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Sankt Olof Church
Medieval Christian art in Sweden. Copyright Lars-Olof Albertson
Medieval diocese: Lund
Province: Skåne
Municipality: Simrishamn
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Sankt Olof church was under the medieval time a center of the cult of St.Olaf and a well-visited pilgrimage church. The original name of the parish was Lunkind. In a register from 1569 the church is named “S. Olufs Kirkc i Lunkinde Sogn “ From the end of 17th century the name of the parish change to Sankt Olofs parish. The cult of St. Olof continued also after the reformation until beginning of the 20th century. Near the church is a spring which is named “Sankt Olofs källa” which was known for its miraculous water.
The church was constructed in the beginning if 13th century with a choir (existing sacristy) and a nave (existing choir). In the beginning of the 15th century there was a need to extend the church in order to give space for all pilgrims. The church was extended towards west with six vaults and the old nave become choir in the extended church.
The extended church had nine alters, today remains four, which is unusual in a lutheran church. Five medieval altarpieces remain, four stands in their original place. On the main altar is a altarpiece produced in Northern Germany in the first half of 15th century and depict Christ on the cross. In the nave at the north side is an altar dedicated to The Holy Virgin. In the middle of the church is an altar dedicated to the Holy trinity. Perhaps was this the original place of the altar dedicated to St. Olov. The altarpiece with St. Olov is now placed on the north wall in the choir. On the south wall, to the right of the entrance is an altar consecrated to Saint Anne with the Virgin and Child. This altar was also named the “bread altar”. On this altar bread, butter, cheese and meat was offered for the poor, specially by women after birth.
The remaining murals is very indistinct and is from the beginning of the 15th century.

A Catalogue of Wall-Paintings in the Churches of Medieval Denmark 1100-1600. Scania, Halland Blekinge. III Catalogue N-Ö. Copenhagen 1976 p 64-65.
Nils Boström, Thure Holm, Beskrivning av S:t Olofs kyrka, Simrishamn 1976
Siegrun Fernlund, Kyrkor i Skåne en kulturhistoria, Lund 1980
Lena Liepe, Den medeltida träskulpturen i Skåne. En bilddokumentation. Lund 1995