that our Forshem?

Get the names before you get there. We think we are looking for Forshem, Husaby, St. Johannes. Looking for the old parish of the Osterlunds, whose Osterlund name (for all the children) we cannot connect to the parents, Kajsa Johannesdotter and Anders Petr Olausson; spellings differ.Petr, Peter, Per, Pehr.

6.  History

This area must have been central to the earliest late medieval conversion efforts of the Catholic Church, later Lutheranized, and the churches are unbelievably old, for the lack of publicity they get. Jaw-dropping medieval churches.  Small frequent parishes, to accommodate people who walk or ride to wagon to church from local farms.At a lake, perhaps the weather was more moderate?

7. Go south.

Beware.  Approach Kinnekulle from the north, and you get no help. Where are the signs to anything?  Our map was reasonably good, still, we ended up on all the back roads, and we finally just drove it like a ouija board. It was only when we  headed out of the area that we saw that all the signs are for those coming north from the south.  So:  go past and south first, find the main access road in, and take it.