Dorotea Church

Dorotea Church

Dorotea Church is beautifully located on a hill above the center of Dorotea. The old church was destroyed in a fire and the current one was built in 1934. The architect Carl Miles, brother of the famous artist Evert Milles, designed the church and inside you find two sculptures of Evert Milles: One sculpture of the archangel Gabriel and one of Saulus on his way to Korinth.

Opposite the entrance of the church there is a small burial chapel and inside you will find the magnificent sculpture group The Last Supper. Jesus and his disciples are all depicted in natural size so don’t be afraid when you open the door. The chapel is open all year round but the church has limited opening hours.

Sculptures by Carl Milles

The artist Carl Milles was born in 1875 and died in 1975. During his active years he created several art pieces. It may seem strange that Dorotea Church hosts two of Milles’ sculptures but the explanation is that Carl Milles was a good friend of the doctor in Dorotea at time. Also, his brother Evert Milles was the architect behind the new church that was built in 1934. One of the sculptures was bought to the church after getting a donation from a lady in Dorotea and the other sculpture was a gift from Carl Milles.

Sculpture group The Last Supper

Visit the small burial chapel opposite the church and admire the amazing sculpture group The Last Supper. The artist is Björn Martinius who was born in 1908 in Oslo where he later studied art. He came to Sweden as a refugee during the war in 1942 and he was working as an artist in Stockholm until his death in 1968.

The Last Supper is the largest of his art pieces. It is a sculpture group in natural size with Jesus and his disciples gathered together for the last supper and shows the exact moment when Jesus tells who will betray him.

When the sculptures arrived in Dorotea they were not in the best condition, both dirty and with some damages. Therefore the artist and conservator Arne Bohman in Uppsala was hired to restore the sculptures to its original shape. He then suggested that the figures should be painted to be more lively and today, when you enter the chapel, the first impression is that the figures are alive.

Church history

The history of the church dates back to 1799 when the local parish was formed. The new parish was named after the Queen Fredrika Dorotea Vilhelmina, wife of King Gustav IV Adolf. Two other villages in the region was also named after the Queen.

A new church was built and the building process was led by the farmer John Mattson from Lajksjö village. In August 1932 this church was destroyed in a fire while it was being renovated. A few architects were asked to send in their designs for a new church. In 1933 it was decided that the design of Evert Milles would be used for the new church.

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