View of the church
|Denomination||Church of Norway|
|Previous denomination||Catholic Church|
|Diocese||Agder 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.
North of the church is a parish house.
Before the church
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.
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.
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.
Former location of the Oddernes stone.
Source: Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage
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.