Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Trondenes Church, Norway

Trondenes Church is the northernmost medieval stone church in Europe, situated in Harstad, Norway, north of the Arctic Circle. For ages it was the northernmost church in Christendom.
Location: 68°49N, 16°33′ E

The plan is of the ancient type, with a choir narrower than the nave, but surprisingly of the same length.

The present day church dates back to the 13th century, and was built over the ruins of two older viking stave (wooden) churches ( 11th -12th cent.), after the vikings lost the battle against the unification of Norway . It displays both romanic and gothic styles: arched doorways and thick walls, a fortification against russian assaults.

Main door

Side door

The organ dates from the late 18th century. In the choir section, one can see remnants of medieval frescoes.

The church is especially known for it's rich decorations, including three gothic triptychs of hanseatic origin, probably from Lübeck.

Detail from the altarpiece: veneration of Mary.

The beautiful baroque pulpit (1762,
rococo style) is equipped with an hourglass to allow the minister to time long sermons:

Trondenes church is well preserved and the exterior is close to the original state.

In the late Medieval period, Trondenes served as the main church centre of northern Norway. Together with Trondheim´s magnificent Nidaros cathedral, they make the most valuable legacy of medieval architecture in Norway.

They also testimony Norway's economic importance in late Middle Age, for the skills and means their building demanded. The dried fish trade between the Hanseatic towns in the North and Baltic Seas may be the origin of that norwegian wealth.

Trondenes in winter:

Location map: