Round church disguised with bishop's hat
Bjernede Church is the only well-preserved round church on Zealand. Two stone plaques over the entrance explain that it was built by Sune Ebbesen. He built it in about 1175 on the spot where his parents, Ebbe and Ragnhild, had once built a wooden church. The new church…
One black sheep and a family saint
Sune Ebbesen, who built Bjernede Church, was a member of the Hvide family. The Hvide family was the most influential family in Denmark in the early Middle Ages. Other prominent members included Asser Rig, Esbern Snare and Bishop Absalon. When Sune Ebbesen built Bjernede Church, a female member of the family, Margrethe, was killed by her husband, Herluf. He strung his dead wife up from a rope in the barn as if she had committed suicide and she was buried in unconsecrated ground. But the crime didn't remain hidden for long. Soon rumours spread that miracles were taking place near the grave. Absalon made sure Herluf was interrogated. He confessed, and Margrethe's remains were dug up and taken to Roskilde. Margrethe was worshipped as the family saint, though the Hvide family never received the Pope's blessing.
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