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The Hadsel Church is located between Stokmarknes and Melbu, in a wooded landscape on the crown of a hill. It has a view overlooking the fjord and the mountain Møysalen. The church is from 1824, but the church site is much older - from the Middles Ages. It is known that a church stood here in 1382, but it is possible that churches existed here before this time as well. The current church is the fourth church, there is knowledge of, that has been localised in roughly the same place.

It is an octagonal church, where the plan is an equal-sided octagon. It has a tall tent roof and a large dormer, adjoined by the sacristy. Octagonal churches became popular in the first of the 19th century. In Northern Norway there are tens of octagonal churches. The churches in Dverberg, Ankenes, Bardu and Hadsel are all from the 19th century. In particular this type of church had two advantages. Firstly, the form of an octagonal plan form provided the most square metres of floor space in relation to the amount of timber used for the cogging joints, it is also a solid construction. Secondly, the octagonal sanctuary room provides a more intimate quality, creating closeness between the vicar and the parish.

Today the exterior of the church is red painted with blue details on the windows and doors. These were the original colours, but like many churches, Hadsel was painted white at one time. In the 1930s the church underwent large restorations, both on the interior and exterior. It was also returned to its original red colour.

Year of construction


Building Type


Construction System / Materials

cogging joint method


log construction
octagonal church
tent roof
ridge turret


Grydeland, Ane Solvik: Hadsel kirke 1824-1999, Hadsel 1999.


Hadsel kirke
Hadsel kirke
Hadsel kirke
Hadsel kirke
Hadsel kirke