The Round Church in Stockholm – Combing Castle and Chapel

Bromma in the upper middle class suburb in northwest Stockholm, an erstwhile normal and unspectacular district in Stockholm city. There is little reason to write very much about the district except for this one thing –

There are only eight round churches in all of Sweden, and the only one in Stockholm city is the Bromma Church.

A round church is a very unique type of church with a completely circular architectural plan, while not common everywhere in the world this is actually a very common design in the Nordics and for good reason. Outside its religious function round churches served a defensive purpose – as a storehouse and shelter during regional conflicts that happened regularly in the 12th and 13th century. The Bromma Church, for example, contains within its structure a weaponhouse.

These buildings were important because stone was not a common structure during the time, and people were still making sense of how to combine a castle and a church. As I read from wikipedia, “round churches also often had facilities which enabled the doors to be defended from above. In general, the round shape enabled defence, since it gave the defenders a better view of their surroundings and offered no blind spots for attackers to take advantage of.”

Wikipedia

Round churches supposedly take their inspiration from one place in Jerusalem – the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (where Jesus was supposedly laid to rest), however it spread in the Nordics also because the round structure was similar to forms of worship in the Norse religion*.

* Not super related to this story, but I thought it was interesting to note that Paganism is seeing some sort of a revival all across Europe (here and here).

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