Bergen Cathedral

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Bergen Cathedral
Bergen domkirke
Catedral, Bergen, Noruega, 2019-09-08, DD 50.jpg
View of the church
Bergen Cathedral is located in Hordaland
Bergen Cathedral
Bergen Cathedral
Location in Hordaland county
Bergen Cathedral is located in Norway
Bergen Cathedral
Bergen Cathedral
Bergen Cathedral (Norway)
60°23′38″N 5°19′50″E / 60.3939°N 5.3305°E / 60.3939; 5.3305Coordinates: 60°23′38″N 5°19′50″E / 60.3939°N 5.3305°E / 60.3939; 5.3305
LocationBergen, Hordaland
DenominationChurch of Norway
Previous denominationCatholic Church
ChurchmanshipEvangelical Lutheran
StatusParish church
FoundedBefore 1181
EventsRenovated several
times, most recently
in the 1880s
Functional statusActive
Architect(s)Christian Christie
(1880s renovation)
ParishBergen domkirke
DeaneryBergen domprosti
DioceseDiocese of Bjørgvin

Bergen Cathedral (Norwegian: Bergen domkirke) is a cathedral in the city of Bergen in Hordaland county, Norway. It is the episcopal seat of the Diocese of Bjørgvin as well as the seat of the "Bergen domkirke" parish and the seat of the Bergen arch-deanery. It is part of the Church of Norway. The first recorded historical reference to this church is dated 1181. It retains its ancient dedication to Saint Olaf. The cathedral seats about 1,000 people.[1][2][3]


During the reign of King Haakon IV of Norway, a Franciscan friary was established near the church, then known as Olavskirken, or the church of Saint Olaf, which was incorporated in it. The church burned down in 1248 and again in 1270, but was reconstructed after both fires. In 1463, it burned down again, but this time it was not reconstructed until the 1550s, despite being declared the cathedral of the post-Reformation Protestant diocese in 1537.[4]

After the fires of 1623 and 1640, Bergen Cathedral received its current general appearance. The steeple on the nave was torn down, and the current tower was built. During the renovation in the 1880s, under the direction of architects Christian Christie and Peter Andreas Blix, the Rococo interiors were restored to their former medieval appearance.[5]

As part of the Second Anglo-Dutch War, the 1665 Battle of Vågen took place in the main port area of Bergen. A cannonball from the sea battle between the English and Dutch fleets remains embedded in the cathedral's exterior wall.[6][7]


The present organ at Bergen Cathedral, by Rieger Orgelbau, is from 1997. The organ is the fifth one in the cathedral's history; the first known organ was installed in 1549.[8] The cathedral is used regularly for musical concerts.

Media gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2011 edition of the cathedral tourist guide leaflet: "Welcome to Bergen Cathedral - St Olav's Church".
  2. ^ "Bergen domkirke". Kirkesøk: Kirkebyggdatabasen. Retrieved 2014-08-09.
  3. ^ "Oversikt over Nåværende Kirker" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2014-08-09.
  4. ^ Gunnar Hagen Hartvedt (1994). "Domkirken". Bergen Byleksikon: 157–158.
  5. ^ Ellen Marie Magerøy, Hans-Emil Lidén. "Bergen domkirke". Norges Kirker. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  6. ^ "Vrakrestene etter slaget på Vågen". Bergens Tidende. January 7, 2005. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  7. ^ "Bergen Domkirke". Bergenskartet. Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  8. ^ Skreien, Norvall (1999). Bergen kulturguide. Kunnskapsforlaget. p. 22. ISBN 8257309893.

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