Wednesday, September 14, 2016

someplace new!

The first destination out of Copenhagen on the cruise was Ronne - a village on the island of Bornholm.  We got off the ship and got on a bus because we are headed out onto the island to visit an artist and her home and the historic church that is located right next to their home.  It was a beautiful sunny day with blue sky and we did not have too long to ride before arriving.

here is some information on the round churches- from a Danish Travel website-

Four of Denmark's seven medieval round churches (rundkirke) are located on Bornholm. The round churches were used as fortresses, as well as places of worship, and the fact that such a high concentration of them are found on Bornholm, is testament to the island's strategically important location in the Baltic Sea. The round churches are striking whitewashed buildings, with upper stories designed to double as shooting galleries against enemy attack. The largest round church is in Østerlars, with others found in the villages of Olsker, Nylars and Nyker. All four churches are still used for Sunday services and are open to the public from Monday to Saturday.  

the church we visited is called Ny Kirke and we were only 7km from Ronne. From the wikipedia article on the church-  Like Bornholm's other medieval churches, Ny Kirke was built in the 12th century but is normally considered to be the youngest of the island's four round churches. It was originally called "Ecclesia Omnium Sanctorum" (All Saints Church). The present name dates from the middle of the 16th century.  

The church consists of an apse, a rectangular choir and a round nave, all from the Romanesque period. It is built of granite fieldstone apart from the central column and the window frames which are in finished limestone. The semicircular tympanum over the south door is made from a single block of limestone. The porch, dating from the Late Gothic period, it is somewhat younger than the body of the church itself. The apse has three windows and a half-domed vault while the choir has a barrel vault. The chancel arch has been enlarged judging by the remains of a smaller Romanesque arch. It appears the windows have also been widened. The round pillar at the centre of the nave is about 3 metres wide and about 265 cm high.

A frieze round the top of the central pillar is divided into 13 panels with paintings of the Passion in the early Gothic style. They appear to be from around 1300 or a little later. The colouring is very simple: white, yellow and red ochre and moss green, as are the figures which lack detail. The frescoes were discovered by Jacob Kornerup in 1891 and restored by Egmont Lind in 1937. Kornerup also found a fresco to the left of the north door of St Christopher bearing the infant Jesus, probably from the 15th century but in view of its poor condition, it has now been whitewashed over. Above the north door there is a medallion depicting the Lamb of God with the chalice and the banner of the cross together with two panels illustrating the Annunciation.

We went into the church and met Jorgen - who is the self appointed caretaker after retiring from some kind of job in public transportation a number of years back.

an interesting history and a lovely building- next we are off to the workshop of  Jorgen's wife Bente Hammer-  they live in a lovely home made from a converted blacksmith's shop - and we were lucky enough to not only tour the workshop in full but to visit their home as well.

a view of the outside of Bente and Jorgen's lovely home (Dannebrog flying)

the studio in the old blacksmith's shop-


and inside the home-

and lest you think I over-exaggerated the importance of Matador to the Danes- here is their copy right on the shelves of their library/TV room... LOL

then we returned to Ronne for a brief orientation walk before stopping in the local pottery/ceramics factory-

the pottery "factory" really mostly a workshop- I guess it could be called a SMALL factory-

after the group went back to the ship for lunch we split off and headed out for lunch in town on our own- this is where we ate a lovely sampler platter for lunch- which we were able to eat outside due to wonderful weather.

then we walked around the streets of town and got an ice cream and eventually ended up back at the shuttle bus stop and back on the ship- before our very late afternoon departure for Gdansk-


the view of town from the sundeck as we left!

neither of us had ever been to Bornholm before and this brief visit showed us a lovely place that had a very laid back vibe. Worth a return visit- if it isn't too difficult to get there - the location is quite distant from other Danish towns/cities... as shown on the map below - mainland Denmark in white and Bornholm in red.... Sweden to the north and Germany to the south.... Phil said the quickest route would be from Germany by high speed ferry - so who knows.... maybe we will get back here-

so that was one of three stops on the trip in places I had not visited and the other two are coming up in the following days - Gdansk and Visby (although we had been to Sweden and the Poland in past travel these were "new to us" cities)- stay tuned- more to come....

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