How many round churches are there on Bornholm?

Out of seven round churches in Denmark, four are located on Bornholm. The round churches have for a long time been a landmark for Bornholm, which is quite understandable seeing how more than half of Denmark's round churches can be found on the island.

The four churches are located in Østerlars, Olsker, Nyker, and Nylars. All four are open for visitors, when no church service such as weddings and funerals are scheduled.

The round churches were built in the 12th and 13th centuries, but the precise years have not been established. In those times, the churches were used as both church and stronghold. Theories about why the churches were built in their characteristic round shapes lack consensus. However, the most popular explanation is that the round shape made it easier to march around, therefore making the spotting of enemies easier along with defending it against assaults.

Read more about the four churches and plan your visit to the round churches of Bornholm.

Østerlars Rundkirke set indefra
Besøg Østerlars Rundkirke på Bornholm
Se hvordan taget er bygget i Østerlars Rundkirke

Østerlars Rundkirke

Even if we're not entirely sure exactly when the round churches were built, Østerlars Rundkirke is considered the oldest of the four on Bornholm. Besides being the oldest round church on the island, Østerlars Rundkirke is also the biggest out of all seven in Denmark.

The church is, in fact, one of the most visited landmarks on all of Bornholm.

For a small admission fee (see below) you can experience the characteristic round shape from inside and behold the beautiful frescoes, which depict scenes from Jesus Christ's life. Behind the alter there is a small staircase that will lead you up to the church's wooden ceiling, from there you get a beautiful view of the landscape surrounding the church as well as a better look at the ceiling's construction.

Personnel have put up detailed information boards around the church, allowing you to get to know its history.

Admission fee: Adult: 25 DKK, Youth (10-18 years): 10 DKK, Child (under 10 years): Free.
Address: Vietsvej 25, 3760 Gudhjem.


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Olsker Rundkirke
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Olsker Rundkirke

Olsker Rundkirke

Standing 28 meters tall, Olsker Rundkirke is the tallest of the island's four round churches. The church was built around 1150, and has since been rebuilt and reinforced multiple times. Most recently in the middle of the 1900s.

For 10 DKK you can enter and experience the church from inside. It's quite fun to see the round shape from inside and how it was designed to house as many church-goers as possible during service.

The church is open for visitors between 8 AM and 5 PM almost every day. Just like the rest of the round churches on Bornholm, Olsker Rundkirke is closed for visitors during private services.

Admission fee: 10 DKK.
Address: Rønnevej 51, 3770 Allinge.


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Nyker Rundkirke på Bornholm
Kalkmalerier i Nyker Rundkirke

Nyker Rundkirke

Nyker Rundkirke, also called Nykirke, is believed to have been built in the early 1200s. However, as goes for all of them, it is not accurately known. It is said that Nyker Kirke is the youngest of the island's round churches, and to boot it is also the smallest.

In the Middle Ages, the church was called Allehelgens Kirke (All Saint's Day Church) and was devoted to the celebrations and memorials of deceased Christians. It became known as Nykirke in the 16th century.

For a small fee you can come inside and explore it. The frescoes are in particular an exciting experience. They are believed to have been made somewhere between 1250-1300s,  divided into 13 parts with motifs of Christ's suffering, namely the crucifixion, the resurrection, and the ascension.

The church is open for visitors Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 3 PM in the period from Easter to Autumn (week 42). The church is closed for visitors during private services, such as weddings and funerals.

Admission fee: 10 kr.
Address: Ellebyvej 1A, 3700 Rønne.


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Nylars Rundkirke
Kalkmaleri i Nylars Rundkirke på Bornholm
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Nylars Rundkirke

Nylars Rundkirke is considered to be the best preserved round church on Bornholm, and is definitely worth a visit. The church is believed to have been built around 1160, but received its iconic tip in the 1600s.

Originally the church was devoted to Sankt Nikolaus af Myra, who was the saint of seafarers, which confirms the congregation's connection to the sea.

On the frescoes inside you will find the story of Adam and Eve in 7 parts; about their creation, their fall into sin, and exile from Eden. In the armory, added in 1879, there are two runestones, one of which dates back to ca. 1050.

The church is open every day, all year, from 8 AM to 6 PM. There's no admission fee for visitors. Closed during private services.

Address: Kirkevej 10K, 3720 Aakirkeby.


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