Reliquary of St. Elizabeth

Last updated
Reliquary of St. Elizabeth Elisabethrelikvariet.jpg
Reliquary of St. Elizabeth

The Reliquary of St. Elizabeth (Swedish : Elisabethrelikvariet) is a reliquary currently displayed in the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm.


The Reliquary of St. Elizabeth is a golden and bejeweled reliquary believed to have contained the head of the Catholic saint Elizabeth of Hungary. It was taken as loot by the Swedish army from the Marienberg Fortress in Würzburg in present-day Germany during the Thirty Years' War. It consists of several different parts from different time periods. The oldest part is an agate bowl made during the Late Antiquity, sometime between the 4th and 7th centuries AD. Other parts were made during the 11th century, and the base of the reliquary as well as parts of two royal crowns that are incorporated into it date from the 13th century. It is today displayed in the Swedish History Museum in Stockholm. [1] [2]

Related Research Articles

Stockholm Capital of Sweden

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden. It has the most populous urban area in Sweden as well as in Scandinavia. 1 million people live in the municipality, approximately 1.6 million in the urban area, and 2.4 million in the metropolitan area. The city stretches across fourteen islands where Lake Mälaren flows into the Baltic Sea. Outside the city to the east, and along the coast, is the island chain of the Stockholm archipelago. The area has been settled since the Stone Age, in the 6th millennium BC, and was founded as a city in 1252 by Swedish statesman Birger Jarl. It is also the county seat of Stockholm County.

Bernhard Karlgren Swedish sinologist and linguist (1889–1978)

Klas Bernhard Johannes Karlgren was a Swedish sinologist and linguist who pioneered the study of Chinese historical phonology using modern comparative methods. In the early 20th century, Karlgren conducted large surveys of the varieties of Chinese and studied historical information on rhyming in ancient Chinese poetry, then used them to create the first ever complete reconstructions of what is now called Middle Chinese and Old Chinese.

Stockholm Palace Official residence of the Swedish monarch

Stockholm Palace or the Royal Palace is the official residence and major royal palace of the Swedish monarch. Stockholm Palace is on Stadsholmen, in Gamla stan in the capital, Stockholm. It neighbours the Riksdag building. The offices of the King, the other members of the Swedish Royal Family, and the Royal Court of Sweden are here. The palace is used for representative purposes by the King whilst performing his duties as the head of state.

Elizabeth of Hungary Hungarian princess and Christian saint

Elizabeth of Hungary, also known as Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia or Saint Elisabeth of Thuringia, was a princess of the Kingdom of Hungary, Landgravine of Thuringia, Germany, and a greatly venerated Catholic saint who was an early member of the Third Order of St. Francis, by which she is honored as its patroness.

Crown of thorns Symbol and artifact in Christianity

According to the New Testament, a woven crown of thorns was placed on the head of Jesus during the events leading up to his crucifixion. It was one of the instruments of the Passion, employed by Jesus' captors both to cause him pain and to mock his claim of authority. It is mentioned in the gospels of Matthew, Mark (15:17) and John, and is often alluded to by the early Church Fathers, such as Clement of Alexandria, Origen and others.

Gingerbread house Model house made of gingerbread

A gingerbread house is a novelty confectionery shaped like a building that is made of cookie dough, cut and baked into appropriate components like walls and roofing. The usual material is crisp ginger biscuit made of gingerbread – the ginger nut. Another type of model-making with gingerbread uses a boiled dough that can be moulded like clay to form edible statuettes or other decorations. These houses, covered with a variety of candies and icing, are popular Christmas decorations.

Swedish History Museum History museum in Stockholm, Sweden

The Swedish History Museum is a museum located in Stockholm, Sweden, that covers Swedish archaeology and cultural history from the Mesolithic period to present day. Founded in 1866, it operates as a government agency and is tasked with preserving Swedish historical items as well as making knowledge about history available to the public.


Östermalm is a 2.56 km² large district in central Stockholm, Sweden. With 71,802 inhabitants, it is one of the most populous districts in Stockholm. It is an extremely expensive area, having the highest housing prices in Sweden.

Storkyrkan Swedish cathedral

Storkyrkan, also called Stockholms domkyrka and Sankt Nikolai kyrka, is the oldest church in Stockholm. Storkyrkan lies in the centre of Stockholm in Gamla stan, between Stockholm Palace and Stortorget, the old main square of Stockholm. It was consecrated to Saint Nicholas in 1306 but construction of the church probably started in the 13th century. Inside, Storkyrkan still maintains much of its late medieval appearance in the form of a hall church with a vaulted ceiling supported by brick pillars. The exterior of the church is however uniformly Baroque in appearance, the result of extensive changes made in the 18th century. The church played an important role during the Reformation in Sweden as the place where Mass was celebrated in Swedish for the first time. It currently serves as the seat of the Bishop of Stockholm within the Church of Sweden since the creation of the Diocese of Stockholm in 1942.

