Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mountain vacation 2008. August 15th: Røros Church

After seeing all this artwork we had one more must-see stop on our list - Røros Church, Bergstadens Ziir.* I am soo not a 'churchy' person, but I am an historian, and unlike some I do realize that the Churches (first the Roman, then the Norwegian) and their buildings have played an essential role in the development of present-day Norwegian society. A lot of our cultural history is wrapped up in our churches. And the one at Røros is quite unique.

Now let's see what I remember about it. There was a lot of info posted in the church, and I read a lot of it, planning, of course, to remember every detail. Oy vey. But I should be able to dredge up a few bits and pieces.

The church was built by the copper works. It cost a shitload of money ... BUT in the period when it was built, they were raking in so much cash that they could have afforded to build three or four buildings as expensive every year - and that's on the sheer profits alone. :-o So ... shed no tears for them. The church replaced an older and much smaller stone church on the same site. The church is the fifth largest church in the country, seating about 1600, and it is currently the main church of Røros parish. It was consecrated in the summer of 1784, in the reign of king Christian VII, who of course was not present at the ceremony. ;-) The building is currently having some much-needed refurbishing done, so it's closed for repairs :-) ... only open for gawkers. :-)

It's quite a unique sight, but it definitely needs to be shined up some. They were working on the exterior when we were there, but it needs a lot of work on the interiors too. It was kind of sad to see it. It's so typically Norwegian to not keep up with maintenance, but instead shell out vast sums of money on major work when it's gone almost too far. >:-( I hope they'll be going over the whole thing.

Exterior views ... this first one is totally weird, I don't know why it came out all crooked like that. It must have been me, because I'm pretty sure the building is even. ;-) Or is it?? :-o King Christian's monogram above the door.

The tower. Whoa ...

Moving on to the interior ... this is the altar and what not. Minimalism obviously wasn't the thing in the 1780s.

The opposite wall, with the entrance and the royal box above it. The organ is very impressive, I don't remember details, but it has umpteen pipes and weighs a gadzillion tons. :-)

Seating on several levels ...

There's a lot of portraits hung around the walls ... some of them with quite fascinating histories behind them. :-) One of these guys was vicar in the town for like 53 years ... :-o

Elin, left, and my mother walking by the side of the church, towards the upper levels of the cemetery.

The back of the church, seen from one of the upper levels.

Bluebells growing on the steps of the cemetery stairs. :-)

The grave of the famous novelist Johan Falkberget.

Some views of the cemetery. That cairn thing is a war memorial ... I think, or was it something to do with miners who had died in the line of duty? It was in honor of some dead guys, anyway.

*Bergstadens Ziir = 'the Adornment of the Mountain Town'


Paz said...

Nice pics, a few Questions tho'
Does the church's apse look big in these photo's?
Is a Shitload of Money in Norway equal a fucking lot of Euro's?
Is it ok in Norway to compliment when they have an impressive organ?
Umpteen and gadzillion would ths be similar to Irish technical engineering terms a rake of pipe's and it is a heavy b@$tard

Leisha Camden said...

Kind of, but you know the camera adds ten pounds.

No, I think with the current exchange rate, eight shitloads of our money would be a fucking lot of euros.

They may be embarrassed at hearing you say it - Norwegians are often shy & introverted - but secretly, they will be very pleased.

Yes, I think those are rather universally acceptable terms. Engineers are all brothers in spirit, aren't they, wherever they hail from.

Paz said...

thanks for clearing up ;)