Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Oslo Cathedral

Oslo Cathedral, or Oslo Domkirke, is the main church of the Church of Norway and the Diocese of Oslo. 
The Church of Norway was established after the Lutheran reformation broke ties with the Catholic Church in 1536 to 1537. It is a Lutheran church and a member of the Porvoo Communion (we have visited other churches that are part of the Porvoo Communion, including Copenhagen Cathedral, in which post I give more detail on the Porvoo Communion, Porvoo Cathedral in Finland, and St. Mary's Cathedral in Tallinn, Estonia). The King of Norway is the constitutional head of the church and must profess to be a Lutheran. The church is supported by the government and has 11 dioceses and 1,284 parishes. About 76% of Norwegians are members of the church, but only about 3% of the population attends church more than once a month. 
Oslo Cathedral - west entrance
bronze dome
southwest side
east side
north side
Bazaar at the eastern side
Beautiful wood outer door
An unusual granite corner sculpture that looks like it is out of Norse mythology
Oslo Cathedral was built between 1694 and 1697 (a date on the back of the church says 1696). 
It is located just off Stortorvet Square. Stained glass windows, of which there are only a few, are from 1910 to 1916, 

bronze doors at the west portal are from 1938, 
western bronze doors
Adam and Eve panel 

a wonderful silver sculpture of the Last Supper, one of my favorite decorations, is from 1930 

and ceiling decorations, very modern and perhaps the most unusual part of the cathedral, are from the late 1990s. 
They have the look of being painted on fabric

Ceiling decorations and organ pipes

The Church of Norway practices infant baptism and the baptismal font has an inlaid snake in front of it, representing, I presume, original sin which is washed away by baptism.
baptismal font

faux marble benches
altar piece
I'm not sure what the main course is at the Last Supper, but it the head of it looks like a  mountain lion.

old organ

header above a door
another door header
It is used by the Norwegian Royal Family and Norwegian Government for public events. We visited Oslo on June 27, 2011, just before the massive killings on July 22, 2011 by Anders Behring Breivik, who set off a car bomb outside the prime minister's office in Oslo, which killed 8 people, then went to the island of Utoya and killed 69 more, as well as injuring many more than that. A memorial service was held on Saturday, July 23, 2011, at Oslo Cathedral, attended by King Harald V, Queen Sonja, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and many other dignitaries and family members of massacre victims. 
Photo from LA Times
Judy did a post on Oslo, with a big section on Oslo Cathedral, on July 24, 2011, right after the massacre. 


  1. That really is a wonderful "Last Supper" depiction.
    I love the exterior of this cathedral.

  2. I agree with Chris. I love the Last Supper in this church.

    1. I love it, except for the figure of Jesus. Jesus has no expression - he looks like he's in a trance. It is the expressions on the other faces that I love.