Visby, Gotland, Sweden

Church of St. Per and St. Hans, Visby, Gotland, Sweden

The twin ruined churches of St. Per (Peter) and St. Hans (John) were built side-by-side in the mid-1200s. Both churches operated together and it must seem a little odd that they were built quite so close by – today as ruins it is difficult to tell where one starts and the other ends.

It was in these twin churches that the Lutheran doctrine was first preached on Gotland. In 1527 Bishop Brask turned the Lutherans out from the church, but then when he said back to Denmark they returned and worship started again.

It is worth noting that this was after the sack of Visby by the Lübeck Army, so perhaps St. Per and St. Hans survived the attack – at least in a good enough condition to allow some form of worship.

However, worship stopped around 1600 and over the next two hundred years or so the ruins were used as a quarry by the locals.

Today these are two of the most centrally located of Visby’s many ruined churches.

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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