Diocese of Tunsberg

Tønsberg Cathedral (Tønsberg domkirke)

Tunsberg is a diocese of the Church of Norway. It includes parishes located within the counties of Vestfold and Buskerud, with the cathedral city located in Tønsberg.


Prior to the establishment of the Diocese of Tunsberg in 1948, then counties of Vestfold and Buskerud belonged to the Diocese of Oslo. In a meeting of the episcopate in 1936, it was made clear that this diocese, which encompasses about a third of Norway's population, could not be managed by a single bishop. Therefore, the episcopate suggested that Vestfold and Buskerud should become their own diocese. But the Second World War intervened; the discussion was resumed after the liberation of Norway in 1945. The result of this was that the Odelsting - the larger of the two divisions of the Storting - decided on November 24, 1947 that Vestfold and Buskerud were to become a new diocese, and that Tønsberg would be the cathedral city of the Diocese of Tunsberg. Historically Tønsberg had been an important ecclesiastical center in Norway; in the Middle Ages, there were as many as 7 churches and 3 monasteries in this small urban community.[1]

King Haakon VII was present at the episcopal consecration in Tønsberg Cathedral on June 20, 1948. Tønsberg Cathedral was constructed of red brick and consecrated December 19, 1858. It was designed by architect Christian Heinrich Grosch with a seating capacity of 550. The church is built on the site of the medieval St. Lavrans Church. The cathedral has a pulpit dating from 1621. It is richly carved including the four evangelists and their personal symbols. The altarpiece depicting the struggle of Jesus at Gethsemane dates from 1764. The cathedral´s oldest treasures are two 16th-century Bibles, one from 1550 and one from 1589. The facility was refurbished during 1939 under the direction of Arnstein Arneberg. The interior contains stained glass windows and glass mozaics by Norwegian artist, Per Vigeland (1904–1968). A fresco painted directly on the wall above the south door, depicts Jesus as the Good Shepherd.[2]

Beside Tønsberg Cathedral is the Park of Remembrance. The park is dedicated to the Second World War heroes. There are various commemorative monuments in the park, starting from various sculptures to fountains and art work, but the most famous piece is the sculpture Mother and Child by Gustav Vigeland. [3]

Laila Riksaasen Dahl became Bishop of the Diocese of Tunsberg in 2003. The Diocese of Tunsberg consists of a number of registered Joint Parish Councils. The Parish Councils have responsibility for a number of neighboring parishes within rural deaneries.

Joint Parish Councils

Joint Parish Councils registered within the Diocese of Tunsberg include:


External links

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