The Arctic Cathedral

I promised you to share some of my experiences in Tromsø, Norway. Here is a masterpiece by Jan Inge Hovig. Built in 1965 and reflecting North Norwegian nature, culture and faith, with a monumental stained glass window.

“The Arctic Cathedral” is a name often given, but it’s actually an ordinary Lutheran church. Perhaps because it has become a major tourist attraction in Tromsø. The large, angular formation and the light colour can easily be associated with an iceberg. The frontal part of the building is 35 metres high. Along its length there are concrete columns that reach all the way to the ground. These angled columns are covered with a cladding of lacquered aluminium plates.

The interior lighting is positioned such that it lights the outside of these plates as well as the inside of the church, giving a special effect. The ground area of the main church hall is 900 square metres, with seating for 720 people. The lower floor, or cellar, has an area of 1020 square metres. The organ has 22 voices and 124 keys (electro pneumatic wind chest and register). It is situated by the west gallery – the picture at the right hand side.

The stained glass window was unveiled 25 June 1972. The window is 23 metres high and covers an area of 140 square metres. The shape is triangular and covers the entire east wall. 11 tons of glass was used to finish the window. Each glass element comprises of 86 rectangular sections that form a complete whole. The man behind this work of art is Viktor Sparre. He envisaged Tromsdalen church as a “building without a soul” unless the proclamation of Christ was clearly brought through in the construction of the church itself.
I use my Nokia mobile phone to capture my experiences – please click on the pics to enlarge. And there will be more in the days to come :-)