Mästerby Church dates largely from the 13th century. The nave, choir and apse were built first, at the beginning of the century. In the middle of the same century, the tower was also built. The nave was made higher about a century later, and at this time both the nave and choir received vaulted ceilings. The church has remained relatively unaltered since the end of the Middle Ages. Only the sacristy is significantly later, added in 1790. New windows were also made in the 1860s.
The church is richly decorated with frescos internally. They range in period from the 13th to the 17th century. In the apse, some Romanesque paintings survive, notably a depicting of Mary, while some have been covered with other paintings in the 17th century. The vaults in the nave are decorated with frescos from the 14th century, and the walls of the nave furthermore decorated by the artist sometimes referred to as the Master of the Passion of Christ (15th century). Still other frescos, in the choir, probably date from the 16th century, while another set, again in the nave, is dated to 1633.
The baptismal font is from the 12th century, Romanesque in style and a work by the sculptor known by the assigned name Byzantios. The triumphal cross is locally made, dating from the 13th century. Other furnishings date from the time after the Reformation.References:
Stavanger Cathedral is Norway's oldest cathedral. Bishop Reinald, who may have come from Winchester, is said to have started construction of the Cathedral around 1100. It was finished around 1150, and the city of Stavanger counts 1125 as its year of foundation. The Cathedral was consecrated to Swithin as its patron saint. Saint Swithun was an early Bishop of Winchester and subsequently patron saint of Winchester Cathedral. Stavanger was ravaged by fire in 1272, and the Cathedral suffered heavy damage. It was rebuilt under bishop Arne, and the Romanesque Cathedral was enlarged in the Gothic style.
In 1682, king Christian V decided to move Stavanger's episcopal seat to Kristiansand. However, on Stavanger's 800th anniversary in 1925, king Haakon VII instated Jacob Christian Petersen as Stavanger's first bishop in nearly 250 years.During a renovation in the 1860s, the Cathedral's exterior and interior was considerably altered. The stone walls were plastered, and the Cathedral lost much of its medieval looks. A major restoration led by Gerhard Fischer in 1939-1964 partly reversed those changes. The latest major restoration of the Cathedral was conducted in 1999. Andrew Lawrenceson Smith is famous for his works here.