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  • Photographer: Lukasz Warzecha

Varnhems Klosterkyrka

Discover the middle ages in a well-preserved monastery setting

The magnificent Varnhem church and the monastery ruins are almost a thousand years old, and their history is definitely worth discovering. Stroll under the church’s Romanesque-Gothic arches, where the monks’ prayers and songs once encouraged reflection.

From September 2021 to Easter 2022, Varnhem's monastery church will be closed due to antiquarian cleaning. Reopening of the monastery church is planned for Easter 17 April 2022.

Fascinating history

Varnhem and its abbey ruins, at the foot of Billingen mountain, are situated in the middle of Västergötland and were a major spiritual, political, cultural and economic centre. The abbey’s well-preserved setting was the last resting place of four Swedish medieval kings as well as the founder of Stockholm, Birger Jarl. There are expert guides available during the tourist season who can explain the details of the church’s fascinating history.

  • Photographer: Mårten Bergkvist

  • Photographer: Mårten Bergkvist

  • Photographer: Lukasz Warzecha LWimages Studio

The museum and excavations

The abbot Henrik and his Cistercian monks came to Varnhem in 1150 and founded the self-sufficient monastery, which had a water and sewerage system among other things. You can read all about this, and much more, at the Varnhem monastery museum just behind the church on a hill. While you’re here, take the opportunity of visiting Kata farm nearby and see the ruins of one of Sweden’s oldest churches.

Summer music in the monastery church

Don’t miss a good opportunity for refreshments after your visit. Coffee with delicious cakes or sandwiches are on sale in the café beside the church. Sit out in the lovely garden and enjoy them when the weather is fine. There is also music played in the church during the summer months. Be sure to take a stroll along Rosenstigen, a beautiful walking trail of about two kilometres that winds its way around the monastery site. Make sure to stop by at Hornborgasjön - one of Europe’s most important bird lakes.

Contact information

Varnhems Klosterkyrka

53273 Varnhem

Phone: +46 511 265 34

E-mail: Send e-mail

Website: To homepage