We made a roadtrip some weekends ago to the Lovö Church, in the middle of Lovön, which is the island where even the Swedish Royal Court has it’s home, Drottningholm Palace.

This Church is actually the church we wanted to have our own wedding in. We were so happy when we finally found a smaller church with personal character, but when we went in there, we were told that the church would be closed due to restoration of the interior during that period in 2004.

How typical, but since Drottningholm Palace Church is very nearby we stopped there at the way back – and that’s how we found the church we were married in.

Lovö Church is from the second half of the 12th century, but they believe that there even have been an older church in wood before that, because during a restoration in 1930 they found rune stones that were from the early half of the 12th century.


The architect is believed to be Nicodemus Tessin the Elder, who was working on Drottningholm Palace around this same time. The church of today is unusually long and narrow. The reason for that is that it has been extended twice, in the 13th century and in the 17th century.

The church got it’s current tower in the years of 1727 – 1728 from the Swedish queen Ulrika Eleonora.


The rune stones are over the first local Christian persons in the early 11th century. They have been collected from the surroundings and even found in the Church wall.


This one above is rune stone U 47 – all rune stones are numbered, most of them date from the late Viking Age, and it lasted into the 12th century. Most runestones are in Sweden or Denmark and to a lesser amount in Norway.

There are 5 of them at Lovö Church, I managed to get photos of 4 of them, which you can see if you click the link to view the slideshow in the end of the post.

Lovö Church is one of Swedens oldest churches. The whole island of Lovö is incredible rich of ancient remains and one of Swedens first settlements can be found there.

I love this old stone church with Roman windows, medieval cross and the rune stones. It’s very beautiful located out in the country side like this.


There is also a monument from 1769, an obelisk drawn by Jean Eric Rehn which were paid by the Swedish King’s mother, Queen Lovisa Ulrika of Prussia.

In this way she wanted to show her gratitude over her son’s, Gustav III, tutors Olof von Dalin and Samuel Klingenstierna, to honor their graves.


Lovö Church where a Kings church, even afterwards when Drottningholm Palace Church were built, so there are more gifts from the King to this church than others. In the church room there is 30-some graves, most of them connected to the Drottningholm Palace.

You can see some photos from the church interior at Wikipedia, since it were not open when we were there.

The Vicar and Psalm Author Anders Frostenson is buried in this graveyard. He has written 146 (!) of the psalms in 1986 years Swedish psalm book, many of the most popular ones. He was a vicar here in the years of 1949-1971.

I also found an old map of Lovö Church at the National Archives and the regional state archives of Sweden, which is a typical example of an older geometric map with compass card and scales, which is from around 1640-1644. (Click on the map to enlarge a bit)

There is one more reason for going there, but I think it’s better in the spring or summer season: to meet the Bombardier Beetle. It’s supposed to be find in the alley leading up to the church. When it get worried it can release a secretion that’s evaporating fast and makes a popping sound.

Click to see Lifecruiser photos of Lovö Church slideshow.

Lifecruiser Old Churchs

Other Sources:
Ekerö Pastorat
Stockholms County Museum
Swedens Society for Nature Conservation
Uppsala Universitet Linnaeus Online

8 Comments on “Old church with rune stones”

    Tim said:

    I love your pictures. It makes me feel like visiting these places myself one day. I’m not sure if I want to be anywhere near that beetle though :mrgreen:

    Tims last blog post..DIY Homebuilt Wind Generator Power | Excessive Wind Speeds

    Puss in Boots said:

    What a beautiful church. I love churches. There is so much history behind most and of course, if you go and sit inside and meditate or pray, there is the beautiful peace you come out with. This church is unusual though because of the rune stones. I’ve never heard of them being in a church before. Fascinating.

    Puss in Bootss last blog post..New Zealand – Part Two


    I always like old churches.

    Borneo Falcons last blog post..The Merlion @ Sentosa

    claudie said:

    Lovö church tells a lot about Swedish history! Love the runes! Pierre engraved runes a few years ago in antlers he had from his father. This represents the viking magic! the slideshow is super! We were married in a nice little church in a small village of Provence perched on a little mountain. So you know we adore little church too! :smile:

    claudies last blog post..AL DENTE!

    Ling said:

    Great pictures, cap’n. Love the one with the little red building. If you meet the bombardier beetle, tell him I said hi. :mrgreen:

    deden said:

    What a romantic place to get married. The quality of photos are awesome. Well done

    Trotter said:

    Hi Lifecruiser! Sorry for the long delay in coming here, but the last two weeks were too hectic!
    Loved the ChurchGreat shots!
    Meanwhile Blogtrotter is back to Greece in November 2007! Hope you enjoy and have a great week!

    Trotters last blog post..RESORT IN NOVEMBER

    Mark H said:

    The Rune stones are incredible when you think of their age. The Vikings certainly left their mark on this world.

    Mark Hs last blog post..Rifling Through the Mystery House (San Jose, USA)

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