|Season (28 May 2018 - 14 Sept 2018)|
|Monday - Friday||09:00||- 16:00|
|Saturday - Sunday||Closed|
St Mary`s church is the oldest existing building in Bergen. To judge by its architectural style, it was probably built between 1130 and 1170.
Guided tour: 1 June - 31 August:
Monday to Friday at 15:00 in Norwegian and at 15.30 in English. The tour lasts 25 minutes. Tickets available at St. Mary's Church. NOK 75 (includes entry and guide). Children under 16 free.
- Photography is not allowed
- Postcards for sale
- No use of voice amplifiers
- St. Mary's Church has no toilet facilities for visitors
- The Church is handicap accessible.
Concerts Bergen Organ Festival 4th July - 21st August 2018:
Concert in the St Mary's Church every Tuesday at. 19.30. Ticket NOK 100
Other organ concerts Wednesdays at 19.30 in St. John's Church (free) and Sundays at. 19.30 in the Bergen Catherdral (Domkirken) Tickets NOK 100.
Lunch concerts in St. Paul's Catholic Church on Saturdays at 11.30 (free).
More information at www.kirkemusikkibergen.no
St Mary`s church was ravaged by the two great fires which swept Bergen in 1198 and 1248. The church has been in continuous use since early med-ieval period. The church has recently been restored over a five year-period (reopened June 2015) The previous large restoration of the church was in the 1860`s.
St Mary’s church is a basilica, i.e the body of the church is divided into a lofty nave and two lower side aisles with separate roofs. This is a feature borrowed from medieval cathedrals, and is relatively seldom found in an ordinary parish church. The two towers must be original though they must have been repaired after the fire in 1248. No other Norwegian church has such a west front!
The choir of the church must have been lengthened at some time. The eastern section, with its pointed windows and vaulting, bears the stamp of a later period than the rest of the church, and was probably constructed after the fire in 1248. The original choir consisted of the square space which makes up the western part of the consisting choir.
The portals of St Mary`s are of special interest. There are four in all, but the western portal (between the towers) has been added after the completion of the church. However, they are still original from the Middle Ages. The oldest of the portals, is the one in the northern side aisle. This type with its straight lintel crowned by a discharging-arch, can be traced back to Roman times, and was widely used in the Middle Ages. The portal in northern wall in, is totally different and more usually found in medial churches. The portal is recessed in three steps, so that the door lies approximately in the middle of the wall. The next step in development is the late Romanesque and Gothic grand portal, which is typical of the thirteenth century.
Each pair of shafts of the three orders is adorned with a different pattern which continuous round the arch, providing it with an excep-tionally rich and varied moulding. In addition, we find in the portal arch, on the caps of the columns, and on the wall at each side of the portal, carvings of plants, animals and abstract ornaments which are difficult to place in any particular stylistic relationship. The portal seems to be the result of a fusion of impulses from different regions.
The alter reredos
This is the church oldest treasure, and can be traced to the end of the 15th century. It is North German work, probably from Lübeck. The screen is a triptych, the carving of the central panel depicting Mary and the infant Jesus. Here she is shown as the woman in Reve-lations: « clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve starts». On her right we find St Olav, above St Antony, whose intercession was held to cure the plague. One her left stands St Catharine with her sword and wheel, above St Dorothea. On the side panels we see all the apostles except Judas, but including Paul. All bear their symbols, and hold the book of Gospel. The hinged side panels were only unfolded in high festivals, their reserve sides facing the church at all other times. Here we find paintings «for every day use», but of a quality fully comparable to the carvings on the front of the panels. The paintings are all about the life of Jesus.
In the choir we also find fifteen life-sized figures, the twelve disciples, with Moses, John the Baptist, and Paul. They are from 1634. On the church floor we find the grave-stones of German sea capains, merchants and clergy of the sixt-eenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. These stones were collected from all parts of the church, and laid down in the choir in the 1930`s. Against the south wall stand a choir stall from 1589, and a lectern bearing a bible printed in Nürnberg in 1692.
