Varnhems klosterkyrka (Varnhem Abbey Church)

Culture & History, Excursions

Varnhem Abbey Church and Varnhem Abbey Ruins welcome visitors to embark on a journey through centuries of significance. Within its vaults, you walk in the footsteps of monks, surrounded by silence and reflection, where Stockholm’s founder Birger Jarl and several Swedish medieval kings find their final resting place. From the arrival of the monastery in 1150 to its role as a center for spiritual, political, and cultural flourishing, the monastery area carries a heritage of significance and knowledge that has shaped the Swedish realm.

Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie

Magnus Gabriel De la Gardie’s restoration in the 17th century brought magnificent Baroque furnishings to the church, now standing as a monument to the changes of time and cultural development. Varnhem Parish welcomes visitors to discover this national treasure through guided tours and summer music events that attract a wide audience.

Varnhems klosterruin ( Varnhem Abbey Ruins)

Varnhem Abbey Ruins sit directly adjacent to the church and stand as an impressive remnant of the medieval Cistercian monastery founded in 1150 by Abbot Henrik and his monks. Situated at the foot of Billingen in Västergötland, the monastery was for a long time a center of spiritual, political, cultural, and economic life. The ruins comprise several parts, including the monastery church, cloister yards, residences, and other buildings that once formed the monastery.

By exploring the monastery ruins, visitors can discover the impressive architecture and numerous historical details. The ruins bear traces of various architectural styles and periods, from the Romanesque to the Gothic, and testify to the monastery’s reconstructions and restorations over the centuries. Here, one can see remnants of the monastery church’s vaults, corridors, and cells where monks and nuns once lived and prayed.

Near Varnhem Abbey Church

Near the monastery church stands Kata Gård, built over the ruins of a farm church from the Viking Age, and recounts the history of the farm and excavations during the summer season. Furthermore, Klostersjön stretches out, restored to its former glory, with hiking trails winding through the surrounding cultural landscape. Here, visitors can enjoy barbecue areas and scenic paths around the lake.

Craving for a coffee break – What about some Swedish Fika?

Finish the day with a relaxing moment at Klosterkaféet in Varnhem, where the tradition of serving coffee dates back to 1925. Whether you prefer to enjoy your coffee indoors or in the cozy café garden, the café invites you to a relaxed atmosphere and historic surroundings.

Kata crying church ruin