Silent Sunday….. A Wooden Kirk (and a surprise)


Tromso Cathedral

( Tromso Domkirke )

Way above the Arctic Circle, hiding in the Norwegian Fjord’s, is Tromso which boasts a Wooden Cathedral… whilst there are a good number of wooden churches in Norway, this is the only one consecrated as a Cathedral.

It is a magnificent structure, a tribute to the Architect Christian Henrich Grosch.  Constructed in the mid 1800’s it was officially opened in 1861.  Like most of todays  religious buildings it was constructed on an earlier religious location.

The exterior may look grand with its tall copper clad spire and shining in its smart yellow paint….but the interior is equally as grand in its own way.

It was within the Cathedral that we got our surprise.

We were treated to an Organ recital, the distinctive organ sound echoing round the high wooden interior…


And that is when we got another surprise as Tromso Cathedral has two organs, one to the right of the Alter, the second high on the gallery at the rear of the church.  Now the sound of the organ was rather special, but I am told that both organs can be linked together to provide a ‘surround sound’ not matched by any modern music centre.  Now that would be something to hear.


Our experiences of Cathedrals are more to do with the familiar solid stone constructions to be found across Europe and the UK.  But here the skill of the carpenter in interpreting the architects brief is something equally as special and attractive…  differently dramatic.  Stained Glass, high Art and detailed décor completed the picture.


I think we will be back in Tromso sometime in the future and a return visit to this fabulous Cathedral will be a must.


Tromso can also boast at having ‘two’ Cathedrals… more about that on another day

13th October

(C) David Oakes 2019

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