Friday, 23 November 2012
As part of my efforts to make friends, I joined the PWC club in Stavanger (more on that later.) One of their regular activities is exploring different parts of the city. This week, I joined them on a guided tour of the Stavanger Cathedral.
Stavanger Domkirke is the oldest cathedral in all of Norway, with construction starting in 1100 and finishing somewhere around 1150 although the city uses 1125 as the year it was founded. Before this, the same location is thought to have been the site of rituals and sacrifice pre-Christianity in Norway and then a small church. The cathedral itself has undergone many renovations over the years - first in the late 1200's when Stavanger was ravaged by fire, again in the 1800's and finally again in the late 1900's.
Originally, the cathedral was built with a dirt floor. Wealthier patrons were able to purchase grave sites inside the church making the floor quite uneven due to graves and gravestones. Later, everyone was moved outside to a graveyard surrounding the cathedral and even later, moved again to a larger graveyard further away. The interior is a mix of Roman and Gothic styles and it features work by different Norwegian artists.
While it wasn't the most impressive cathedral I've ever been in, it's fascinating to learn about the early history of this city we get to call home.