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.

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Founded: c. 1024
Category: Religious sites in Norway

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