sister churches Drotten russian church visby
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  Novgorodst. Lars

The traditions tell us that St. Lars probably was one of the two Russian churches that were built by merchants from Novgorod. The church of St. Lars got its name from St. Laurentius that was grilled to death in the 3rd century. The church was built in the 12th century. Despite its different shape, it was built by craftsmen from Gotland.


The church was established during the 11th century, and is one of the smallest ruins. It was built to the Holy Trinity, St. Trinitatis. The church is usually called Drotten - an Old Norse name for ruler or God........
Drotten reminds of the church of St. Clemens. Some parts look like S:ta Maria (St. Mary) , the present Dome church. The church was abandoned during the Reformation in the 16th century. The citizens could not keep it in repair.


Click photo to enlarge:


St. Lars and Drotten were the smallest churches of Visby, and pretty soon they were called 'The Sister churches'. St. Lars (or Laurentius) was estabished 1046. The churches are built only 100 meters from the big square (Stora Torget).


St. Lars is filled with passages and stairs inside the walls. There are archades and apertures into the sanctuary.. In old sources the church is also named St. Anna.


A gate in the ruin of Drotten. As in St. Klemens the big chancel room is quadratic.


The sanctuary in the church of Drotten is decorated with tooth-ornaments and zigzag patterns that do not exist in other churches on the island. Drotten was established the year 1086.

Author: Göran Smitterlau
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