Oddernes Church is the oldest building in Kristiansand from c. 1040. It was originally built of stone and the tower was later made of wood. The chancel has rubble walls and a semi-circular apse. In the 1630s the church was extended by 8 meters after a gift of funds from King Christian IV in connection with a visit in 1635. The money was used for major repairs in the years 1642-1644 and in 1699 for constructing the bell tower. There are three bells in the tower, the oldest from the 13th century.
The organ, altarpiece, pulpit and the tower were all the result of gifts from the first Mayor of Kristiansand, Christen Nielssøn Wendelboe and wife. The pulpit is a classical Baroque. The minstrels' gallery facing the church room along the north side of the church is built in a simple Renaissance style. It has 44 segments with images of prophets, apostles, and allegorical figures.
A new interior was installed in the church in 1788 and was elaborately decorated. The decorations and embellishments of the minstrel's gallery and the walls were covered with brown paint in 1827. In 1927 the paint was removed.
Findings in burial mounds in the area reveal to a settlement dating back to AD 400. It is also believed that there was a royal residence in Oddernes prior to 800. Some historians believe there was once a wooden church or stave church on the site where the present stone church is located.
A rune stone (now located in the porch) that originally stood in the churchyard shows the site has been central to the community even earlier in view of its possible reference to St. Olaf.References:
Bamberg is located in Upper Franconia on the river Regnitz close to its confluence with the river Main. Its historic city center is a listed UNESCO world heritage site.
Bamberg is a good example of a central European town with a basically early medieval plan and many surviving ecclesiastical and secular buildings of the medieval period. When Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, became King of Germany in 1007 he made Bamberg the seat of a bishopric, intended to become a 'second Rome'. Of particular interest is the way in which the present town illustrates the link between agriculture (market gardens and vineyards) and the urban distribution centre.
From the 10th century onwards, Bamberg became an important link with the Slav peoples, especially those of Poland and Pomerania. During its period of greatest prosperity, from the 12th century onwards, the architecture of this town strongly influenced northern Germany and Hungary. In the late 18th century Bamberg was the centre of the Enlightenment in southern Germany, with eminent philosophers and writers such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and E.T.A. Hoffmann living there.
Bamberg extends over seven hills, each crowned by a beautiful church. This has led to Bamberg being called the 'Franconian Rome'.