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The Vågan Church, which is also referred to as the Lofoten Cathedral, is situated on a small rise by the sea, in proximity of the village Kabelvåg. Vågan used to be one of the most important fishing villages in Lofoten. Already by the Middle Ages there were signs of a town in this area. The production of dry fish was the most important industry. The previous church in Vågan was a timbered cruciform church from 1798, but by the end of the 19th century had proved too small to accommodate for the growing parish. It also served as a place of worship for the visiting fishermen during the fishing season Lofoten. Therefore it was decided a new church was to be built.

The architect responsible for this commission was Carl Julius Bergstrøm (1828-1898). He designed several churches in the 1880s and 1890s, both of wood and stone. The new Vågan church was positioned a few hundred metres from the old one, where it was erected on a rectangular plateau of natural stone. The church is built of wooden materials, and clad on the exterior and interior. It is a cruciform church with a long main nave and wide, short cross arms that lie near the choir. Towards the west there is a steeple with a spire, and an entrance at the foot of the steeple.

The church has apparent Neo-Gothic stylistic features, such as its towering quality and the arched windows. On the exterior the building is decorated with bands and has details such as an imitation timber frame, for example the steeple. In spite of several renovations performed throughout the years, the building has changed very little since it was first erected. That is to say, in terms of both the large features and the details. In 1985, it was also reverted back to its original colours - ochre-yellow wall planes with brown details.

Year of construction

Consecrated in 1898


Carl Julius Bergstrøm

Building Type


Construction System / Materials

cogging joint method


log construction
cruciform church


Eldal, Jens Christian and Jiri Havran: Kirker i Norge, Med historiske forbilder 1800-tallet, Oslo 2002, pp. 178-181.


Vågan kirke
Vågan kirke
Vågan kirke
Vågan kirke
Vågan kirke