Medieval church in Hammarby
Hammarby Kyrka is a small rural church whose medieval appearance has been preserved to this day. It is located in the middle of the small village of Hammarby in the northern half of the municipality of Eskilstuna Kommun, just a few kilometres outside the central town of Eskilstuna.
The oldest parts of Hammarby Kyrka date from the 12th century and consist of the original part of the narrow rectangular nave and the steeple standing in front of the western gable wall. Already in the 14th century, the church had become too small and the nave was extended a few metres to the east.
At about the same time, the sacristy was added to the north side and in the 15th century, the last major reconstruction measure was the vaulted ceiling made of brickwork and the entrance portal on the south side was enlarged. Although the church had a steeple from the beginning, the bells were initially located in a separate wooden belfry and did not find their way into the tower until the 1770s.
Hammarby Kyrka today
On the outside of the south wall there are some sandstone fragments with runic ornaments set into the wall, which date back to the time when the church was built. Among them is an enigmatic face of a man with a moustache carved in stone, which is also found in a similar form on some rune stones, although its meaning is still unknown.
In the inside, the church seems small and cosy and offers just 80 seats for the worshippers in its historic closed pews. The atmosphere is essentially determined by the partly very old furnishings. The oldest items include the ancient baptismal font, which dates back to the early days of the church, as well as the large 14th-century crucifix hanging in the triumphal arch, followed by the altarpiece from the 1470s.
The latter is a copy of the central part of the original winged altar, the original of which is in the historical museum in Stockholm. Not to forget the wood-carved pulpit, which was made in 1612 and is said to be the oldest pulpit in all of Sörmland.