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Ishavskatedralen (Arctic Cathedral)
Ishavskatedralen, or the Arctic Cathedral (in English), is probably the most well-known landmark of Tromsø. Tromsø is a city inside the Norwegian Arctic Circle, popular with tourists as a destination for seeing the Northern Lights. The city has a lot worth seeing apart from the Northern Lights, being one of the largest urban areas in northern Norway, there is no shortage of cultural events at any time of year. Ishavskatedralen (literally the Cathedral of the Arctic Sea), is actually the Parish Church in the Tromsdalen Valley, rather than a cathedral. Ishavskatedralen is really a popular name for what is officially called Tromsdalen Kirke (Tromsdalen Church).
Ishavskatedralen has been called the Opera House of Norway as its design reminds some of the Sydney Opera House (though Norway has it’s own impressive modern Opera House). Built in 1965, and designed by Jan Inge Hovig, the design is said to a reflection on Arctic nature. There are several theories on the inspiration for the church’s eye-catching design including Håja, the “rock island” in the Tromsø municipality, boat houses, lavvo (Sami tents) and even the Northern Lights.
Ishavskatedralen’s roof is constructed of eleven aluminium plates on each side, mounted on concrete panels. The original design incorporated copper, which was deemed to be too expensive at twice the price of aluminium.
Look out for more posts or Arctic Norway in the coming days here.
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