Kiruna kyrka - Norrbotten - Kiruna - Sweden
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member CADS11
N 67° 51.126 E 020° 13.949
34W E 467710 N 7526575
Kiruna church is a church building in Kiruna built between 1909 and 1912.
Waymark Code: WM17BW8
Location: Norrbotten, Sweden
Date Posted: 01/22/2023
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member FamilieFrohne
Views: 7

Kiruna Church is beautifully situated on a small wooded hill.
The church is built entirely of wood. It is to be completely dismantled
In a few years and rebuilt elsewhere.

Kiruna church is a church building in Kiruna built between 1909 and 1912, designed by the architect Gustaf Wickman . It is the parish church in Jukkasjärvi parish in Luleå diocese . The church, whose unique appearance was inspired by the Norwegian stave churches , stands in a nature park near the center of Kiruna.

Before the completion of the Kiruna church, there had previously only been temporary church buildings in the Kiruna urban area. The traditional parish church was located in Jukkasjärvi , 19 km away. The first church in Kiruna community, vanha kirkko [ source needed ] – the old church, was a simple wooden barrack that the State Railways had built in 1899. It was used from 1900 as a school building during weekdays and a place of worship on Sundays by the Church of Sweden and other communities. In addition, it had to function as a dining room. Since 1902, a room was used in the newly built Company School after a vicar made an inquiry to the mining companyLKAB to solve the lack of places of worship. Pastor Andreas Juliebö , however, complained that the premises were so poorly placed in the city plan , which meant that people could not get to the church. From 1906 until Kiruna church's dedication, the Methodist church 's premises were used instead.

In 1901, Hjalmar Lundbohm , LKAB's manager , had started planning the construction of a proper church building in Kiruna. The architect Gustaf Wickman, who came to Kiruna in 1899, was commissioned to design the church. In addition to the church itself, Wickman also made drawings for the belfry , the burial chapel and a vicar's residence. The oldest drawings are from 1903, and even then the church largely had the design it finally got.

Initially, it was planned that the church and belfry would be built in a park above the railway station , in the current Railway Park, but as the years went by the plan became increasingly out of date. Instead, the church was placed on the Bolag area, approximately 400 meters southeast of the first site. The reasons for this change were, among other things, that the city did not develop around the railway station but was moved to the south and east. In addition, the Corporate Area was not governed by any official statutes and regulations on the design of buildings. The chipped roof of the church alone would have contravened section 15 of the local building bylaw. In addition to this, from the church's elevated location, one could look out over the community and the surrounding mountain world.

The construction of Kiruna church dragged on and took a total of three years; builder was Edfastsson Nygren. The belfry had already been completed in 1907. Construction of the church began in 1909, halted that year due to a major strike in the construction company. It was not until April 1910 that construction continued. The wood for the church was shipped to Kiruna from, among other places, Russia .

There were problems with the coloring of the church. The belfry had already been painted red a few years earlier in anticipation of the final decision. Hjalmar Lundbohm, together with the sculptor Christian Eriksson , had tested white and different colors between yellow and red on the bottom parts of the church, but no color seemed to fit. Hjalmar Lundbohm considered the orange tones to give the impression of ordinary, yellow-brown varnished wood that was used by the poor and by the free churches in town - Kiruna church would have a more distinguished color. The determination was postponed several times; Gustaf Wickman decidedly wanted to paint the church red in the same color as the belfry, while Christian Eriksson preferred to see it tarred. Hjalmar Lundbohm was neutral on the issue. In the end, however, it was decided that the church should be painted Falur red, a color that at the beginning of the 20th century was considered to carry the Swedish traditional heritage.

The church was consecrated on 8 December 1912 by Bishop Olof Bergqvist .

In January 1913, the church and bell tower were handed over to the congregation in this settler community, which later received city privileges (1948).

Kiruna church was named during the Year of Architecture 2001 as "The best building of all time, built before 1950" in Sweden. It was voted by the Swedish people as Sweden's most popular building. Among the justifications was that it was considered so beautiful.

Kiruna church has to be moved as the mine fissures from the ore mining in Kiirunavaara are getting closer and closer to the church. During the period 2017-2029, a project is underway to physically move the church around the years 2025-2026.

The church building
Interior of the church with the organ on the left.

The influences from the Sámi kåtan are clearly visible in the way the roof beam construction strives towards the middle. You can also see it in the light that falls from above and on the dark walls.

The church is one of Sweden's largest wooden buildings and a unique building from the beginning of the 20th century. The style in which the church is built is Neo-Gothic and the interior has features of national romanticism and the composition of the altar breathes Art Nouveau style . The church has an almost square plan, to be compared with a so-called central church , that is to say that the middle and transepts are the same length, 16 meters. The roof construction can be described as two prisms, at each end finished with a large window work, intersecting each other, and the pointed gables of the church in all directions. The church's glazed upper parts give the church room a rich overhead light. The floor material in the church is wooden. The extensions are lower, both the armory to the west and the straight-ended chancel to the east, flanked by a sacristy to the north and a diagonal hall to the south. The facade cladding and the red roof covering are made of church shavings . A roof rider stands at the intersection where the nave's four gabled roofs meet. The church rests on a masonry plinth of natural stone. The tower is in the shape of a spire.

Kiruna church has a dominant position on a hill in a nature park, mainly consisting of mountain birch , but also rowan . This is called the Church Forest and is surrounded by a low wall of gray stone. Inside the wall, to the east of the church, is the crematorium with the associated memorial grove.

The church, which is one of Sweden's largest wooden buildings, is painted in Falur red and covered with church shavings .

On the north, west and south eaves of the church stand twelve gilded, two meter high and 250 kilogram bronze cast sculptures, made by Christian Eriksson . They represent people in different states of mind and are named accordingly. In counterclockwise order, on the northern eaves are Doubt , Shyness , Overconfidence , Piety and Confidence , on each side of the west gable Submission and Rapture and on the southern eaves Humility , Love , Sorrow , Courage and Devotion .

The carved relief on the west gable, above the church gate, was also made by Christian Eriksson. It represents, at the eaves: God borne on clouds with a halo of light around his head; at the lower right corner: teaching Sami children in nature at a horn; in the middle: two people, one supporting the other; and in the left corner: preaching to a crowd under a tree. The dark gate below has been designed by Ossian Elgström . The heavy iron fittings allude to religious symbols, such as fish and roosters.

The three-nave nave is covered by open, imaginatively designed dormers in both the main nave and side naves. The choir in particular has a rich setting of boasing and carved latticework, inspired by Sami ornamentation. The altarpiece from 1912 is very large and is the work of Prince Eugen . The pulpit, the pulpit and the open pew interior were designed by Wickman himself.

The armory was rebuilt and repainted inside in 1962 under V. Sjödin . The room south of the choir, previously used as a congregation hall, was converted into a chapel.

Between 1988 and 1990, mainly the interior underwent extensive maintenance and repair work, carried out by the Norrbotten municipalities' architect and construction office in Luleå.

Kiruna church was one of four churches depicted on Christmas stamps for foreign mail in 2002 under the heading Romantic churches at Christmas time; the other churches were Habo church in Västergötland , Tensta bell tower in northern Uppland and Sundborn church in Dalarna .
Sculptures by Christian Eriksson , including Saint Göran and the Dragon (1928), a replica of Eriksson 's bronze sculpture at Stockholm City Hall .

Taken and translated from: (visit link)
Official database entry: [Web Link]

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