Wednesday, August 26, 2009


The church of St. Mary was built in year 1130 and extended after a fire in year 1245.
Building material is mostly soapstone from 4 different quarries. It's a basilica church with most interesting sideships.

I let this old crucifix be original.I doubt that sepia can enhance the glow in the old wood carving dated from the origin of the church .
This gentleman can vaguely be spotted under one arch of the left side-ship. Three hundred years before Michelangelo this was the way to paint the ceiling.
The ship is a protestant symbol,I think.Probably a Hansa ship bringing goods to Bergen.
The ship symbolizes our journey through life and is often found in Norwegian churches.
Also the main church room, where the congregation is seated, is called the ship.

Almost hidden on the right hand-side of the entrance door another reminiscence from Catholic times. The place for the Holy Water.
I doubt people even think about it, when entering the church.
Times, ceremonies and people change, but God is from eternity to eternity
Old baroque priest Petter Dass wrote in year 1698:

GOD is GOD,even if all land lay desolate,
GOD is GOD,even if all men were dead;
If People giddy, in LOrd's high heavens
Innumerable swarm GOD's crop.

Hosted by Mary, the teach
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Monday, August 24, 2009

St. Mary in gold, blue and ruby

Bergen is our second largest city. It also was our capital for a long time, and already an established city and a center of commerce in the 11th century.
After the black death the Hanseatic League made Bergen their Nordic base. They were in control of the city till midst of the 18th century.
The Bergeners and the German Hanses went well together and such formed pillars of the Bergen of today.
After Martin Luther had revolted the Northern European Churches with his reformation in 1517, most churches were stripped for reliquary, St. Mary altars and saint's shrines.
The silver were sent to the king in Copenhagen, the rest were burnt.
Not so in Bergen's oldest church St. Mary's.
The Bergeners and Hansas were conservative and traditionalists; they still are.
They also possessed the power following huge wealth.
Therefore the ancient triptych and even elder wood sculptures remained in the church from the 12th century.
Till this day they overwhelm the visitors.
Gunnar and I spent some memorable hours there last week,... and we will be back.

Originated by MaryT, check hers for today.