This state-of-the-art building is the parish church that was built in 1965 in the Tromsdalenneighborhood of the Norwegian city of Tromso. However, despite its status as a Lutheran parish, given its beauty and monumental presence, it has become known as the Arctic Cathedral, given its location beyond the Polar Circle Arctic. And it is not the only nickname that has been given to it, since due to its peculiar shape on more than one occasion it has been called the Norwegian Opera House, to relate it to the Sydney Opera House and thus establish a parallel with one of the most charismatic constructions of the 20th century.
The truth is that the building is absolutely modern in its shape and material, concrete, and of course breaks with the traditional wooden churches or stavkirke typical of Norway, and of which there are examples in the same city of Tromso.
The contrast between those buildings and the Tromsdalen church couldn't be greater. Here stands a temple with 11 concrete panels, which in turn are covered with aluminum. An idea planned by the architectJan Inge Hovigand who has never finished clarifying what inspired him to give it such volume. And it is that with this shape it seems to evoke different elements, such as the typical cod dryers, the mountains behind it and it can evenremember the Sami shops of the population of Lapland. Although there are those who want to see a kind of stranded iceberg, something that is not nearly as obvious as the authentic Norwegian Opera House built in Oslo.
In addition to concrete and aluminium, the use of glass also takes on significant importance in the building. Especially in the main facade, which rises 35 meters and is fully glazed. Although in what would be its head facing east there are also stained glass windows, in this case with representations of biblical scenes based on colored glass, which also serve to create a special atmosphere inside the temple.
In fact, light is the main protagonist of the interior, since in this place we have to unite, on the one hand, the traditional austerity and sobriety of Protestant temples with the idea of minimalism itself that emerged in Scandinavia. Hence, the interior is very simple, and in it only the large lamps stand out, as well as a huge organ built a few years ago, which is used both in religious celebrations and in the programming of musical concerts.