Räpplinge Church

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Address: TOMTEBYGATAN 40, 387 94 Borgholm, Sverige
Location: Central Öland
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Church environment

Räpplinge church is located next to the road between Borgholm and Gärdslösa. A few hundred meters east of the church is a hillock called “Tingsbacken”. East of the cemetery is the church cottage.

In the open space south of the church are the old elementary school built around 1850 and the new elementary school built in the 1920s, known as the Red school. On and adjacent to the school grounds, grave findings have been found which have been dated back to the Viking Age.

Räpplinge Parish was originally smaller. The area closest to Borgholm Castle was during the Middle Ages its own parish called Borg, which in the early 17th century was incorporated with Räpplinge.

Borg’s parish is first mentioned in a document from about 1320. In the border region between Borg and Räpplinge parishes were in the Middle Ages the now vanished village Getstad, whose land already in the 16th century was given to Borgholms Kungsladugård (crown demesne).


The Church

The first stone church in Räpplinge was built in the 12th century and consisted of a nave and a chancel with apse. In the second half of the 12th century was a tower to the west added, and by the end of the century the church was rebuilt to a pack-saddle church

Around 1240 a chapel was erected on the church’s northern long side, it may have been a cemetery chapel. Remaining of the chapel today is the west gable with a narrow round arch window.

The chapelis said to beyoungerthan themedievalnavesprofanefloor.Probablywasthe ArchbishopJönsBengtssonOxenstierna’scoffin standingin the chapel, he died atBorgholm Castlein 1468, and his coffinwas transferred to theCathedral of Uppsala in1472.

A church porch was added in the mid 13th century and the sacristy was built around the year 1300.

The proximity to Borgholm Castle led to great pressure on the church and its furnishings during the war times of the 16th and 17th century. At the bishop’s visitation in 1732 it was decided to repair the church. In 1788 the church was however so dilapidated that the congregation decided to build a new church.

The reconstruction of the church began in 1802 and master mason was Henry Wermelin. The new church was both longer and wider than the old one. From the old church used in the new one was the south portal, a storage room and the church porch.

The new church room was a good representative of the times church ideals, a so called a hall church where chancel and the nave constitute a single room.

The church has been repaired and altered on several occasions, in 1820 the tower was rebuilt, about 1897 the church porch was demolished. During the 20th century renovations took place in 1929, 1958, 1966, and the most recent renovation in 1983-84.

Inside the church are several older gravestones, among other, there are at least 10 gravestone slabs which originates from the Middle Ages. From the Middle Ages is also the cross marked altar surface in the chapel.

About fifty gravestones from the 17th and 18th century are preserved in the curch. The baptismal font is of Öland limestone from 1642. Inside the sacristy hangs a part of a profane tablecloth, embroidery, with red silk on natural colored linen, probably Danish work from the 17th century. Two more parts of the cloth is kept in Kalmar County Museum.

That the royal summer villa Solliden is located within the parish can also be seen in the church. It has, among other things an Antependium embroidered by King Gustaf V and Princess Sibylla has donated armchairs and a couple of crucifix.


Memorial grove

The memorial grove is laid out in the northwestern part of the cemetery and was designed by Peter Berglund, Gröna rum.

It has a maze-like structure with the high thuja hedges which form boundaries outwards, with numerous limestone-paved walkways that runs east-west and north-south direction.

In the grove there is a birdbath in limestone, donated by Harry Engelholm. Around the bird bath is flower bed with plants.

Right next to the bird bath is a rectangular ground filled with red limestone’s to set flower vases. In the grove are also benches, lighting and a water pump. The memorial grove was opened in 1992.



Outside the cemetery in northeast lies the church cottage built in 1989. The architect was Leonard Eriksson from Borgholm. It is a white painted wooden building with a tiled roof. It is used as a parish hall but also as staff rooms for the janitor.

Next is also a plastered building with tiled roof built in the 1960s and used as a tool shed.



A sundial stands in the cemetery just south of the church. Its age is unknown.

North of the memorial garden next to the cemetery wall is the number of older limestone slabs. The slabs are in various stages of decay and many of them are so cracked that you can’t read the text any more.

At Gunnar Håkansson tour on Öland during the 1930s and 1940s were the slabs, however, in such a condition that they could be read. The slabs are from the 17th and 18th century. One of the slabs had previously marked the burial place of the bailiff on northern Öland, Erich Hanson Törnecrantz and his wife Christina v Campenhausen. The slab was dated 1673.


Source: Kalmar Läns Museum (Kalmar County Museum)

Translation: Visitoland.com