Kirkeparken, Tromso, Norway
Tromsø Domkirke Tromso Reviews
Norway's only wooden Cathedral Oct 02, 2013
The first church in Tromsø was built as a royal chapel by Håkon Håkonsson in 1252 AD. It belonged to the king and not the Catholic church. This church formed a northern bondary of the Catholic Norway, and was the worlds northernmost church. A new church was built in 1711. This church was relocated in 1803 in order that a newer church could be built. Tromsø Domkirke, or Tromsø Cathedral, was then built in 1861, and is Norway's only wooden cathedral. The interior was not finished until 1880. The cathedral is built in the New Gothic style and was designed by Christian Heinrich Grosch, who designed many Norwegian churches.
The cathedral is located in the very centre of Tromsø where there, from the Middle Age until the first half of the 19th century, was a graveyard. Some old graves can still be seen on the north east side of the cathedral. It had a capacity of 984 seats, but some benches have been removed and it can now seat 618 people. The interior is all wood, with galleries on both sides. It is painted in a yellow and beige earth colour.
The mural behind the alter was painted by Chr. Bruun in 1884 and depicts the resurrection. Below the mural is a verse from the Gospel according to John, the words of Jesus - "I am the resurrection and the life". (John 14:6). The baptismal font is made of marble and has an inscription that says "Unless a man is born of water and the spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God." (John 3:5).
The stained-glass in the cathedral was installed in 1960 and is designed by Per Vigeland. The organ, built by Claus Jensen in 1863, has a uniquely soft tonal quality. Originally it had 23 tunes. In 1959 this organ was enlarged, a project that was less than successful. It is now under restoration in order to return this valuable instrument to its original condition.
To the right of the altar is a triptych - three pictures paneled together in context - painted by the artist Bente Elisabeth Endresen in 2008. It depicts the Creation.
Tromsø Domkirke is open every Sunday during service. In June and July there are classical conserts every Thursday.
I have been to Tromsø many times during the past 15 years, but I have never seen the cathedral open during the week until today. It was my first visit. Volunteers keep it open when the Hurtigruten ship is in town, to make it available for tourists. The church office behind the cathedral has the schedule. Entrance is free and there are information sheets in Norwegian, English, German and Russian, which you can borrow while you wander around.
The Tromsø Domkirke is definitely worth a visit.
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!