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New light on the Åland churches 

The distribution of The Voice of the Åland Churches is handled by the

Åland publishing company PQR-kultur.


This means that the book will be available in the Nordic countries through   Adlibris

and international orders should be directed to Den här e-postadressen skyddas mot spambots. Du måste tillåta JavaScript för att se den.

The 12 medieval stone churches of Åland form an independent and fascinating group without any written records to shed light on their history. The new book The Voice of the Åland Churches, written by art historian Åsa Ringbom, uses the churches themselves as historical sources and is the result of twenty years of research in the origin and age of these churches.

Åland, a cluster of islands between Finland and Sweden, forms one of the so called Baltic Islands together with Gotland, Öland, Saarenmaa and Bornholm. In the Catholic Middle Ages it belonged to Sweden together with the rest of Finland. The churches are the only buildings on Åland in continuous use since the Middle Ages. For centuries they have been the center of life and society, thus reflecting local history.

The Voice of the Åland Churches presents an updated version of the building history of the 12 medieval stone churches of Åland. Thorough analysis of their well-preserved interior decorations and fittings now makes it possible to present a clearer view of the history of the Islands during important centuries. Nowhere else have churches been so thoroughly researched as in the Åland Islands. In this book the chronology of the Åland churches is, for the first time, based on objective scientific analysis. The churches have been investigated before, and many experts have presented their individual views on the chronology. The information has, however, been contradictory, and the ages suggested have varied by several centuries.

The present volume is a comprehensive investigation focusing on the special features of the churches, tackling the questions when they were built and how they developed. It shows how continental artistic inspiration reached the Islands and the trading routes, thus shedding new light on the medieval history of the Åland Islands. “The Voice of the Åland Churches introduces English readers to the significant ecclesiastical treasures in the islands off the west coast of Finland. Professor Ringbom tells the story of more than a dozen remarkable churches built during the Middle Ages and beyond: their construction, sculpture, decoration, subsequent history, and the exploration of their actual dates through pioneering mortar dating techniques”, says William Morgan, Distinguished Teaching Professor, Emeritus, University of Louisville.

The book consists of three parts. The first is a general survey presenting the architectural development of the churches and the artistic highlights, century by century. In the second part the individual churches are presented in alphabetical order, ideally forming a tourguide for interested visitors. The last part gives a detailed description of pioneering mortar dating and other scientific methods implemented in this research. Since medieval sources on the building history of the churches are lacking, this book fills an important gap by presenting new concise knowledge.

The Voice of the Åland Churches, an English version of Åländska kyrkor berättar from 2010, forms an independent survey of the series Ålands Kyrkor (in Swedish, with abstracts in English), where further volumes are to follow. The book is aimed at the general public interested in the Middle Ages, and at experts in the field.

For more information contact Åsa Ringbom 
tel +358 (0)40 734 1589, e-mail: Den här e-postadressen skyddas mot spambots. Du måste tillåta JavaScript för att se den.  

For further reading consult www.kyrkor.ax