The pulpit of St Mary`s is something of an enigma in Norwegian art history; it resembles no other pulpit in the country. It was presented to the church in 1676, by a group of prominent merchants who had their place of business on the old Hanseatic Warf (Bryggen) Who actually made it is unknown, but the use of tortoiseshell and lacquer work is foreign to this country, and would suggest a link with countries connected with East Asia, perhaps Holland. The pulpit and the stair-case are divided into panels by richly decorated columns. Here we find eight of the nine original cardinal virtues, represented by women with various attributes. Penitence with a pelican, Prudence with a snake, the naked Truth , Chasity with two turtle doves, Patience with a lamb, Hope with a dove, and part of an anchor, Faith with book and cross, and Charity with two children.
Apart from the alter screen and the pulpit is the paintings of the church which attract interest. In the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the walls of St Mary`s were almost covered with paintings, most of them «commemorative paintings» dedicated to the memory of more or less prominent citizens connected with the church. The majority of these paintings were removed during the restoration work done in the 1860`s, but there are still many left.
On the walls of the nave, above the triforium apertures, faint traces are visible of medieval frescoes. These were uncovered during the 1930`s but are so fragmentary that they are almost incomprehensible when seen from the church floor.
The new Organ of St Mary`s Church was built by Weimbs Orgelbau from Hellenthal in the Eifel area in Germany. It has 31stops (38 ranks) on two manuals and pedal.
The organ facade was designed by the Swedish architect Ulf Oldæus. The instrument was built in 2014/2015 and the inauguration took place during the reopening of St. Mary’s Church on June 21th 2015. The sound is influenced by German Baroque Organs.
Groups (min 10 persons) order time for their visits:
Please send an email to Maria.firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
• Date and time for when you wish to visit the church
• Size of the group visiting
• If cruise-tourists: Name of the ship
• Correct billing address
Please send your order at latest one week before your visit (number in group can be confirmed three days before visit).
When you have received a confirmation from us, with confirmed time – the order is valid.
Group visits are considered to use 30 minutes visits before next group enters.
Maximum group size will be 60 persons.
Deadline for cancelling is 3 days ahead of your planned visit. Cancelling after will be billed.
We have not our own guides in St. Mary'S Church, but there are tourist hosts in the church, welcoming groups and single tourists.
There will also be some printed information leaflets in the church for sale and for free.
There are no WC facilities in the church.
The church is accessible for HC.
Children under 15 years: free entrance.
|Ticket Type||Ticket Tariff|
|Children under 16 years||Free|
|Groups min. 10 pers.||NOK60.00 admission|
Prices may be subject to change.
Bryggens Museum display findings of the archaeological excavations of Bryggen from 1955 and contains the foundations of the oldest buildings in...
The silverfactory Arven lets you experience some of the city's best gold - and silversmiths at work, creating precious metal into true pieces of art.
Theta group was established in May 1940. Its aim was to establish radio contact between Norway and England. The headquarters was in a small room at...
Exhibitions: Women's Contribution to the Armed Forces and The Resistance Struggle 1940-1945.
Bryggen is one of Bergen's and Norway's main attractions. Bryggen was built after the great fire in 1702 and is included on UNESCO's World Heritage...
The tower was built in the 1560s by the governor of Bergen Castle (Bergenhus), Erik Rosenkrantz, and served as a combined residence and fortified...
Håkon’s Hall was built between 1247 and 1261 by Håkon Håkonsson. It was the largest and most imposing building of the royal residency in the...
Entry to three museums and a shuttle bus service in between them - all in one ticket. Your ticket to Bergens UNESCO and maritime heritage.
The Hanseatic Museum is one of the oldest wooden buildings in Bergen, furnished in 18th century style and shows the life of the Hanseatic merchants.
Take Fløibanen funicular to the top of Mount Fløyen. Magnificent view of Bergen, great children's playground and ideal for mountain walks.
Contemporary gallery with changing exhibitions and a large selection of paintings, graphics and ceramics for sale. Decoration of public and private...
The picturesque Fish Market in Bergen is one of Norway's most visited outdoors markets. The Fish Market sells seafood, fruit and vegetables.
A collection of pictures and other items showing the activities over 150 years of the Buekorps, a kind of boy's brigade found only in Bergen and best...
The exhibtions at 3.14 encourage dialogue and reflection on different aspects of contemporary international society, and promote acclaimed artists as...
The School Museum takes you on an exciting journey through the history of Norwegian school's and Norwegian society from the Middle Ages to this day.
Bergen Cathedral is nearly 900 years old. It started as a church dedicated to Olav the Holy, Norway’s patron saint, around year 1150.