Thursday, October 25, 2012

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 62

Hornnes Church
[courtesy of Sverre Strai]

Above is a postcard of the church at Hornnes, Aust Agder, Norway printed by Mittet & Co.  The photograph has been taken showing a side view with the rock wall that surrounds the graveyard.  On the right side just beyond what can be seen on the card is the Otra River.  Hornnes forms a broad horn shaped headland from which it gets its name.  The octagonal shaped church is painted a traditional white and was built in 1828 although there was a much earlier church near here that had been built in the 1300s.   Below is a front view of the church together with a couple of interior pictures.

Front view of Hornnes Church

Interior view of Hornnes Church from balcony

Main floor interior of Hornnes Church

This charming church is located across the road from Lunnen farm where my great-grandfather, Mikal Alfsen Hornnes, and his family lived from 1863 to about 1880.  When we visited in the 1980s we were given a special tour inside and then to the great delight of my husband and children they were allowed to climb up into the bell tower and ring the bell.  This is the church where my grandmother, Lil Anna, would have been christened and confirmed.  The pillars have been painted to look like marble, a few other things were painted but the walls and pews are natural wood.

Following the post about the ochre yellow Skotfoss church last week, Rune Jensen did a little looking and found these three churches below that are also painted colors rather than just white.  They are beautiful and worth sharing.

Rødven Kirke, Rauma, More og Romsdal, Norway

The Rødven church shown above was built in 1907.  It replaced the old Rødven Stave Church originally built in the 1100s.  The Stave church was purchased by the Society for Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments and today functions as a museum.  The two churches are located close together as can be seen in the photo below.  The newer red church has retained a similar style to the older church.  The Stave church has the traditional stonewall around the churchyard while the newer red church has what looks like an iron fence. 

Rødven Stave Church and Rødven Church
[photo source: ]

Another painted church is the Tromsø Cathedral.  It is the only wooden cathedral in Norway.  The architect was Christian Heinrich Grosch.  Tromsø Cathedral was completed in 1861 and seats 800.  It is thought to be the northernmost Protestant cathedral in the world.  As the photo shows this cathedral is located in the middle of the city. 

Tromsø Cathedral, Tromsø, Troms, Norway
[photo source: ]

The third church Rune sent a photo of is St. Olaf’s kirke in Balestrand, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway.  It is also a wooden church, with Jens Zetlitz Monrad Kielland as architect. Like the Tromsø Cathedral it is located right in the middle of town as you can see from the second photo.

Exterior view, St. Olaf’s, Balestrand, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway

Another exterior view of St. Olaf’s, Balestrand
[photo source: ]

Another picture shows an interior view of the altar area.

Interior St. Olaf’s Church, Balestrand
[photo source:  ]

St. Olaf’s is an Anglican church and during the summer has Sunday services in English.  I think it only seats 95, at any rate it is a small church even though it looks larger in the first picture.  Notice the rope hanging down from the ceiling; it is used for the ringing of the bell.  The outside spire is decorated with traditional dragonheads like those sometimes found on Stave churches.  In addition to the altarpiece painting the church has nine stained glass windows depicting different saints and also a portrait of Margaret Kvikne.  The church is supported by donations from tourists, the priests work for free and free room and board has been provided at the Kvikne hotel since the church opened.

The story behind the construction of this church says that as Margaret Sophia Green Kvikne lay dying of tuberculosis she had a dream that an English church should be built at Balestrand.  She told her husband Knut Kvikne about her dream and after Margaret died in 1894 he began to make plans to have this church built.  It was completed in 1897. 

Thank you Rune for taking the time to find these colorful churches.  They are truly lovely and it was a lot of fun to see them. 

For a little more information please see:

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