Book: Medieval Visby and Gotland
Chapter: 2. Parishes and churches
The chapter starts with a discussion about the transition to Christianity, inluding Christian cemeteries and burial grounds of pagan origin used contemporarily until the early twelfth century. The foundation of the Cistercian monastery at Roma in 1164 marked the final establishment of the western church on the island. From Roma, the chapter proceeds to a general overview of all 94 medieval parish churches in the countryside, in order to present trends in the building and rebuilding of the stone churches in time and space. The chapter ends in a discussion about the formation of parishes, since that may serve as an introduction to the much disputed issue on the social order of the island, which will be further discussed in the next chapter.