Rune stones and other scenic spots in Västergötland visited in 2005 part 1

As I searched for some pictures the other day I found some that I would like to share from a trip to Västergötland 2005.

Levene church  

Stop number one was at Levene church that according to ledged is from the 11th century though it has been added to and rebuilt several times, mainly during the 17th century. It is said that the jarl Håkan Röde (Hakan the red) is buried here; he was presumably born ca 1045 AD and died in 1079 AD. It is also said that he had the church built or moved to Levene.


Silly enough I didn’t take any notes on this head stone; I do believe that it is a medieval, or possibly from the 16th century, grave-stone that has originally been part of the floor inside the church before being walled in. Anyhow it’s gorgeous!

Medieval carvings in Romanesque-style. 

In the vestry are two liljestenar, though I photographed one of them for some reason. Liljestenar is medieval carvings in Romanesque-style; they are often carved into flat tartar stones and mainly found in or close by medieval churches. I also managed to get up in the tower that reviled some interesting traits:

 cross medieval

Above the entrance there is a mark after a cross that has been incorporated in to the wall, though it could aIso be part of some construction detail to let something else hang on the that wall. As always when one comes upon something new, or rather something that one has not seen before, curiosity awakens.

A dial from the ages

In the tower I also came across this beautiful dial from days past by, as dials goes it’s not really my cup of tea but an educated guess would be; possibly 17th or 18th century? (Please correct in me if I’m wrong, because I am like …)

 Rune Stone, Levene church, kyrka, runsten

Outside of the church stands Sweden’s highest rune stone (Vg 117), 4,6 meters in height. It was found in two pieces during a renovation in 1927-28 walled in at the both sides of the main gate.

The inscription goes as follows:

Herulfr reisti stein eptir sonu sína Var(?)/Vôr(?) ok Þorgaut. Guð hjalpi sálu þeira vel. Þeir …

Translated into English:

Herulfr raised the stone in memory of his sons Varr(?)/Vôrr(?) and Þorgautr. May God well help their souls. They …

 levene church

Magnus Reuterdahl


About Magnus Reuterdahl

I am an archaeologist/Osteologist from Sweden. My main intrest lays in north Euorpean archaeology in, preferbly the prehistory of the late iron age and the neolithic periods. I've also got a strong intrest for Chinese archaeology, especially the neolithc Yangshao culture. I also write about cultural heritage and cultural history. Mitt namn är Magnus Reuterdahl, jag är arkeolog och osteolog och arbetar företrädesvis i Sverige även om jag gjort ett par vändor till Kina. På den här bloggen skriver jag om mitt yrke, om fornlämningar, kulturarv och kulturhistoria m m. View all posts by Magnus Reuterdahl

7 responses to “Rune stones and other scenic spots in Västergötland visited in 2005 part 1

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  • colleenmorgan

    What an amazing post, thank you!

  • Magnus Reuterdahl

    Thanks, there is more to come. I’ve got pictures for at least two more posts on that trip, among them some good pictures of a rune stone called the Sparlösa stone. The runic inscription on the Sparlösa stone is one of the most interesting rune inscrpitions or at least I think so.


  • Antimonite

    A question about the roof on the church… That pointy “wizard-hat-like” black style, when did they start to build towers with that exact style? That style isnt medieval is it? Its younger?

  • Magnus Reuterdahl

    This by no means my speciality. These small towers are called “takryttare” (roof riders) in Swedish, as they seems to ride upon the roof, and are if I remember right often dated to the late 17th – 18th or 19th century. In this case the church was restored and rebuild during the 17th century and I would guess that the tower was added about then.


  • Antimonite

    I didnt mean the small tower on top of the midship, I meant the bell tower. The style of the roof. Quite common on churches on Gotland – and those I think are all from the 18th century (the roofs).

    I just saw it in the movie “Arn” and I wondered if that really was contemporary with the medieval settings of that movie. It felt some 600 years wrong. Just as the gothic windows inside the monastery… and a million other things in that movie that wasnt medieval in the sets…

    If a person got 200 million swedish crowns to make a movie… how can they fail so miserably with such details I wonder…

  • Magnus Reuterdahl

    OK. I think that you right, the bell tower is also probably 18th century. The inside wall with the “cross” indicates that the tower wasn’t there from the beginning and I think you’re right about the style as 18th century, or there about.

    I haven’t seen Arn as yet (haven’t had the stomach to) and I am sure your right regarding the details in the film, I would be flabbergasted if they where though. Accurate details isn’t normally the most important thing for moviemakers, it is more important that in some way look medievalish according to the filmmakers belief.


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