Spectacular Cathedral of the Northern Lights (Nordlyskatedralen)

With only a day’s notice we found ourselves on a turbulent plane ride heading over the Arctic Circle to Europe’s northernmost cathedral! The Cathedral of the Northern Lights (Nordlyskatedralen) is inspired by the Aurora Borealis and evokes the poetry and mystery of this natural phenomenon.

Icy cold winds of -15C rolled in over the mountains as we photographed this exciting structure. Having spent 3 months in 2010 photographing over 200 religious structures in Southern Africa, you could say we were well qualified! That project can be viewed here: Structural Divinity

The cathedral’s coiling body and spire stretches 47m towards the heavens with a titanium-clad structure. This is Norway’s newest and most dramatic church. The project is due to complete during May, 2013.

Alta commune in the north of Norway launched a design competition which LINK Arkitektur responded to with a robust concept and a clear symbolic idea – “the coiling structure’s dynamic, two-directional movement represents the relationship between God and Mankind, and Mankind and God. A space for quiet prayer and worship is located in the eye of the coil”. LINK won the design competition together with Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, who were invited to participate as part of the design team by LINK.

In addition to the nave, which seats 360 people, there is also a vestry, cafe, lecture hall, church offices and a youth centre.

Building cost: $ 20,528,600 (NOK 120 million)

Perhaps next time we’ll find time to visit the ice hotel and play with some Huskies!

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