Källa gamla Kyrka (The old Church in Källa)
The old Church in Källa is located along the road to Källa Harbour. Källa Harbour was for a long time one of the north-eastern Öland’s most important harbours. Around the church lies Vi Alvar (The typical moor of Öland) with plenty of ancient remains from the Iron Age.
The church and its surroundings is thus an old central location in Källa parish. East of the church is today a community with mixed family houses with both permanent residents as well as summer residents.
During excavations of the church in 1971-72 a thick layer of soot and fire residues was found under the current stone church. This was interpreted as the stone church had had a predecessor in the form of a wooden church. This wooden church should then have existed as early as the 11th century. It was also found interments under the soot layer and within the earlier wooden church walls. The building of the stone church began around 1170. It was then the church tower was built either adjacent to the wooden church or as a standalone defense tower.
In the early 13th century the wooden church disappeared and the construction of the nave in stone began. During the 13th century the nave was built out step by step until it got a fully wide chancel and two floors above the nave. The west tower was lowered and a flèche (ridge turret) of wood was built in the middle of the nave roof. In the mid 13th century the church porch to the south was added. In the following centuries were only minor changes made to the building.
In the 17th century the roof was coated with shingles, and the windows were also changed. In the 1760s, the sacristy was built and changes to the tower were done, and several repairs and minor alterations were performed.
A major renovation and remodeling was done from 1802 to 1807. Inside were the medieval vaults removed and replaced with a wooden barrel vault. The interior walls were plastered, the windows were made bigger and the flèche (ridge turret) was removed.
During the 19th century maintenance work were carried out continuously and in1850 an inspection of the church showed that more extensive measures were necessary. It was then the thought about building a new church began and discussions about where the new church would be built started, however, the discussions was protracted and first in 1882 was the land where Källa new church is located purchased.
The old church was abandoned but The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities banned the parish from demolishing it. The Furnishings from redevelopment in the early 1800s was however removed. Some were reused and another was sold.
The church now fell into disrepair. But the interest in the building would wake up again. In 1911, the Government granted funds to repair the church and in 1928 the church meeting decided that the church would be submitted to The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities. During the 1900s, several repairs have been carried out, and two major ones in 1960-61 and 1978.
Today the church is owned by The Swedish National Heritage Board and is managed as a museum and is used except as a museum for weddings and concerts.
At the car park to the south is a building that houses the toilets for visitors. The building has a saddle roof covered with cardboard and standing brown wood paneling.
At the cemetery entrance in the south is an information board from the National Heritage Board which tells of the history of the area.