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The Legend Of Finn The Giant And How He Built Lund Cathedral in Sweden - Scandinavian Folklore

Opdateret: 7. jan.

The story about Finn the Giant is quoted from the storybooks of Lund Cathedral in Sweden and has been a mystery for hundreds of years.


Lund Cathedral, Sweden


The Tale Of Finn The Giant

A long time ago there was a holy man by the name of Saint Lawrence who preached in Lund. This was before there was a church in the town. One day, when people were standing singing psalms outdoors, the ground began to tremble and a giant came tramping along and asked with a thunderous voice what all the noise was about. Saint Lawrence explained that the congregation had to be outdoors and celebrate services of worship since there was no church. The giant offered to build a church for the people in Lund. In exchange he wanted the sun and the moon or both of Saint Lawrence's eyes. But, said the giant, if you can guess my name before I have finished building the church you won't need to pay anything.

The giant began to build the church at night, since giants cannot bear the light of the sun. He came lugging big blocks of stone which he shaped into square stones. The work proceeded quickly and Saint Lawrence guessed one name after the other, but, no matter how hard he tried he could not guess the giant's name. Soon the church was almost finished and Saint Lawrence understood that he would have to give his eyes to the giant; after all he could not bring down the sun and the moon. He became very sad and took a walk to see all the beauty around him one last time. When he got as far as Helgonabacken in Lund he began to cry from grief and cried so despairingly that his tears flew up to heaven and were transformed into glistering snow. Suddenly he thought he heard a sound that came from the ground below. He stopped crying and listened. It was a woman singing a lullaby: "Sleep, my little boy, tomorrow your father Finn will come with the saint's eyes."

Saint Lawrence ran happily down the hill to the church and called out with a loud voice: "Finn, Finn, put the last stone in!". The giant became furious and threw away the last stone. There are those who say it ended up in the vicinity of the town Kristianstad; others say it went off to Österlen.

Finn conjured himself small and ran down to the crypt and grabbed hold of one of the pillars so as to pull the whole church down. But he forgot that the sun was just rising, and when the first says of the sun found their way through the window and touched him he was turned into stone. There he stand, still today, and he will do so as long as one stone is missing from the church. But, if the church is completed then the giant will wake up and pull it down.


Since then, tradition has added to the story that Old Mrs. Finn and her son also wanted to help pull the church down and that is why they are holding onto the other pillar. They stand there still today. The story as told above is the version that is narrated in Lund Cathedral. It is important to remember that this is but one version among many.


Finn The Giant holding the pillar Finns wife Gerda and son Sölve holding another pillar



Lund Cathedral, Sweden Finns wife Gerda and son Sölve





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