Church of Keldby

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Kelby Kirke is one of the old churches of Møn the church building dates back to the first half of the 13th century. Back then Denmark was still a catholic country like all other countries in Western Europe. This changed with the reformation which was introduced in Denmark in 1536.

The reformation changed the way you wanted the churches to appear. There was no longer a wish to have the fancy wall paintings there had been made in catholic times. The churches needed to appear simple and basic so the focus would be on what the priest had to say. The other change was the priest started to speak Danish instead of Latin – so the local farmers could actually understand what the priest were saying and didn’t have to rely heavily on the paintings on the wall to get the Christian message.

As a result pretty much all Danish churches from before 1536 were painted white inside to cover the old paintings on the walls. The paintings were not actually destroyed just covered by the new layer of painting which was supplemented by new layers of paints during the centuries to follow.

Thanks to the many layers of paint the original paintings were actually fairly well preserved underneath and in the more recent time many of these original paintings has been rediscovered and the white paint has been removed so it is possible to see the old paintings.

In Keldby Kirke there has been done just such a restoration work. And you can walk into the church during the day to admire the many old paintings. It is free to go inside the church and have a look around which is well worth it to see the old paintings. Unfortunately the church close fairly early so you need to be there before 3 in the afternoon.

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