1200 A.D.

In the Baltic Sea, on Gotland, there are an astonishing number of cathedrals and churches, most left in picturesque ruins, but quite a few still standing, 1,000 years or more after their creation. Imagine what it must have been like to live on this relatively tiny island in what would seem like a limitless sea, with no other land in sight. This was a time in human history when, without the protection of one’s church and community, you felt very alone and cut off from divine intervention. Gotland is beautiful, but if I lived in the middle of a cold, empty grey-blue sea, I’d build a lot of churches around me for comfort too.

Note the ‘demon’, mouth agape, carved into the pillar to the left of Jesus. When this cathedral was erected, Scandinavia was in the process of converting from paganism to Christianity, so this demon might just be the Norse version of the Devil. These are the images that made one scamper into the church, where it was safe.

1200 AD

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