First church of Scandinavia

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Ansgar is known as the apostle of the north. He lived in the 9th century and worked to convert the Nordic people from their traditional Asa-Vane faith with the Nordic Gods. He never managed to convert the king of Denmark but he was allowed to travel around Denmark and preach the new Middle Eastern religion of Christianity.

Church located near Ansgars original church

He was given the task of trying to be a missionary to the Scandinavian people in 826. He travelled around the Scandinavian countries for a while and managed to start a missionary station in the town of Birka in Sweden.

Old church at Hedeby

Ansgar was elevated to a higher position in 831 as the archbishop of Hamburg. He didn’t stay in Hamburg for long since the town was destroyed during a Viking raid and he moved is seat as archbishop to Bremen.

Memorial stone for the conversion of some people in Hedeby

The first church he was allowed to build was in the large Viking town of Hedeby. He founded a church in 849 the old wooden church is long gone and the precise location is unknown but a more modern church has been built and it might be close to the original location. The church wasn’t allowed to stay open for long and it was closed down shortly after Ansgar left Hedeby again. The church was reopened again in 854 and Ansgar got permission from the king to fit the church with bells.

Men and women gav up their superstition and the idolatry they converted to the faith in the lord and became baptised. And great joy arrose on this location.

Not far from the church you find an old memorial stone. The stone is commemorating the people who was baptized hear close to the church after Ansgar was allowed to convert the local merchants and their families.

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