12 Johanneskirken (St John’s Church)

Red-brick Johanneskirken (photo Justin Kroesen)
Red-brick Johanneskirken (photo Justin Kroesen)

St John’s church is situated on Sydnes hill overlooking Bergen’s city centre from the west. Its architecture looks Gothic, but it was only built at the end of the nineteenth century.

On 1 January 1885, the new parish of St John was created in an area that had become populated only shortly before. Three years later, the Oslo-born architect Herman Major Backer won the architectural contest for the design of a church. The cruciform building was erected in red brick in the Neo-Gothic style between 1891 and 1894.

Interior of the church (photo Bergen Domkirke menighet)
Interior of the church (photo Bergen Domkirke menighet)

St John’s is the largest church in Bergen with 1250 seats and its interior is covered by an impressive open timber roof. The altarpiece, painted by Marcus Grønvold in 1894, shows Christ in prayer. The organ was built by Schlag & Söhne from Schweidnitz (Silesia) and modernized in 1967.

The 61 m high bell tower of St John’s church is the highest in Bergen. In 2014 it gained a carillon of 48 bells built by Royal Eijsbouts in Asten (the Netherlands).

johanneskirken-4

Follow Sydnesplassen in southeastern direction, turn right at the unpaved alley around a schoolyard, then follow Haakon Sheteligs plass down to the end (c. 250 m)

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