Oslo Cathedral is located in Karl Johans Gate Street, the main street in Oslo, and it represents the main church for the Norwegian Church Diocese in Oslo, whereas the Royal Family of Norway and the Government of Norway use it for weddings and funerals. There existed two cathedrals before this church was built. The first of them, Hallward Cathedral, was built by Norwegian King Sigurd I in the first half of the 12th century. Hallward Cathedral was the most important church in town for almost 500 years. The second cathedral was built in 1639 by Hellig Trefoldighket. This cathedral burned down only 50 years later, and the current cathedral was built to replace the former one. The current one dates back to 1694-1697, and, according to certain sources, the cathedral contains several objects which belonged to older churches.
The church was probably designed by Jørgen Viggers, a state counselor. The building’s look is much simpler than that of other buildings in the city. There is a decorated and carved portal on the facade of the building, whereas the bronze door was created by the sculptor Dagfin Werenskiold. Its main characteristic is the bell tower on the dome with a few bells. There is a 12th century relief from Hallward Cathedral from the entrance to the right which depicts beasts attacking a man.
The Church was known as the Church of the Savior. In August 2001, the Cathedral was the place where Prince Haakon and Princess Mette-Marit Tjessem Høibi got married.
The Royal Family of Norway and the Government of Norway use the Cathedral for hosting public events. Oslo Cathedral contains the elements of neo-Gothic and baroque design. For the purpose of renovation, the church was closed in August 2006, and opened in April 2010 in the presence of Norwegian King Harald V and the Royal Family of Norway.
Norwegian name for the Cathedral is Oslo Domkirke. The Great Mass is held on Sundays.
The entrance to the Cathedral is free of charge.
The church tour with a tourist guide needs to be booked in advance.
Author of the text:
Maja Glavaš, Bachelor with Honours in Communicology. Works in Tourism.
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Photo credit: Tord Baklund/VisitOSLO