Every year around 30,000 tourists visit Honningvåg Kirke.
Unlike the spectacular cathedrals in Rome, it is a modest timber church that seats 220 people. But within it’s walls awaits a remarkable story of endurance, and determination and hope.
Built in 1885, Honningsvåg Kirke is the oldest building on the island of Magerøya. No other buildings survived the end of World War II. The German troops left a path of destruction as they evacuated Norway, burning everything in sight.
No one knows exactly why the church was left unharmed. But, miraculously, the church was spared, while the rest of the town became a smoldering mass of embers and debris.
When the reconstruction of Finnmark (northern region of Norway) began, the government wanted to move the location of Honningsvåg to the mainland. But determined residents fought to rebuild their town in it’s original location.
Around a 100 people returned to Honningsvåg. They set up camp in the church. A bakery was established there. The pews doubled as beds. And with a church for their home, this heroic group began the hard work of building barracks for more people to return and help rise up a new Honningsvåg.
For me, the church stands as a symbol of unity, community, hope and determination.
If you have the opportunity to travel to Nordkapp, I recommend taking time to visit Honningsvåg Kirke. Come and hear the spectacular story this little timber church has to tell.
26 thoughts on “A Little Church with A Story to Tell”
Wonderful pictures of the church. It does ooze with history. Looking forward to visiting and seeing the inside.
Thanks! Looking forward to you coming for a visit 😉
My father was fifteen when the war ended, and was one of the first to come back to Honningsvåg. Together with his parents and siblings, he spent the first months in the church. Decades later, when the church was refurbished, he was doing the paintwork, together with his colleague and my mother. Living close to the church my entire childhood, it has also been an important part of my life. Thanks for the pictures!
Thank you for your kind comment. I am inspired by the work your father and his family did for this community. I’d love to hear more of your family’s story. You are welcome to stop in at my gallery. Jeg leier lokalet nede på sjøgata, i kjelleren til det gamle bedehuset. Skal åpne galleriet der i løpet av det neste måneder. Veldig hyggelig hvis du stikke innom og vi kan ta en kupp kaffe og en prat. Hilsen, Erica
How fitting that a church should survive Hell on Earth, right?
😉 It is pretty amazing. Thanks for taking a look at my blog and some of my other posts as well. I appreciate it.
Thanks for making us aware of something we otherwise would probably never have heard about.
Thanks for you comment, Steve. I was also not aware of the story until we moved here. I’ve been deeply moved by the courage of the men and women who helped rebuild this part of Norway. Very inspiring.
Lovely photos and text, thanks!
Beautiful pictures and thanks for the background on this little church Erica. Thanks for your comments on my blog and it’s a reminder I need to spend some time going through yours!
It’s awesome to see you’re a “featured blog” on the photography-tagged blogs section. Very cool.
I’m looking forward to seeing more pictures of your studio as you put together the finishing touches and start filling it up with artwork. And I do like the wood drawers in there!
Thanks Steve. I’m totally shocked about being a featured blog, and of course thrilled. It’s wonderful to have more people see how beautiful it is here in the North Cape.
Keep stopping by and I’ll do the same. I learn a lot from your photos, and your self critiques. Happy New Year!
If only my pocket-book could accommodate the desire to come and see this inspiring place. I am enjoying your posts immensley, thank you.
I hope you’ll have the opportunity to come some day. And thank you so much for taking time to read my posts. I really appreciate it.
Yes, it’s a beautiful place. Thanks for stopping by.
Amazing photos! Churches are often the best inspiration and this one is no exception.
Thank you. I’m looking forward to taking some inside shots soon. Thank you for leaving a comment. I appreciate it.
Reblogged this on experiencenorthcape and commented:
I thought I would reblog this post for all the new followers of the blog. It provides some history about Honningsvaag Church after World War II.
Flott bildeserie av kirka i vinterdrakt. Kirker er nokså forskjellige fra sted til sted her i Norge. Langs kysten finnes mange eksempler på det!
Fortsatt god sommer til deg!
Takk Hans. Ja kirker er veldig forskjellige langs kysten.. og bare på den øya jeg bor på… Har en god sommer du og! Erica
Beautiful photos; and a lovely story of perseverance and hope and community. Thank you.
Something fun to the evening
This is a paperback book.
Very pleasant, the title said:
Head up particularly comforting.
Patience is the sister of hope and the mother of serenity.
Starlight is reflected only in a quiet pond.
Sincerely Andrea and many hugs.