Gotland Churches

Gotland has a lot of churches. With a population of less than 60,000 and Swedes being a fairly secular bunch, the density of Churches is surprising. There are 92(!) Medieval churches on the island, and lots of more ‘modern’ ones as well. The Swedish church is pretty progressive and welcoming as Christian churches go, and we ended up filling our water bottles at the ‘garden care stations’ in each churchyard. These little stations had watering cans, trowels, mini weeding claws, and a standpipe so that folks can come and look after the graves of their loved ones and relations.

In case you were wondering what we drank on the dry island, this is where we got a lot of our drinking and cooking water! It became a reflex to look out for churches on the map and make sure we swung by to get water…. but he buildings and gardens were usually quite lovely to visit. The church buildings were usually open, welcoming you in through an old heavy wooden door covered in fragrant local pine tar. They were quiet and cool inside, with a place to light a candle but in no other way looking like a Catholic church; in the Lutheran tradition Swedish churches are relatively unadorned.