Tromsø Cathedral is a typical Norwegian long church. It is built from wood sourced from Målselv in Inner Troms, along with interior panels, exterior weatherboarding and slate roofing tiles. Consecrated in 1861, it has the distinction of being Norway’s only Protestant, Lutheran cathedral. The cathedral was designed by Christian Heinrich Grosch, the leading Norwegian architect of the day, and was built in Gothic Revival style.
This is reflected by the cloverleafs and rosettes visible on the windows and wooden framework. The cathedral holds 618 people. The exquisite stained-glass windows were created by glass artist Per Vigeland in 1961 and are well worth looking at. They inspired the local newspaper Tromsø Stiftstidende to write: “One must hope this will long bear witness to that fact that our era, with all its hustle and bustle, had the willingness to make a sacrifice to its house of god, where generation after generation will find edification and strength for all their good deeds.”
Tromsø cathedral has two organs. The Claus Jensen organ on the gallery is one of the most valuable historic organs in Norway from this era. The new Mühleisen organ was built in Germany and was inaugurated in 2017. The two organs can be linked together to fill the entire church with beautiful music from both sides.
Kirkeparken (The Church Park):
A major refurbishment of Kirkeparken was completed in 2018. This included the installation of a customised lighting system to illuminate the park and the facade of the cathedral. The light creates a pleasant atmosphere in the city centre, brightens up the area for people in the winter darkness and emphasizes the cathedral as a natural centre and landmark of downtown Tromsø. Kirkeparken and the pedestrian street Storgata were nominated for the prestigious Norwegian Lighting Award in 2018. You will find nice benches to sit on in the park. On the northern side of the park, you will find a bust of Adolf Thomsen, who was a Norwegian composer and precentor of the Tromsø Cathedral. The park also features a war memorial from World War II.
Many different activities now take place in the cathedral, including church services, weddings, performances, organ recitals, climbing the cathedral tower and other cultural events. Tromsø International Church is also based at the cathedral.