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 Alstahaug kirke

Alstahaug kirke ( Alstahaug Church)
Address: Alstahaug
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Construction System /
Natural stone; soapstone; ashlars
Building Type: Church
Keywords: church, Middle Ages, soapstone, natural stone, ashlar, onion dome, ridge turret, saddle roof, nave church
Year of Construction: Second half of the 1100s/ beginning of the 13th century, expanded with a new nave in 1863.
Alstahaug Church and vicarage are located on the coast of Helgeland, roughly 20 kilometres south of Sandnessjøen. This church is one of seven stone churches, dating back to the Middle Ages, that are preserved in Northern Norway. In 1863 the church became too small to accommodate the parish and needed to be expanded. The western half of the nave was demolished and the rest converted into a choir, while the old choir towards the east was converted into a sacristy. A new and significantly large nave was erected on the west end. This type of expansion allowed for the preservation of large sections of the previous church from the Middle Ages. During reconstruction in the 1960s, the newer nave was bestowed with a form and appearance that is in harmony with the sections of the church from the Middle Ages. At the same time, a roof dormer with an onion dome was erected. The oldest sections of the church were also restored and cleared of any construction that was not from the original design.

As the church stands today, it is a nave church with a choir and single nave. It has a slate covered saddle roof, dormer with an onion dome and a tall spire. The oldest sections - the old and the new choir - both have soapstone ashlars on the exterior and interior, while the nave is externally clad with soapstone.

Alstahaug Church has inseparable ties to Petter Dass. He was the parochial vicar of this church until his death in 1707. This parish was considerably rich, Alstahaug was one of the largest parishes in Helgeland and this was the main church. Today the old vicarage has been turned into the Petter Dass Museum.
Literature: Brovoll, Asle K.:Alstahaug kirke - en kulturskatt, Alstahaug 1999
Ekroll Øystein, Morten Stige, Jiri Havran: Kirker i Norge, Middelalder i stein, Oslo 2000, pp. 250-253
Liepe, Lena: Medieval Stone Churches of Northern Norway, Tromsø 2001
Publisher: The University of Tromsø, 28.04.2005
Author: H.S
Photographer: Jiri Havran

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