Cathedral Ruins in Hamar

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For the current cathedral in Hamar, see Hamar cathedral.

Photograph of the ruins
Axel Lindahl, 1890s
The Old Cathedral Church in Hamar
Olaf Nordhagen

Hamar Cathedral was the see of the Ancient Diocese of Hamar. The diocese at Hamar had included much of the (modern) counties of Hedmark, Oppland, and Buskerud.[1]

Bishop Arnaldur (1124–52) returned to Norway in 1150 from Gardar, Greenland and was appointed first Bishop of Hamar. He began to build the cathedral, which was completed about the time of Bishop Paul (1232–52). Bishop Thorfinn of Hamar (1278–82) was exiled and died at Ter Doest in Flanders. Thorfinn and many other bishops of the area disagreed with the sitting King Eric II of Norway regarding a number of issues, including episcopal elections. Bishop Jörund (1285–86) was transferred to Trondhjem.

In the aftermath of the Reformation in Norway, the structure was renamed Hamarhus fortress and made into the residence of the sheriff. The cathedral was still used but fell into disrepair culminating with the Swedish army’s siege and attempted demolition in 1567, during the Northern Seven Years' War. Swedish forces had launched attacks into Eastern Norway, capturing Hamar and continued towards Oslo. The Swedes later retreated, torching Hamar on their way, destroying Hamar Cathedral and Hamarhus.[2]

Today the ruins of Hamar Cathedral form a part of the Hedmark museum (Hedmarksmuseet), which lies in Hamar, Hedmark, Norway. The ruins of what remain of the Hamar cathedral, were originally built in Romanesque architecture and later converted to Gothic architecture. The distinctive arches in the cathedral ruins are covered in one of the most ambitious construction projects of its kind undertaken by the Norwegian government.[3]



Other sources[edit]

  • Brunsvik, Hilde En guide til Oslo domkirke (2003)

Coordinates: 60°47′31″N 11°02′18″E / 60.79201°N 11.03840°E / 60.79201; 11.03840