Alstahaug
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.

Year of construction

Second half of the 1100s/ beginning of the 13th century, expanded with a new nave in 1863.

Building Type

Church

Construction System / Materials

Natural stone
soapstone
ashlars

Keywords

church
Middle Ages
soapstone
natural stone
ashlar
onion dome
ridge turret
saddle roof
nave church

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

Map

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