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Fjord Norway Rogaland SOLA

The stone crosses at Tjora

  • Tjora, Sola, SOLA
  • +47 51653300
  •  /  km From You

The stone crosses at Tjora testify to the contact with the Celtic church in Great Britain, these crosses are only found in western Norway. It also indicates that the Christianisation of Norway took place over a longer period than 35 years.

The Viking Age came after the Iron Age, and the religion at the time was a pagan, polytheistic religion, based on a natural god world, but which slowly transitions to a Christian religion, with a state church affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church. In several older representations of Norwegian church history, it is said that Norway was Christianised within 35 years from 995 when Olav Trygvasson became king until the battle of Stiklestad in 1030. The Christianisation of Norway probably took place over a longer period though, perhaps as much as over a period of 100-200 years. There are over 60 stone crosses in Western Norway. The stone crosses are English and Celtic, and some are rough-hewn and reminiscent of Latin crosses. Celtic and English crosses are not found in Sweden, Denmark, Germany or France, but in Great Britain there are several stone crosses typical of the Celtic church. It is only in the western part of Norway that you find Celtic stone crosses from the Christian period; a visible proof that this part of the country had contact with the Celtic Church in Great Britain. Two crosses at Tjora In the old cemetery at Tjora, there are today two large stone crosses. Before churches were built, the crosses were a gathering place for worship. The cemetery at Tjora is from approx. 1150. The church at Tjora was most likely a Høgendeskirke (a private church built on a farm). Later there has been a stave church (report from 1804) with a tower to the west. The ship was only eight metre-long, but with richly decorated murals inside. The end of the church at Tjora In 1839, it was decided at a county board meeting that the three parishes in Sola, Håland, Sola and Tjora should be merged. This was the beginning of the end for the church at Tjora. In 1842, it was decided that the church bell from Tjora church should be bought for "Sola new church " for 35 "speciedaler." Just six days earlier, they had auctioned off all the furniture in the church. Unfortunately, the church was demolished in 1843. The cemetery has been left untouched, but in 1872 losoldermann Gabriel Monsen received permission to fence in the graves of his father and siblings, for a fee. Originally four crosses As many as four crosses from the Middle Ages originally stood here, which is completely unique. The stone crosses were crosses that were used as a gathering place for worship in early Christian times - before the churches were built. In 1875, Customs inspector Schive applied for permission to remove one of the crosses. He would, at his own expense, take it to the Bergen Museum. He was allowed to do this. In 1885, N. F. Sørbø applied for one of the other crosses to be sent to conservator Lorange in Bergen. This was also approved. Then the third cross was taken to Bergen to stand by Fantoft church in Fana. The latter was destroyed by the Germans during World War II. Later it was repaired by Stavanger museum. In 1987, representatives from Sola municipality were in Bergen to retrieve one of the stone crosses. Today, there are two crosses at Tjora. The place is marked and has an information board. There is no parking space.

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  • Source: Region Stavanger


  • Autumn

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