The Well, for Lund Cathedral, Sweden - CODAworx

The Well, for Lund Cathedral, Sweden

Submitted by Erika Lagerbielke

Client: Lund Cathedral, Sweden

Location: Lund, Sweden

Completion date: 2023

Project Team


Erika Lagerbielke

Erika Lagerbielke & Co AB

Canon Precentor

Lena Sjostrand

The Cathedral of Lund

Producer of glass

Kosta glassworks

Orrefors Kosta Boda Ab


The artwork “The Well” is placed in the altar in the crypt of the Romanesque Lund Cathedral in southern Sweden. It’s a cast glass relief in the shape of a rectangular disc which encapsulates a mouthblown glass roundel in blue with a swirly white pattern. The roundel appears to float above a recessed cruciform placed at the base of the relief. The artwork is placed over an existing cavity in the 900-year-old limestone altar table. The vision was to create a work that embodied the feeling of dipping one’s hand in a well. The work relates to water and to baptism, inspired by the dedication of the altar in 1123 to John the Baptist and the Patriarchs and Prophets. The commission was to create an art piece as a cover disc, a “tabula”, for the former reliquary in the altar. Great care was taken to enhance the three-dimensional expression of the work, partly through the design of the relief cruciform, partly by encapsulating the blue roundel, both enhancing a sense of depth in the work.


The purpose of the work was to visualize the history of the medieval altar. The commission was open except for the format and materiality, glass was a given material hence the possibilities with its transparency. The purpose of the work was to visualize the history of the Romanesque altar where the original reliquary was of great importance. The relics disappeared at the time of the Reformation, in the first part of the 16th century, and the original cover disc in stone is also long gone. In connection to the 900-year anniversary in 2023 of the inaugurations of the altar, it was the wish of The Lund Cathedral Council to honor the altar's history by covering the original cavity with a glass disc making the reliquary semi visible and thus visualizing its history.


A work that is placed in an altar has a special position that requires thoughtful design in close consultation with the client. Through several study visits and conversations with representatives of the cathedral, explicit and implicit expectations of the work were explored. It was noted, among other things, that it was desirable for the work to have a simplistic expression and to be perceived as integrated with the altar. It was a demand for the relief to be placed flush in the altar table.