Trondenes Church

sights / Religious

Trondenes Church information

Location
Harstad , Norway
Prices
guided tours in English adult/child Nkr40/20
Opening hours
tours 5pm Jun-early Aug
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Trondenes Church , just north of the historical centre, was built by King Øystein around 1150, after Viking chieftains lost the battle against the unification of Norway under a Christian regime. For ages it was the northernmost church in Christendom – and still lays claim to being Norway’s northernmost stone church. Originally of wood, the current stone structure replaced it around 1250 and quickly came to double as a fortification against Russian aggression. Its jewels are the three finely wrought altars at the east end, all venerating Mary. Most interesting is the central one of the Virgin surrounded by her extended family with infants in arms and children tugging at skirts on all sides. Glance up too at the pair of trumpet-wielding cherubs, precariously perched atop the main pillars of the rood screen. Entry is free between tour visits – if, that is, you can get in; absurdly for one of northern Norway’s major cultural sights, it’s often locked.