Stavanger Cathedral

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Coordinates: 58°58′11″N 5°43′59″E / 58.969787°N 5.733162°E / 58.969787; 5.733162

Stavanger Cathedral
The Cathedral of Saint Swithun
Norwegian: Stavanger domkirke
Stavanger Cathedral
Location Stavanger
Country Norway
Denomination Church of Norway
Previous denomination Roman Catholic
Founded c.1100
Founder(s) Bishop Reinald
Dedication St Swithun
Status Active
Functional status Cathedral
Architectural type Church
Style Romanesque/Gothic
Diocese Stavanger
Bishop(s) Erling Johan Pettersen

Stavanger Cathedral (Stavanger domkirke) is Norway's oldest cathedral. It is situated in the middle of Stavanger, and is the seat of the Diocese of Stavanger.


Bishop Reinald, who may have come from Winchester, is said to have started construction of the Cathedral around 1100. It was finished around 1150, and the city of Stavanger counts 1125 as its year of foundation. The Cathedral was consecrated to Swithin as its patron saint. Saint Swithun was an early Bishop of Winchester and subsequently patron saint of Winchester Cathedral. [1]

Stavanger was ravaged by fire in 1272, and the Cathedral suffered heavy damage. It was rebuilt under bishop Arne, and the Romanesque Cathedral was enlarged in the Gothic style.

In 1682, king Christian V decided to move Stavanger's episcopal seat to Kristiansand. However, on Stavanger's 800th anniversary in 1925, king Haakon VII instated Jacob Christian Petersen as Stavanger's first bishop in nearly 250 years.

During a renovation in the 1860s, the Cathedral's exterior and interior was considerably altered. The stone walls were plastered, and the Cathedral lost much of its medieval looks. A major restoration led by Gerhard Fischer in 1939-1964 partly reversed those changes. The latest major restoration of the Cathedral was conducted in 1999. Andrew Lawrenceson Smith is famous for his works here.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ancient See of Stavanger (Catholic Encyclopedia)

External links[edit]