Olskirke Round Church
Olskirke Round Church is the oldest of the Bornholm round churches from the late 12th century. It's located just Southwest of Allinge on the North coast of Bornholm, at a 112 meter altitude, giving it a good defensive position. The church wall is 13 meters high, and the wooden roof adds another 15 meters to its height.
As is the case with all the round churches, it had a dual purpose: as a house of God and as a defensive fortress in case of attacks on the local population, which was unpleasantly common at the time when the round church was built. Olskirke Round Church originally didn't have the roof you see today, but an almost flat roof from which defenders could observe and shoot at attackers.
The choir and apsis are both small enough to allow the defenders on the roof free sight of the church surroundings. After the tall roof was added, a support pillar was also added to the side of the church. Although the church is rather small, it can hold 200 church goers.
The bell tower, which stands alone next to the church, was originally part of the church fortification and defence.
The spire helps identify the round church at a distance - each round church has a different spire with different decorations.
The small square holes in the wall just below the roof were used in the days of the fortress function to put wooden beams into and build a wooden walkway around the outside of the wall. Today Olskirke Round Church is a lovely peaceful little church and the goal of thousands of tourists.