Oddernes Church

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Oddernes Church
Oddernes kirke
Oddernes kirke B.JPG
View of the church
Oddernes Church is located in Vest-Agder
Oddernes Church
Oddernes Church
Location in of the church
Oddernes Church is located in Norway
Oddernes Church
Oddernes Church
Oddernes Church (Norway)
58°09′35″N 8°00′48″E / 58.1597°N 08.0134°E / 58.1597; 08.0134Coordinates: 58°09′35″N 8°00′48″E / 58.1597°N 08.0134°E / 58.1597; 08.0134
LocationKristiansand, Vest-Agder
DenominationChurch of Norway
Previous denominationCatholic Church
ChurchmanshipEvangelical Lutheran
StatusParish church
DedicationSt Olaf
Functional statusActive
Completedc. 1040
DeaneryKristiansand prosti
DioceseAgder og Telemark

Oddernes Church (Norwegian: Oddernes kirke) is a parish church in Kristiansand municipality in Vest-Agder county, Norway. It is located in the district of Lund in the borough of Lund in the city of Kristiansand. The church is part of the Oddernes parish in the Kristiansand arch-deanery in the Diocese of Agder og Telemark. The white, stone church was built around the year 1040, making it the oldest building in the city of Kristiansand. The chancel has rubble walls and a semi-circular apse, testifying to the church's medieval origins. The newer additions such as the tower are made out of wood. The church was the main church for the old municipality of Oddernes which existed from 1838 until 1965. The church seats about 395 people.[1][2]

North of the church is a parish house.


Before the church[edit]

Findings in burial mounds in the area testify to a settlement dating back to AD 400. It is also believed that there was a royal residence in Oddernes prior to the year 800. Some historians believe there was once a wooden church or stave church on the site where the present stone church is located. Before the Protestant Reformation, the church was dedicated St. Olaf.

Rune stone[edit]

A rune stone (now located in the porch) that originally stood in the churchyard shows the site has been central to the community even earlier in view of its possible reference to St. Olaf.

Royal gift[edit]

In the 1630s the church was extended by 8 metres (26 ft) after a gift of funds from King Christian IV in connection with a visit in 1635. The money was used for major repairs in 1642-1644 and in 1699 for constructing the bell tower. There are three bells in the tower, the oldest from the 13th century.


The organ, altarpiece, pulpit, and tower were all the result of gifts from the first Mayor of Kristiansand, Christen Nielssøn Wendelboe and wife. The pulpit is made in a classical baroque style.

The minstrels' gallery facing the church room along the north side of the church is built in a simple Renaissance style. It has 44 segments with images of prophets, apostles, and allegorical figures.

A new interior was installed in the church in 1788 and was elaborately decorated. The decorations and embellishments of the minstrel's gallery and the walls were covered with brown paint in 1827. In 1927 the paint was removed.[3][4]

Media gallery[edit]

Parish center[edit]

The parish center is located in a separate house, built in the 1970s, about two hundred meters north of the church. There is a parish hall and the ward offices.


Kristiansand's largest cemetery surrounds the church. The cemetery has memorials of all kinds of faith. There is also a separate grave chapel adjacent to the cemetery and a congregation house which is associated with Oddernes Church.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Oddernes kirke". Kirkesøk: Kirkebyggdatabasen. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  2. ^ "Oversikt over Nåværende Kirker" (in Norwegian). KirkeKonsulenten.no. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  3. ^ Peersen, Erik, ed. (1990). Oddernes kirke 950 år (in Norwegian). Kristiansand.
  4. ^ "Oddernes Church". AgderKultur.no.