Moster Old Church

Mosterhamn, Norway

According to the Icelandic recorder of sagas, Snorre, Olav Trygvason docked at Moster in 995 following his voyage across the North Sea from England, in order to become king of Norway. Here he celebrated mass and founded a Church, and Saint Olav and his bishops held Ting (court) here in the year 1024. Moster Church is thought to be the Norwegian village Church with the longest antiquarian history. In 1874 the Society of Historic Monuments (Fortidsminneforeningen) purchased the church, probably the Norwegian rural church with the longest antiquarian history. Moster Church is one of the simplest church buildings in Norway with a square choir and a rectangular nave. Included in the guided tour of Moster Amfi.

High on the walls of the nave and chancel you can see what remains of some early Renaissance frescos, probably from around 1600. The frescos on the lower part of the nave and chancel walls must be rather more recent, probably from the 1630s. Light, supple rows of fruit surround the area depicting biblical scenes, most of which are no longer visible. In the nave there are some rectangular, framed areas that were probably intended to hold epitaphs or commemorative plaques.

A medieval bell from the 13th century is suspended from the church ceiling. It is engraved with a figure of St. Olav and the inscription. In other respects, the interior of the church is a typical 17th-century interior. The pulpit is from 1637. The pews, the altar piece and the balcony front with representations of the apostles also date from the 17th century. The baptismal font, originally with a silver bowl, was presented to the church in 1722 by Captain Busch and the officers of the East India vessel 'ANNA SOPHIA' that had been in distress at sea.



Your name


Founded: c. 1024
Category: Religious sites in Norway


5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jan Kornstad (14 months ago)
This was in the middle of the corona feast and everything was closed. Mosterhamn historically was where it is said that Olav Tryggvason in 998, first came sailing into Bømlasundet after being saved down on the continent. And evil tongues were cut off according to the sog. But it is a nice building.
Terje Skjerdal (2 years ago)
One of the most important cities in our history. Testifies to the radical transition from åsatru to Christianity. On the stone outside the church walls, Christian law was introduced in 1024. In this city, many a king has seen his mark. Guided tour of the church in the summer at 12.30 and 14.00 (2020). A little difficult to find a ticket window, but they sell tickets in the cafe. It says that the church is simple, but inside it is richly decorated. A quarter of a century has seen a mark in different ways.
Rudi Brochs (2 years ago)
Here we get old Norwegian Viking history at its best.
Stian Frimannslund (3 years ago)
Norway's oldest church. Has been taken care of over the years. Nice area around with lots of history
Petter Jakub Økland (ErgoPoe) (3 years ago)
Grew up in the area, so I'm biased. Oldest chrurch in Norway as far as I'm aware.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Medieval Walls of Avila

The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.

The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.