Hidden treasures at Trondenes Church, the world’s northernmost medieval stone church

Trondenes Church dominates the windswept promontory staring out defiantly over the grey windswept waters. It is solid and unadorned. StarkIMG_8866 white walls and orange roof, sharp like a mountain peak, or the wooden where locals still dry their stockfish. The walls are thick: a fortress for God but also for a period, against Russian invaders. It is the world’s northern most medieval church built in the 13th Century by King Oystein on the site of two earlier wooden churches IMG_8873later added to in the 15th Century. When you step inside you see what glories it contains: three beautiful triptychs to the Virgin Mary. Exquisite carvings that seem frozen in time they are so perfect. It remains a full functioning church for the locals of the nearby town of Harstad in the diocese of Nord-Halogaland. On the day we visited, there was a small service of welcome. Eight languages raised in joy and thanks with the same hymn. IMG_8878


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