It's now the last Saturday in November, and tomorrow is the first Sunday of Advent. The weather is dark and gloomy with a sun peeping out for seconds once in a while. Maybe the sun is tired. Better luck in the spring. It's a very small tour on this day, and if you don't mind we'll pay a short visit to a few churches in the Randers district. I had to control some old church photos. When we pass the town of Randers, a new building lies close to the road, it's an Elvis Presley Museum. It's called Graceland, but I suppose the real Graceland is much bigger. They have placed Santa Claus' reindeers outside, but where is Santa?
There are many medieval churches in this area, most of them built in the Romanesque period but with Gothic towers. Lem church has got a pretty church bell from 1547 and other details like the fine stone portal with a bow. It's almost like a Christmas band! The church was locked - nearly all churches are closed in the week-end, except at service-time of course, but I only had to look at some details on the outside walls.
|- coming to Linde village.|
The next stop was close by in the village of Linde. The gravestone with cross inserted in the church wall is Romanesque. Upon the church yard is a crooky tree and a tree with yellow paradise apples, and in a corner was a funny Christmas decoration, some "shoes" plant with house leek. Along the church dike was a pretty hedge of holly trees with glossy leaves and lots of red berries. A very suitable tree for this time of the year.
In the village Mellerup was a small church without a steeple, and it was open. It's a little simple church without much ornament. There is a special Gothic crucifix above the triumph arch, called the Mellerup crucifix.
The pulpit and sounding board are Renaissance from 1634, and above the granite baptismal font was an Advent's wreath with purple bands, a colour which is a part of church traditions. The church was ready for the first Sunday of Advent, and it would probably be decorated with spruce and candles tomorrow. But outside along the dike are some trees I find very prettty, the pollards. Like an ink drawing. There are not many left by now.
|The Gothic Mellerup crucifix|
|Mellerup church bell from Middle Ages.|
|A tiny ferry called Ragna|
|Biking the Greyhounds|
We drove down to Mellerup fjord, which is a part of Randers fjord, to take a coffee break, but it was extremely cold with a very cold wind. The weather people on TV had been threatening us with storm and the sky was black in the horizon. A cyclist passed us with two beautiful dogs, greyhounds, a little one and a big one. The little one was a greyhound-child I suppose. Here is a tiny, tiny ferry called Ragna, which is crossing the fjord in a few minutes. In summer this is quite a different place, well, but so is everything. In a distance along the fjord is a long plateau. Here lie a long row of houses, a part of the village Mellerup, they've got a fine view over the fjord, but it is an icy cold pleasure today!
On our way home we passed a church in Albæk, also Romanesque and Gothic, amazing how many churches in this district. People will visit them in December for the Advent's service and the Christmas service, especially on Christmas Eve. Or else the churches suffer from "emptyness." I'm not a church goer myself, but I would be sorry if some of them are abandoned. I hope the medieval churches will be allowed to stay - they are an important part of our history.
Close to Randers fjord lies the manor Støvringgård with a history from the 1300s. The present building is from the 1500s. For a period it was a kloster for ladies of aristocracy, but it has now rented apartments for common people, who are chosen by the bishop, so I guess the residents are not so common after all.
photo Randers fjord district 26 November 2011: grethe bachmann