Fredriksvern Church

Larvik, Norway

Fredriksvern Church is located in the town of Stavern in the municipality of Larvik. In 1748, it was decided to build a shipyard and fleet base of the Royal Navy of Denmark-Norway in what is now the town of Stavern. The construction of the shipyard and naval base began in 1750. Soon after, plans were made to build a church for the local naval garrison. The church was designed by Michael Johan Herbst, who was commandant of the new Fredriksvern naval base, and the church was built in 1753-1756. The new church was consecrated on 31 March 1756, the birthday of King Frederik V, after whom the facility is named.

The building has a cruciform design and it is built of plastered brick and it has a hipped roof. A sacristy was built in 1760. The church is said to be a masterpiece of Rococo design in Norway. Despite this, it has a couple of quirks that were supposedly necessary to secure funding. As part of the naval base, it was supposed to be able to serve as a multipurpose building with grain storage in the attic (hence the visible air ducts in the roof). It was also supposed to function as a temporary leprosarium when needed, thus the pews had fold-down backs to become make-shift beds when needed. On the outside, it has a clockwork that was installed one year after its consecration. There were originally several clocks, but there were problems with the drive mechanism, so only the clock above the main entrance has been preserved.

The church is located just outside the naval base fortifications and it is surrounded by the cemetery, which is divided into several fields. Until 1799, the cemetery was reserved for the military and followed a strict order of rank, while civilians were buried at the nearby Tanum Church cemetery. In 1986, the Torsrød cemetery was built about 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) to the west of the church, on the edge of town, to serve as the new cemetery for the church since the old cemetery was too small.



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Founded: 1753-1756
Category: Religious sites in Norway

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User Reviews

Rasko Simovic (2 years ago)
A very picturesque church from the 18th century. The walls are red and yellow. Above the entrance is the coat of arms of Fredrik 5. There is also a cemetery behind the church.
Per G (3 years ago)
Fredriksvern Church (Stavern Church) from 1756 is the first garrison church in Norway, and with its yellow and red walls in Rococo style is a worthy representative of the country's church buildings from this period. Fredriksvern Verft was built in 1750, and the church was then built as a garrison church and consecrated six years later. The church is built in rococo style from Dutch brick, and has a dark blue exterior, glazed roof. Because salt from the brick caused damage to the walls, the walls were whitewashed inside and out. Today's appearance is a rehabilitation of the church from the 1880s, when the original colors were restored. The floor is shaped like a cross, and Fredriksvern church has the two-storey large altarpiece that it received for the consecration in 1756. The church has a hipped roof. Above the entrance door is Fredrik V.'s mirror monogram in typical rococo style, and on the outside is still the mechanical clockwork from 1756 which is wound twice a week. Would have liked to see inside but it was closed when I was there.
Ragnar Tollefsen (4 years ago)
Fredriksvern Church is Norway's first garrison church, which was completed in 1756. A very special church with a well-kept cemetery. Fredrik 5's coat of arms is placed above the entrance. Concerts are held here regularly.
Nina Enger Aas (5 years ago)
Nice old church.
Nadeem Younus (6 years ago)
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