Hedal Stave Church

Hedalen Stave Church is a stave church located at the settlement of Hedalen in the municipality of Sør-Aurdal in Innlandet, Norway.

Nationalmuseum National Gallery

Nationalmuseum is the national gallery of Sweden, located on the peninsula Blasieholmen in central Stockholm.

St. Elizabeths Church, Marburg

St. Elizabeth's Church in Marburg, Germany, was built by the Order of the Teutonic Knights in honour of St. Elizabeth of Hungary. Her tomb made the church an important pilgrimage destination during the late Middle Ages.

Beheading of John the Baptist biblical event and holy day observed by various Christian churches

The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist, also known as the Decollation of Saint John the Baptist or the Beheading of the Forerunner, is a biblical event and holy day observed by various Christian churches that follow liturgical traditions. The day commemorates the martyrdom by beheading of Saint John the Baptist on the orders of Herod Antipas through the vengeful request of his step-daughter Salome and her mother Herodias.


Lejonbacken is a system of ramps leading up to the northern entrance of the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden. They were built during the 1780s named after the pair of sculpted Medici lions prominently exposed on the stone railings of the ramps.

Swedish National Heritage Board

The Swedish National Heritage Board is a Swedish government agency responsible for World Heritage Sites and other national heritage monuments and historical environments. It is governed by the Ministry of Culture.

Jan van Wavere

Jan Van Wavere was an influential Brabantine polychromer of late gothic Brabantine altarpieces, mainly produced in the Brabantine towns of Antwerp, Brussels and Mechelen. During the 15th–16th century, over 1000 altarpieces were traded and exported to many European countries. More than 300 complete examples of Brabantine altarpieces can still be found in museums and churches all over Europe, from the Baltic countries down to Spain.

Hedwig glass

Hedwig glasses or Hedwig beakers are a type of glass beaker originating in the Middle East or Norman Sicily and dating from the 10th-12th centuries AD. They are named after the Silesian princess Saint Hedwig (1174–1245), to whom three of them are traditionally said to have belonged. So far, a total of 14 complete glasses are known. The exact origin of the glasses is disputed, with Egypt, Iran and Syria all suggested as possible sources; if they are not of Islamic manufacture they are certainly influenced by Islamic glass. Probably made by Muslim craftsmen, some of the iconography is Christian, suggesting they may have been made for export or for Christian clients. The theory that they instead originate from Norman Sicily in the 11th century was first fully set out in a book in 2005 by Rosemarie Lierke, and has attracted some support from specialists.

Lena Liepe Swedish art historian

Lena Liepe, born 1962, is a Swedish art historian, who since 2017 is professor in art history at Linnaeus University, Sweden. She has worked at the University of Lund, Sweden, University of Tromsø, Norway and University of Oslo, Norway. Her main research areas are medieval art history, art theory and method, genus perspective on medieval art, and icelandic medieval illuminated manuscripts. In her research she has focused on how museums in Sweden grew out of 19th century displays of medieval church art, and for the moment she completes a major work on the importance of relics in medieval church art. Her broad approach to the studies of medieval art and illuminations have had a deep impact in the Nordic research in the different areas she has covered, and she has also been recognized internationally.

Broe helmet Iron Age helmet

The Broe helmet is a decorated iron helmet from around the Vendel Period. Discovered around 1904 in a cremation grave in Broe, a farm on the Swedish island Gotland, it was located alongside other items including fragments of shields, weapons, bridles, and game pieces. Due to its extremely fragmented condition, only an incomplete reconstruction of the helmet is possible, but it appears to have been an example of the "crested helmets" that flourished in England and Scandinavia from the sixth through eleventh centuries.

Viklau Madonna 12th-century wooden statuette

The Viklau Madonna is a late 12th-century wooden Madonna, probably made on Gotland in present-day Sweden. The statuette is one of the best-preserved 12th-century wooden statuettes from Europe. Named after the medieval Viklau Church where it was originally located, it was bought by the Swedish History Museum in 1928 and is today in the museum in Stockholm. In 2017, it was discovered that a relic had been placed inside the statuette. The statuette depicts Mary, wearing gilded clothes and a golden crown, sitting on a tall chair. Originally, the Madonna was depicted holding the infant Christ in her arms, but this part of the sculpture has been lost.


  1. "Guldrummet - Krigsbyten" (in Swedish). Swedish History Museum . Retrieved 2 October 2016.
  2. "Elisabethrelikvariet" (in Swedish). Nationalencyclopedin. Retrieved 2 October 2016.