Kapitelberget in Skien, church ruins from the 1100s, after the mighty Dagsætten (ancestry) in Skien.
The church is one of the municipality's official cultural monuments. The ruin was discovered in 1783, but was not restored before the end of the 20th century. Kapitelberget church was built as a private chapel for Bratsberg farm in the early 12th century. It was probably built by someone associated with the powerful Dagsätten and a possible builder may have been Dag Eilivsson or his son Gregorius Dagsson.
The church at Kapitelberget is a crypt church, of which there are only 4 in Norway. It's reason to believe that Dag saw this type of church in Ireland, where it was very common, on his journey with King Magnus. The crypt under the church floor was often used for masses and to store relics.
Built in Romanesque style
The church was placed on a hill in the terrain, so it was clearly visible in the landscape. The church was built in the Romanesque style, a style period that was common until the beginning of the 13th century in Norway. Romanesque style can be recognized by round arches in windows, doors and portals, small window openings, as well as thick, massive walls.
Originally, the church was probably built as a high church, that is a private church for a wealthy and powerful families. Building such a church required power, contacts and good finances. No remains of a cemetery have been found around the church, it's uncertain whether the church has functioned as an ordinary parish church. It can still be stated that the church has had a special function, both because of the crypt and the church's location.
However, the church is referred as a ruin already in 1576, and it's not known when or why they stopped using the crypt church. In 1783, the church ruins were rediscovered. The church was restored under architect Gerhard Fisher in the 1930s.
Source: Telemark County Municipality
Last updated: 04/26/2023
Source: VisitGrenland AS