Fana (16 km from Bergen)

The church of Fana in its landscape setting (photo Justin Kroesen)

The Romanesque nave of this stone church is believed to have been built around the middle of the twelfth century, while the narrower early Gothic chancel was probably added around 1300.

The east wall of the chancel (photo Justin Kroesen) and the crucifix from Fana, now in the University Museum of Bergen (photo Ann-Mari Olsen)

An early-fourteenth century crucifix with a heavily suffering Christ figure from this church is now in the University Museum of Bergen. It belongs to the type of the crucifixus dolorosus, of which famous examples are found in Cologne (Sankt Maria im Kapitol) and Perpignan (cathedral), among other places.

During the Middle Ages it was believed to have healing power and turned Fana into a place of pilgrimage. The crucifix survived the Reformation, but in 1620 it was removed in order to curb an ongoing veneration which was termed ‘idolatry’ by the Protestant authorities.

Interior of the chancel (photo Wikimedia Commons)
Interior of the chancel (photo Wikimedia Commons)

The church had a west tower in the Middle Ages, but this was destroyed by a fire in 1644 and replaced by a roof turret. After large-scale restorations in 1870 and 1926-1927 it is now not easy to recognize the authentic medieval core of the church. The original altar block survives in the chancel.