Christ Church, Bergen

Christ Church on Holmen (Kristkirken på Holmen i Bergen) was the main medieval era cathedral of Bergen, Norway. Its site was near Haakon's hall (Håkonshallen) and Bergenhus Fortress (Bergenhus festning).[1][2][3]

Christ Church floor plan at Bergenhus
Christ Church site with hedge is placed where the outer walls are thought to have been


Christ Church was built by King Olav Kyrre during the period 1066–1093. In 1170 the relics of Saint Sunniva were moved here from Selja and placed on the main altar. During Bergen's period as the capital of Norway in the 13th century, the area known as Holmen contained the royal residence in Bergen, as well as Christ Church, several other churches, the bishop's residence, and a Dominican monastery. Holmen and Christ Church formed the political centre of the country. The church itself was used for negotiations and the churchyard was used for hailing of kings and meetings of the realm. The first coronation in Scandinavia was held in Bergen in 1163 and several coronations were held in the church when it was finished. The kings were also married and buried in the church.

In 1531, the church was levelled to the ground by order of Eske Bille who was Danish commander of Bergenhus Fortress from 1529 to 1537. A similar fate happened to the city's Apostel Church. Both churches and other buildings were removed in order to strengthen the defense of the city and port and with the consent of Bishop Olav.[4]




  1. ^ "Kristkirken på Holmen i Bergen". Kunsthistorie. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  2. ^ "Bergenhus festning". Kulturminnesøk. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  3. ^ "Håkonshallen". bymuseet. Retrieved September 1, 2020.
  4. ^ "Eske Bille". Norsk Biografisk Leksikon. Retrieved February 5, 2022.

External linksEdit

Coordinates: 60°24′01″N 5°19′00″E / 60.4003°N 5.31671°E / 60.4003; 5.31671