Churches in Sunne
The five churches in Sunne have their own history and are all located in the incredibly beautiful places. The oldest church is Gräsmarks Church built in 1738 and the youngest is Sunne’s church built in 1888 after the previous one was burned down. Other churches are located in Lysvik, Västra Ämtervik (Western Otervik) and Östra Ämtervik (Eastern Otervik).
The most beautiful location – Gräsmark church
The Church in Gräsmarks offers beautiful sights both on the outside and on the inside. The church is built in stone out on a beak of the Lillsjön lake. One should go there in the evening when the lake is shining and look at the church reflection in the lake. Most likely, you will take your phone camera and take a picture of it.
This church is Sunne’s oldest, built in 1738. In this area at that time, there were many Finns who came there to cultivate the land by means of fire farming. The Swedish and Finnish built the church together.
Ceiling Painting in Gräsmark church
When you enter the church, turn your eyes onto the ceiling. The entire ceiling is painted and represents the Last Judgment. It was painted by Erik Jonaeus. He painted quite a number of church roofs, including Fryksände Church in Torsby. He was the Master of that time.
Different times give rise to different customs. The ceiling paintings were painted over, but in 1924 they were brought up again. And that’s a good thing to hear, because this is something we want you to see on a visit to Gräsmark.
In any case, it is decorated in Late Baroque style. Sculptor Isac Schullström adorned the altarpiece in 1753.
When you drive from the east towards Sunne, the magnificent white church comes into view well above the fields. The truth is that Sunne church is very tall and you can see it from many places.
The church that stands there today is not the first, but it is the latest in this area. From the church yard you can have a view of Frykensundet and Prostgården, but also out over Mellan-Fryken. There have been churches in Sunne ever since the 1200s, and it is from that time that the churches’ oldest relic, the baptistery, comes.
It is made of Norwegian soap stone. In Sunne Church there are many fine musical instruments. Worth mentioning are the Pipe Organ of 1913, Grand Organ of 1981 and Steinway Grand Piano. There are also valuable silver objects and textiles.
Sunne Church – “Fryksdalen Cathedral”
Sunne church was inaugurated in 1888, and it is the church of Sunne Parish in Karlstad diocese. At that time, Sunne was a rich pastorate, hence the unusually large church building. It is actually larger than Karlstad Cathedral and is popularly called “Fryksdalen Cathedral”.
Church building in Sunne
On the site where the Sunne church stands, there has been a church building since Middle Ages. The first churches were wooden, in 1641 the first stone church was built, but it was burned down in 1699. Then it was rebuilt and expanded a couple of times. It was like that until another fire in 1886. In 1888, the church, as it stands today, was completed.
Baptistery of the 1200s
Visit Sunnes beautiful church and see, among other things, baptistery of the 1200s, crypt and the altarpiece cover of Sten Kauppi. Beautiful and rare objects can be found in the church, such as baptistery made of Norwegian soap stone of the 1200s. The altarpiece was created by Simon Sorman. The church has had an organ already since 1730, now a modern one that is also supplemented with a choir organ.
Weddings and concerts
In addition to the church service every Sunday, Sunne church is a popular church for both weddings and concerts in the area. It is widely used at school closing days and during the events such as Sunnes Culture Week.
Yet another church overlooking Fryken. You will definitely admire the Church in Lysvik’s location, as it suggests beautiful views over Övre Fryken (Upper Fryken). In the middle of the village stands the church and therefore it becomes central to the resort. It has been there since 1753. Since then, it has been restored in several instances.
Wooden roofs have become slate roofs, stoves have been installed, the bell tower has been replaced, and the windows have been made larger.
Not far from the church there is another church building, it is a former Free Church, and there it still holds Mormors Glasscafé (Grandma’s Icecream Café).
Baptistery of the 1200s
One cannot help but think about why baptisteries are often preserved from the Middle Ages. The explanation is that this is not the first church to stand there in Lysvik. There was a church there already in the 1200s.
The baptistery made of soap stone has survived the fires that destroyed the former church buildings. The baptistery in Lysvik stands firm on one foothold. Another thing that is mentioned as unique is the pulpit hourglass dating to 1693.
Östra Ämtervik church
Selma Lagerlof and her entire family are buried at Östra Ämterviks church. This is a church in Fryksdalen in an elevated position and grand views of Fryken.
If you visit the cemetery to see the Laurel family burial place you can also have a wonderful view of Mellan-Fryken. The church took time to be built, a total of 53 years, and it was inaugurated in 1848. Just ten years before Selma Lagerlof was born.
Selma Lagerlöf’s local church
The Church in Östra Ämtervik (Eastern Omtervik) was Selma Lagerlöf’s local church. When she wrote the Gosta Berling’s Saga, she named this church the Svartsjö (Black Sea) Church. When you visit the church you can see Uncle Eberhard’s coffin, which she also mentioned in her novel.
In the cemetery, several of the people Selma used as her role models in the novel rest in peace. Among them are Ingemar Johansson and Jan i Skrolycka. Here also lie several of those who died when Freja, the steamship wrecked on Fryken lake in 1896.
Västra Ämtervik church
At Mellan-Frykens western bank, in the middle of the village, stands Västra Ämterviks Church. It was built in 1820 after the former church burned down 5 years earlier. Long before there was no church here, but those who lived on the western side of Fryken could enjoy their rest on the lake beside the church in Västra Ämterviks. This was corrected in 1673, when a wooden church was built there, but as previously mentioned, it burned down.
Church in Västra Ämterviks interior
Among the interior decoration of the church you can see a baptistery made of brass. It is a powerful item that was manufactured in the 1600s. In the gunhouse there is a wood-and-iron ceiling chandelier that dates to the 1700s. The church is bright and looks nice with a beautiful altarpiece. But it is probably the baptismal paintings that are the most famous anyway.
Sillegården and artist Erling Ärlingsson
In Västra Ämtervik Fryksdalsmora, Ida Sahlström Sillegården lived and worked. Ida’s daughter Margit also lived there with her husband. She was married to artist Erling Ärlingsson. It is Erling who created the baptismal painting inside the church. The painting is in rich colors and framed with a golden frame.