The site of the beautiful 17th century cruciform church, which was originally known as Heidningeholmen, has always been a sacred and important place. During the Viking age the king's Leidang ship moored here to collect taxes. The old transport routes on land and sea all led to this place. The market square, formerly known as Lahedla and Hauen, is situated in immediate proximity to the church.
The church is the town's oldest remaining building. The present exterior is a result of an extensive building during the years 1785 – 1788. The interior, however, has been altered several times since then. One example is the building of galleries to accommodate the growing population. By the year 1888 it was Rogaland's next largest church with its seating capacity of 1160 seats. The church is open to visitors in the summer, no admission charge. Information about church services and other arrangements are displayed on the notice board at the entrance.