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Best Religious Sites in Oslo

By: Cityseeker
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Oslo Domkirke

Many of the cathedral's contents date back to 1697, the year the building was consecrated. Alexis de Chateauneuf, the architect of the Trefoldighetskirke, restored the cathedral between 1849 and 1850, and further work was done on the structure from 1948 to 1950. The cathedral is located close to Stortorget in the center of Oslo. King Harald and Queen Sonja were married here, as were Crown Prince Haakon Magus and Mette-Marit. The cathedral is also used for concerts and the crypt house exhibitions. Admission is free.

Oslo, Norway
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Trinity Church

In 1849 Hamburg's great city planner Alexis de Chateauneuf won the competition to build a church for the Congregation of the Trinity. The building has a cruciform plan, crowned at the center with a copper-plated dome and a lantern at the apex. The Church of the Trinity was consecrated in 1858 and the entrance staircase was added in 1883. Inside you will find an altarpiece depicting Christ being baptized and a marble baptismal font. The church was re-consecrated in 1958 and after a thorough renovation was re-opened to the public in 1997.

Oslo, Norway
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Old Aker Church

Gamle Aker Kirke is one of Oslo's oldest building, constructed on a countryside hill around the early first century, using limestone quarried from the nearby cemetery. The expansion of the city has caught up with the church, and now it lies only a ten-minute walk from the Royal Palace. The Baroque bishop's throne and baptismal font date from 1715. Today's austere stone walls were uncovered in the 1952 to 1955 restoration. Attending Mass here still takes your mind back to medieval times. During World War II, Queen Maud's sarcophagus was hidden from the Nazis inside this church.

Oslo, Norway
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Paulus Church

Originally a working-class area, in the last years Grünerlkka has become renowned throughout Norway for its street-life as well as its large and ever-increasing number of restaurants and bars. One of the things that remains the same is the Sunday morning toll of the bells in the local church. Paulus Kirke, a Neo-Gothic brick building consecrated in 1892, was constructed by architect Henrik Bull as part of a popular overall design that included the public park of Birkelunden and the public primary school on the opposite side. For this reason the church has the peculiarity of a main entrance facing west, above which is the belfry. Up to 800 churchgoers can be seated in the spacious interior. Occasionally the church hosts Forum Gatherings, where representatives of religions as varied as Buddhism, Islam or ancient Norse beliefs gather to debate and exchange ideas. The altar painting was made by Christen Brun, and the statue of Christ is a replica modeled by Gunnar O. Alvr of an artwork by Danish sculptor Thorvaldsen.

Oslo, Norway
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Mosque in Åkebergveien

Oslo's more than 30 Muslim congregations have some 36,000 registered members; currently, there are 18 mosques and another three are under construction. This is the first one to have been purpose-built. The building is truly spectacular, with soaring minarets; mosaics executed by famous Iranian craftsmen embellish the facade and the interior. Construction started in 1991 and the mosque was finished in 1995. It belongs to the World Islamic Mission, a London-based Sunni missionary movement originating in the Punjabi countryside, with an accent on Sufi mysticism. Still, the friendly congregation welcomes everyone. Guided tours are now available for interested groups of 50, the duration of which is 45 minutes.

Oslo, Norway
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Gol Stave Church

Stave Church is easily Norway's most significant contribution to the world's religious architecture the closest thing to Gothic cathedrals in this country. Elsewhere in Europe, this structure allowed for large bay windows and luminous interiors; here, light is admitted only through narrow peep-holes, a fact that can be explained by the cold climate as well as in terms of the Norwegian idea of light. As they were made entirely of wood, stave churches were tarred every three years, otherwise there would not be as many as 28 of them still standing. In 1880, the dilapidated Gol Stave Church was moved to the Bygdy peninsula and restored at the expense of King Oscar II, to embellish his then newly opened outdoor museum. Attending the regular Lutheran service or the occasional Roman Catholic Mass held here is a memorable experience. Services are held on Sundays at 1.15p while Catholic mass is held only occasionally.

Oslo, Norway
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Holmenkollen Chapel

Beautifully set next to the small mountain lake at the Holmenkollen ski jump, this log chapel was designed by architect Holger Sinding-Larsen in 1903, in a Nationalist style inspired by medieval stave churches. It was built to seat up to 300 students, but nowadays the congregation is more likely to consist of the elegant residents of this upmarket neighborhood. The chapel is popular for weddings. Old as it may appear, the actual church is in fact a copy made in 1996 of the original which was destroyed in a fire some years before.

Oslo, Norway
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