Within the Walls
From the Visby harbor Hamngatan leads to Donnersplatsen, with the Burmeisterska Hus, built in 1652 by a Lübeck merchant named Burmeister, which now houses a tourist information office. Diagonally opposite is the Post Office.Southeast of Donnersplatsen are the ruins of the churches of St Per and St Hans, standing side by side. During excavations in 1917 under St Per, the older and smaller of the two, the foundations of three other churches were found.
Museum of Antiquities
From Donnersplatsen Strandgatan leads to the Museum of Antiquities (Golands Fornsal), with a fine collection of Viking and medieval material, including tombstones and runic stones, arms and armor, furniture and religious art. Adjoining the museum is the Liljehornska Hus.From here Packhusplan runs north to the Clematishus, near which is the Old Pharmacy (Gamla Apoteket), a 13th century house with a stepped gable (exhibition of arts and crafts).
The Lybska Gränd leads from the Clematishus to the Visby Market Square (Stora Torget), on the south side of which are the ruins of St Catherine's Church (St Karin) of about 1230, which originally belonged to a Franciscan friary. To the north of the square, in St Hansgatan, are the ruined 13th century churches of the Trinity (Drotten) and St Lars, with massive towers which formed part of the town's defenses.
St Mary's Cathedral
To the west along St Hansgatan, higher up, is the Cathedral (St Mary's), the only one of Visby's old churches which is still in use. Built by German merchants and consecrated in 1225, it was much altered in later centuries (restored 1899-1907 and 1945). It has a massive square tower on the west front and two slenderer towers at the east end. The south chapel commemorates Burgomaster Swerting, who was executed in 1350. The church contains a fine carved pulpit of walnut and ebony from Lübeck (1684) and a 13th century font of red Gotland marble.
Church of the Holy Ghost
Norra Kyrkogatan runs north from the Visby Cathedral to the ruined Romanesque church of the Holy Ghost (Helgeandskyrkan; 13th C.). This two-storied octagonal structure, of a type unusual in Scandinavia, shows the influence of German architecture. There was probably a bridge linking the upper story of the church with a hospital which stood close by.
St Nicholas's Church
From Visby's Church of the Holy Ghost, a side street goes past the remains of the little 15th century chapel of St Gertrude to the ruins of St Nicholas's Church, the largest in Visby, in which the mystery play "Petrus de Dacia" is performed. The church, which originally belonged to a Dominican monastery, was begun about 1230 and was destroyed by the Lübeckers in 1525. It has a beautiful rose window in the gable.
St Clement Church
To the sout of St Nicholas's Church, among houses, are the remains of the Romanesque church of St Clement, built in the middle of the 13th century. Excavations here brought to light the foundations of three earlier churches, the oldest of which, dating from the 12th century, was probably one of the first stone-built churches in Visby; fine south doorway. To the right of the church can be seen an old weapon-house, in which the men deposited their arms before entering the church.
On the northwest side of Visby, near Studentallén, lies the Botanic Garden (Botaniska Trädgården), at the south end of which are the ruins of the Romanesque church of St Olof (ca. 1200). In the Botanic Garden are beds of the roses for which Visby is renowned and which are also found climbing up the walls of its ruins.
Within the Walls Pictures
Map of Visby Attractions