Herdla Kyrkje—St. Nicolai

Herdla Norway

Norwegian Lutheran State Church

One of the oldest churches in Norway, it dates to 1146, when it was dedicated to St Nicholas, the seamen's patron saint. In the 1300s it was the twelfth Royal Chapel. The church, damaged by storms in 1720 and 1859, became the property of the people in 1859. A larger church was built in 1861, seating 700, with each island man donating labor and a cord of stone. During the German occupation the steeple and roof were torn down, tunnels dug beneath, and a flat roof put on. After being used for cement storage and as a stable, only the walls remained after the war. It was rebuilt with a lower steeple and roof in 1951.