Tanum church was probably built between 1100-1130 and enlarged in the early 1700s. The restoration took place in 1900s. In 1674, the Krefting family built a sacristy with burial chambers beneath it on the north side of the chancel. However, this soon became too small, and in 1713 a larger burial chapel was built on the north side of the church, wall to wall with the sacristy. In total, around 40 members of the family were laid to rest in these two tombs. The church was expanded in 1722 and restored in the 1970s.
The richly decorated interior is well-preserved. There are unique 14th century mural paintings. A bell in the tower and two Gothic sculptures are preserved from the Middle Ages. The altarpiece you find in the church today is from 1631, and the font from the beginning of the 1800s.
Tanum church has been a popular subject for many artists. Harriet Backer immortalized the interior of the old Tanum church several times. The most famous painting is 'Baptism in Tanum Church' (Barnedåp i Tanum kirke) from 1892. You can see the painting in The National Gallery (Nasjonalgalleriet) in Oslo.
The church and cemetery have been located to the ancient pagan worship site. There are Iron age burial mounds near the church.References:
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.