Berg Church (Senja)

Berg Church (Norwegian: Berg kirke) is a parish church of the Church of Norway in Senja Municipality in Troms og Finnmark county, Norway.[1] It is located in the village of Skaland. It is the church for the Berg parish which is part of the Senja prosti (deanery) in the Diocese of Nord-Hålogaland. The white, stone church was built in a long church style in 1955 using plans drawn up by the architect Hans Magnus. The church seats about 225 people.[2][3]

Berg Church
Berg kirke
Berg kirke Skaland.jpg
View of the church
Coordinates: 69°26′45″N 17°17′59″E / 69.4457978°N 17.2996138°E / 69.4457978; 17.2996138
LocationSenja Municipality,
Troms og Finnmark
DenominationChurch of Norway
ChurchmanshipEvangelical Lutheran
StatusParish church
Founded15th century
Functional statusActive
Architect(s)Hans Magnus
Architectural typeLong church
Completed1955 (68 years ago) (1955)
DeanerySenja prosti
StatusNot protected


The earliest existing historical records of the church date back to the year 1589, but the church was not new that year. It was likely founded in the 15th century. The church was originally located along the rocky shoreline of the island about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) northwest of the present church site. The church was a long church with a small steeple over the nave and an entry porch. Starting in the mid-1600s, the local parishioners began complaining of the poor condition of the old church, however nothing was done.[4]

Inspections of the building in 1753 and 1770 again noted that the church had fallen into disrepair. The priest at that time had requested that the church be moved to a location that was less rocky so that a cemetery around the church could be built. The priest's wish was not followed, however. The old church was torn down in 1780 and a new church was built in 1780–1781 on the same site. This was also a timber-framed long church where the nave measured about 9.5 by 7.5 metres (31 ft × 25 ft) and the choir measured about 4 by 5 metres (13 ft × 16 ft). It also had a small sacristy.[4]

In 1814, this church served as an election church (Norwegian: valgkirke).[5] Together with more than 300 other parish churches across Norway, it was a polling station for elections to the 1814 Norwegian Constituent Assembly which wrote the Constitution of Norway. This was Norway's first national elections. Each church parish was a constituency that elected people called "electors" who later met together in each county to elect the representatives for the assembly that was to meet in Eidsvoll later that year.[5][6]

In 1844, the church was thoroughly repaired and at the same time a new tower on the west end was constructed along with a new sacristy. In 1884, the church was renovated and expanded. During World War II in 1942, the church was demolished by the occupying German army.[4]

After the war, a new church was built at Skaland, about 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) southeast of the old church site. The altarpiece carved in wood was decorated by Torvald Kildal Moseid (1917-2000). Moseid also designed the stained glass in the church. The organ is a pneumatic organ from Vestre Orgelfabrikk. The church bell is from Olsen Nauen Bell Foundry (Olsen Nauen Klokkestøperi).[7][8]

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See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Berg kirkested". Kulturminnesøk. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Berg kirke, Skaland". Kirkesøk: Kirkebyggdatabasen. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Oversikt over Nåværende Kirker" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Berg gamle kirkested" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage. Retrieved 28 February 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Valgkirkene". (in Norwegian). Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  6. ^ "Om valgene". Valgene i 1814 (in Norwegian). Arkivverket. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  7. ^ Sigmund Christensen. "Torvald Moseid". Norsk biografisk leksikon. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Olsen Nauen klokkestøperi". Retrieved 1 April 2018.