If you enter one of the Bornholm round churches you soon discover that they certainly do not look like the round churches in the rest of Denmark.
Where the church in Thorsager. Jutland, e.g has four pillars along the sides
in the Bornholm ones we always see a single, round central pillar.
This photo shows the central pillar of Nylars round church.
(Image from the Skovgaard family page in Geocaching)
There are many details on the round churches of Bornholm that may stir your imagination.
As one can see on the pillar above it depicts a part of the creation of Adam and Eve.
Here are a couple of my own photos:
It is quite interesting, especially also the contrasts between darkness and light, good and evil (see the red-white partitions of the apples and the serpent) – but it is mind-boggling, if you draw a line on a map between Nylars church in the south and Østerlars church in the northeast.
The creation on one side of the island – the apocalypse on the other. And if you draw this line further, north of Østerlars, you get to the Ertholmene Islands, and there is a skerry at Christiansø called the End of the World (But I am sure the name is of a more recent date).
That both Erling Haagensen and Henry Lincoln have written about this line or axis is probably no coincidence.
They follow this axis south to the French village Rennes-le-Château in the Pyrenees – a place filled with strange geometry, Templar legends and tales of the Holy Grail – but this is quite a different study. I can only recommend to the reader to pursue these trails further on your own…
Now for the devils – both the big and the little ones.
The Medieval frescoes were always very graphic and “cartoon”-like in their expression to the church goers who usually neither could read nor understand the Latin of the Catholic masses. One had to study the teachings in the images.
Again we begin with the Apocalypse scene from Østerlars where the Devil himself is “relieving himself” upon the damned – the dirty grin and the detailed face may hint at a local lord that was made fun of?
Besides, the little devils pushing the damned into the gap of Hell are also quite amusing – the have both faces in front and behind!
But we also find another devil in Poulsker church – see also the menu Poulsker church – the Forgotten Mystery.
On the Resurrection scene, Christ treads a devil’s head underfooot, here a detail:
What do I want with all those devils? They are a natural part of Christian iconography, of course – but please also read the menu Heads on the Churches – there may be more to it than that…
And in the small church in Rennes-le-Château, France, the Devil has a prominent place at the entrance to the church. According to Henry Lincoln, he is Asmodeus / Rex Mundi (King of the World) and points towards a great mystery. Read more about the theories here.
I do not think that the little Bornholm devils are pointing towards any mysteries as such, but I would like to show them to you as little curiosities. One may always research and find out more for oneself.
I wish you a happy hunt!