St. Mary's Church
St. Mary's Church
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This early 12-century church is a wonderful example of Romanesque architecture.
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles355 reviews
Excellent
102
Very good
173
Average
65
Poor
12
Terrible
4

elawson
philadelphia area616 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Family
Pretty church but you'll only be there for a few minutes, even if you are a Christian or interested in architecture.
It was interesting seeing the Catholic elements even though the church has been Lutheran for a few hundred years. And the German elements that are not in other Norwegian churches.
But I wouldn't have paid $9 to go in. I'm glad we just stopped in while using the Bergen card.
Written 14 June 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mak G
San Francisco, CA74 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Very cool that this is the oldest building in Bergen and is still used for services and to teach history. Short hours that its tour-able but worth it if youre around!
Written 8 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AMJ
119 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
Loved this church. Beautiful and very interesting at the same time. I was in there right before a service, so I didn't stay as long as I would have liked to, but the people there didn't push me out even though they knew I was "a tourist".
Well worth a visit.
Written 18 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TAMAN1951
Liberty Lake, WA8,222 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
Being built about 900 years ago makes this church historically significant as its the oldest in Bergen.

Well worth the time to do a short visit.
Written 13 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Newryoneisback
Newry, UK2,781 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
St Mary’s church is around 900 years old and the oldest building in Bergen, built between 1130 & 1170. It was ravaged by two great fires which swept timber built Bergen in 1198 & 1248.

The church has been in continuous use since early medieval period. It is a basilica: the body of the church is divided into a lofty nave and two lower side aisles with separate roofs. This is a feature borrowed from medieval cathedrals, and is relatively seldom found in an ordinary parish church. The two towers are thought to be original though they must have been repaired after the fire in 1248.

No other Norwegian church has such a west front. The pulpit is also something of an enigma in Norwegian art history; it resembles no other pulpit in the country. It was presented to the church in 1676, by a group of prominent merchants who had their place of business on the old Hanseatic Warf (Bryggen).

Who actually made it is unknown, but the use of tortoiseshell and lacquer work is foreign to Norway, and suggests countries connected with East Asia, perhaps Holland. The Dutch East India company was the only private company to own a country - India.

The pulpit and staircase here are divided into panels by richly decorated columns. Here we see 8 of the 9 original cardinal virtues, represented by women with various attributes.

Penitence with a pelican, Prudence with a snake, the naked Truth, Chasity with two turtle doves, Patience with a lamb, Hope with a dove, and part of an anchor, Faith with book and cross, and Charity with two children.

The portals of St Mary’s are also especially interesting. There are four in all, but the western portal (between the towers) has been added after the completion of the church. However, they are still original from the Middle Ages.

The oldest of the portals, is the one in the northern side aisle. This type with its straight lintel crowned by a discharging-arch, can be traced back to Roman times, and was widely used in the Middle Ages. The portal in northern wall in, is totally different and more usually found in medial churches.
The portal is recessed in three steps, so that the door lies approximately in the middle of the wall. The next step in development is the late Romanesque and Gothic grand portal, which is typical of the thirteenth century.

We found it really worth a visit.
Written 17 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

timrage00
Portland, OR74 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
We were told there were no English language services around Bergen, and the info on the map did not mention it, but we went past this church Sunday morning and saw people gathering, and it was for an English language service. The Lutheran Church has lent this very interesting old pre-Gothic cathedral to the Anglican church of Bergen. The church itself, the oldest in Bergen was in the hands of Hanseatic Germans during the reformation, who did not allow the church to be emptied of its "Roman" trappings which are quite interesting.
Written 21 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

RamboNWAlberta
Spruce Grove, Canada651 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
Very nice church and location. Church has different opening hours, was closed when we were here..

Easy site to access, close to other attractions. Check times ahead if you’re hoping to enter.
Written 4 June 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lindaolson
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates85 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2022
Was nice that we were at the church at the time it was open since not open all hours on all days. Enjoyed free entry.
The artwork is very very artistic and so nice to see.
Written 30 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lde457
230 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022 • Friends
This is a lovely and extremely interesting church. The only issue I had was the dingy lighting, which was almost dangerous. Well worth a visit. The people are lovely too.
Written 11 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LHoffman1978
Sylvania, OH254 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
The interior is beautiful with a gorgeous alter, wonderfully hand-crafted railing going upstairs, painted ceiling. No pictures allowed and not consistently open.
Written 28 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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