Magnus Cathedral

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Ruins of St. Magnus Cathedral
The St. Magnus Cathedral in 1839

St. Magnus Cathedral is a ruined cathedral in the village of Kirkjubøur on the island of Streymoy in the Faroe Islands. Bishop Erlendur started construction in about the year 1300. However, the building was never completed, because it was never roofed. The cathedral remains in an unfinished state to this day. St. Magnus Cathedral is the largest medieval building in the Faroe Islands.

Conservation work[edit]

Conservation work on the Cathedral started in 1997, as it became clear that the ruin was deteriorating at a rapid pace, with more and more mortar falling away due to the elements, mostly from rain, but also salty sea air and sea water.

During 2002-2004, a wooden shed was erected around most of the ruin, giving it enough shelter to dry out, before work could begin on preservation. The shed drew considerable criticism because of its looks.

During the research into how to preserve the ruin, a conclusion was reached. No outward reconstruction would be made, and instead ongoing preservation work would be implemented, where the mortar would be reinforced from time to time. In addition, all horizontal surfaces, where water could seep in, would be "soft capped" with mortar and clay before being topped with sod and grass. This work began in 2010.

Today considerable headway has been made. Large sections of the shedding have been removed[1] and work is expected to be finished in the not too distant future.

While it is hoped that the St. Magnus Cathedral will be accepted as a UNESCO World heritage Site, the prospect is not very certain.[2]

Pictures of the ruins of the St. Magnus Cathedral were featured on a series of Faroese stamps in 1988:


Coordinates: 61°57′21″N 6°47′36″W / 61.95583°N 6.79333°W / 61.95583; -6.79333