Kyrkan utsida
Foto: E. Johansson

Sundals-Ryrs gamla kyrka - in english

Sammanställd av Komminister Elisabet Johansson

The original church was built in the 13th century. It probably replaced an older stave church.  Like many other churches it is situated in the vicinity of a water course. The church is placed beside Dälpan, an almost overgrown stream.  The one meter thick walls consist of rendered stone from a local quarry.  

In the 17th century the sanctuary was demolished and the church acquired a three sided annexe.  At the same time the main building was extended with 5 meter.  The roof of oak chips was replaced in 1843 with a slated roof.  The bell tower is from 1946 but has been replaces several times before.
The people living in this area were laid to rest  in the cemetery until around the start of the 19th century. Every homestead had its own burial plot.  You can see headstones from the 18th century and forged crosses from the 19th century.  The graveyard has been extended several times. 

On the south facing long wall there is a bricked up opening which had been a church porch.That entrance was bricked up 1824. Instead an opening was made in the west gable. Today there is neither a church porch nor a sacristy. During the second half of the 18th century a floor of stone was laid in the middle aisle and in the sanctuary. The church was given a completely new foundation in 1973 through the help of the Swedish National Heritage Board. It´s now rests on the bedrock. An outer restoration was also made the same year. The paintings in the ceiling were made 1748 by Hans-Georg Shuffner after the church had been given a special ceiling of planed boards.  The sides of the ceiling have a pattern of acanthus flowers.  Inside them the six days of the creation are painted, for instance the birth of the human being.

Large pictures in the middle of the ceiling show the letters for Jehova in Hebrew, drawn in sunshine towards the blue heaven with faces of angels all around, the baptism of Jesus with the Holy Spirit´s dove and the last judgement when the damned are thrown into hell.

The altarpiece is carved in wood. The oil painting in the middle depicts Jesus on the cross surrounded by his mother Mary and the disciple St John. It too is painted by H.G. Shüffner.

The front of the gallery with pictures of the twelve apostles is made from the same artist.  H.G. Shüffner has also decorated several other churches in Dalsland and Värmland.

The unpainted pews were added in 1824.  Only two doors of the pews were painted. This was done by the parishioners who were responsible for the benches inside these doors. 

The simple chandelier was added to the church in 1920. The grandfather clock is signed by J. Johansson and dated 1856. The church does not have any form of heating but might have had a stove sometime in the past.   

The build-in bench to the right in the sanctuary was meant for the vicar’s family and the organist, the bench to the left for the churchwarden. Before the pews were added, the churchgoers had to stand during the service1824 the altar ring was walled, whitewashed and the top covered with pine. The pulpit is five sided and made in the 17th century.  The organ in the sanctuary was built in Stockholm 1795 by Peter Strand.  After unknown fortunes it was donated to the church, restored and brought back into service again 1974.

If you want to visit the church, please contact:
Håkan Larsson, verger,  mobile: 070657 59 58 or office 0521-30061.