John the Baptist was a box-office hit
Ørslev Church on South Zealand was built of granite. The choir and nave are Romanesque. The vaulting, tower and side chapels for the choir were added in early Gothic times. The choir was later extended to the east, so the church is now shaped like a cross. It is…
Paying through the nose to kiss John's bones
Ørslev Church is famous for its medieval dish featuring a carved wooden head and three bones. It is now at the National Museum. In 1755, the vicar described how just three generations before the dish with the head and bones had been carried in a procession to Ørslev's spring on Midsummer Day. Anyone who put money in the dish was permitted to kiss the bones and bought absolution. Those who donated food for the vicar in the dish were palmed off with a blessing. The bones were real human bones. People must have thought they were really John's bones. They were leg bones alright, but unless Saint John had three legs, they belonged to at least two different individuals.
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