Posts Tagged With: Norway

The Fjords of Norway

Geirangerfjord in Norway often appears on lists of the most spectacular places on the earth. Created over several ice ages, the glaciers dug out the deep fjords and the towering mountains. Geiranger1_-2Geirangerfjord is home to several well-known waterfalls.  ‘De Syv Søstre’ (the seven sisters) dance playfully down the mountain while the ‘Friaren’ (the suitor) is said to be wooing the Seven Sisters across the way. Geiranger1_-3 Fairytales explain that the shape of the mountains is due to trolls. When the creatures are hit by sunlight, it’s said that they turn to stone. Could that be a face staring at us on the mountainside? Geiranger1_-4The tallest of the Seven Sisters tops out at an impressive 820 feet. Be sure to visit later in the Spring when the winter snow and ice are melting to get the best views.

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The “S” shaped fjord is almost 10  miles long and a mile wide. The waters of the fjords are as deep as the Grand Canyon. Boat tours, kayaking and hiking are all great ways to see the beautiful scenery.

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Perched high on the mountainside next to the Seven Sisters is the abandoned Knivsflå farm. It was ordered abandoned by the authorities in 189 due to the threat of landslides. It still stands today despite the threat of avalanches.

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Geiranger Fjord

Categories: Europe, Norway, Photography, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The oldest church in Norway

Stavanger Cathedral is the oldest church in Norway that is still in use. Construction began on the church in 1123 by a Benedictine Monk named Bishop Reginald from Winchester in England. Stavanger1_

Stavanger1_-2In medieval times the church was quite different than it is today. Around the church interior were different altars dedicated to different saints. Daily masses were held around these altars. The St. Swithun relic, an arm bone from an English bishop could be found in the choir. The cathedral also had several relics during this time, these included a cloth with Jesus’ blood, a piece of Jesus’ cross and other relics connected to different saints.Stavanger1_-12

Stavanger1_-3New lighting for the cathedral was installed in the 1920’s. Emanuel Vigeland designed six chandeliers in the nave and eight lamps on the side walls. The lamps were designed with an angel figurine that holds a hanging lamp.Stavanger1_-4The chandeliers look like thorn bushes and vines. Stavanger1_-5

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Stavanger1_-9Faces in the Medieval portion of the church reflect the Norse heritage of the craftsmen.Stavanger1_-10The ornate pulpit was a gift from the feudal overlord Henrik Below, in 1658, created by Scottish sculptor Andrew (Anders) Smith. As one of the biggest pieces in Norwegian baroque style the pulpit is an example of cartilage baroque.  The base of the pulpit is the biblical character of Samson facing down a lion. Stavanger1_-11

Stavanger1_-8The various carvings display stories of the bible starting with the Garden of Eden towards the bottom and ending with a triumphant Jesus at the top.Since many people at the time couldn’t read, the carvings were used to tell the tales.Stavanger1_-6Five large and elaborately carved memorial plaques are epitaphs for known men in the community. Their hanging in the cathedral brought honor to their families. Many rich and powerful families wanted to mark their position and make their presence known within the church. These families often received preferred seats in the front rows. This practice was popular in the 1600 and 1700’s.Stavanger1_-13

 

LINKS

Stavanger Cathedral

Stavanger Cathedral (Official)

Categories: Church, Europe, Photography, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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