Alrø's church sits atop the highest point of the island, surrounded by a splendid view of Horsens Fjord. The church isn't large and, like many other Danish island churches, boasts quite unique characteristics that set it apart from mainland churches.
Small island church in the heart of Alrø
Similar to its neighbouring island Hjarnø, Alrø has its own little church dating back to the early 15th century, which has served as the island's religious and ceremonial focal point for centuries. The reason for the church's existence from this time likely stems from the Danish state's efforts to protect the coastline from pirates, which made the area less habitable prior to this period. The church's modest size is well-suited for the island's limited population of approximately 150 residents. Both its size and age distinguish it from mainland churches.
Even today, the church remains active and has its own parish. It upholds ancient church traditions that have long disappeared from the mainland.
About the church
An intriguing detail about Alrø Church is its resemblance to a Romanesque church despite being built late in the Middle Ages. In other words, an old-fashioned architectural style was employed. It's unknown whether another church served as inspiration when building Alrø Church – perhaps it was an attempt to recreate an earlier church.
A very low porch and the absence of a church tower make the church appear quite small from the outside. The church houses two bells: a small bell in the gable, used only during special occasions, and a larger bell housed in a bell frame on the ground in the churchyard. Old ringing traditions are still maintained, and in the event of a death, the bells toll for an hour, although tolling for the departed was actually banned during the Reformation in Denmark.
Of the original furnishings, only the baptismal font remains, which is unlike any found elsewhere in the country. It is carved with four creatures facing forward, crouching with outward-facing feet and outstretched arms crossing with their neighbors. Between the figures are four large birds - two with outstretched wings and two with folded wings. The pulpit is of more recent origin.
The church doesn't boast an extravagant or grandiose interior but rather an intimate, friendly atmosphere, illuminated by modern lighting.
Visiting Alrø Church
Alrø Church is open during the day when not in use for ceremonies or services. You're welcome to step inside when visiting the island. Situated in the middle of Alrø along the island's main thoroughfare, Alrøvej, you can't miss the church as you traverse the island.
Alrø is a small island in Horsens Fjord, connected to the mainland by a causeway on the northern side of the fjord. On the southern side, there's a small ferry dock from which a bicycle ferry operates to the neighboring island of Hjarnø. Alrø is known for its delightful eateries, including the legendary giant tartlets that have gradually been replicated in many places across the country. Alrø is part of the popular routes around Horsens Fjord, including the Fjordmino and the Horsens Fjord Cycling Route.