The Church of Gudhem is a church in the Swedish province of Västra Götalands län . It is located on the outskirts of Gudhem , right next to the ruins of the Gudhem Monastery in the municipality of Falköping .
Although the church has a medieval core, its current appearance largely dates from the 19th century.
The first church in Gudhem probably dates from around 1100. It consisted of a nave , a small choir and a vestibule, but without a tower, as was evident during restoration work in the early 1960s. The Danes ravaged the area during the Northern Seven Years War, 1563-1570, looting and burning the church. The only thing left in 1583 was the so-called red book, a missal, and a chalice with a paten and the cracked church bell. Then the reconstruction began. From an inventory from 1688 one can see that the church had no shortage of church inventory. In 1658 a chapel was built in the southeast corner between the nave and the choir, in which the grave cellar and sacristy were installed.
From the work "Suecia antiqua et hodierna" by Erik Dahlberg it is clear how the church looked at the end of the 17th century.
Instead of building a common church for the parishes of Gudhem, Östra Tunhem and Ugglum , the church of Gudhem was thoroughly restored from 1811 to 1815. The community members had resisted a new building. The now dilapidated burial chapel was torn down, and the small choir in the east was replaced by a new building that made the church longer. In the east, a new sacristy was built with a gallery above. The altar found its place on the wall between the sacristy and the church. The southwestern vestibule was replaced by a western one at the main entrance.
Again a new building for the parishes was planned in 1870 and also rejected by the parishioners.
In the course of a renewed restoration, the church received a tower and a new sacristy from 1897 to 1900. The east entrance was walled up and the altar was placed on the east wall, into which a choir window was built. The flat ceiling was replaced by a so-called clover leaf ceiling. The penultimate restoration took place in 1951/52, when the church was given a simple barrel vault. A new sandstone altar and a new pulpit were installed. The artist Harald Lindberg created an oil painting in the choir that he called “Queen and King of Heaven”, referring to Queen Katarina, who had given the nunnery in the neighborhood plenty of gifts and is buried there.
During the last restoration in 1999-2000, the clover-leaf ceiling was restored and the barrel vault removed. The altar was lowered a little. A new entrance was built between the sacristy and the church interior and the interior was repainted. Parts of the old decorative painting have been restored in the original patterns and colors. On the eastern choir wall you can still see the remains of a painted border that once framed the entire choir.
- Britta Jacobsson: Våra Kyrkor . Klarkullens Förlag, Västervik 1995, ISBN 91-971561-0-8 , p. 164.