North Norway's most distinctive-looking and controversial church rose from a location across the harbor from downtown Tromsø in 1965, requiring a transit of the town's longest bridge, completed in 1960, to reach it. Since then, its simple A-frame design has evolved into one of the town's most visible symbols and -- thanks to the late-night concerts conducted here for cruise-ship passengers between June and mid-August -- one of the most frequently visited sights in the area. Its theme, thanks to huge stained-glass windows set into the triangular-shaped front of the church, is a celebration of the light that filters through a grid work of thin glass strips, the effect of which has been described as mystical, especially during the brief moments of daylight that creep up to this far northern outpost during the middle of winter. Consistent with Norway's long-established custom of hanging replicas of sailing ships within Norwegian churches as a good luck charm for the vessels' occupants, the shape of the organ at the back of the church resembles the sails of a ship. Other references to the Arctic's climate and culture abound. Incidentally, when the pope paid an official visit to this remote place on June 11, 1989, it drew a small crowd of around 2,000 people.
- © Frommer's 2013
Ask a local about The Arctic Cathedral (also known as Tromsdal Church and The Boathouse Church)There are 4 questions about Tromso.
Ask Tromso Locals about The Arctic Cathedral (also known as Tromsdal Church and The Boathouse Church)
- Highly Recommended 2010
- visit website
- tel: 77-75-34-50
- Mid-Apr to May daily 4-6pm; June to mid-Aug daily 10am-8pm; mid-Aug to Sept daily 4-6pm. Otherwise, the church is closed except for Sun worship services. Concert times coincide with the arrival of cruise ships, but they're usually scheduled for around 10pm every night btw June and mid-Aug
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