Oslo Cathedral - History and Facts | History Hit

Oslo Cathedral

Oslo, Oslo, Norway

Oslo Cathedral is a 17th century Dutch Baroque style church in a cruciform shape.

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About Oslo Cathedral

Oslo Cathedral (Oslo Domkirke) is a 17th century Dutch Baroque style church in a cruciform shape. Whilst the ground works for Oslo Cathedral began in 1692, it was consecrated on 7 November 1697 and originally named the Church of Our Saviour.

Before Oslo Cathedral, the city had had two cathedrals: one from the 12th century, the second from the first half of the 17th century.

History of Oslo Cathedral

The current Oslo Cathedral is the third Cathedral in Oslo, Norway, and is the main church for the Church of Norway Diocese of Oslo, as well as the parish church for downtown Oslo.

After a great fire in 1624 which destroyed the city’s former main cathedral, Hallvards Cathedral, King Christian IV decided to move the city a few kilometres west in order to be protected by the Akershus Fortress.

Construction of a new church began in 1632 on the main square in the new city, with a second being built in 1639, which burned down after only 50 years. The current cathedral was built on a small rocky outcrop in the east end, with the foundation stone being laid in 1694, and it being consecrated in 1697.

The cathedral was restored between 1848 and 1850 after a plan by German-born architect, Heinrich Ernst Schirmer. It was also later restored in time for the city’s 900 anniversary in 1950, with the neo-gothic interior being removed and the original baroque style and furnishings being brought back.

It was also further closed in 2006 for restoration, and was opened in April 2010 in the presence of King Harald V of Norway and the Norwegian royal family, who, along with the Norwegian Government, use the cathedral for weddings and funerals, with Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit Tjessem Høiby using it for their wedding in 2001.

Oslo Cathedral Today

Today, visitors can admire the stunning cathedral which symbolises a blend of Oslo’s both old and contemporary history, architecture, and artwork.

The pulpit, altar piece and organ font with acanthus carvings are all originals. The large ceiling murals were painted by Hugo Lous Mohr between 1936 and 1950, with the stained glass windows being completed by Emanuel Vigeland.

The church has mass in Norwegian on weekdays and high mass every Sunday, and is regularly used for concerts. Guided tours of the church are recommended, but must be booked in advance.

Getting to Oslo Cathedral

Oslo Cathedral is a short 6 minute walk from the centre of Oslo, via the Storgata. It’s also reachable in around 3 minutes by car via the Møllergata.

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