Architecture in Norway | The Hamardomen on Domkirkeodden

Hamar Norge, Hamardomen, Domkirkeodden, Kodak Tri X 400, Leica Elmarit M 2.8 28 asph.

Norway is worth a visit for its extravagant architecture alone. Far away from our usual ideas, internationally renowned architects show clear lines that contrast with the landscape and yet so merge with it. Near Lillehammer, we discover a cathedral that is not there anywhere else in the world.

Crystal clear architecture in Norway – the Hamardomen on Domkirkeodden

In the small town of Hamar near Lillehammer in Norway stands a structure that, although only completed in 1998, has its origins as early as the 12th century. The Hamardomen on Domkirkeodden.

On the northern outskirts of Hamar stands on the highest point of the headland Domekirkeodden this glass cathedral, the cathedral to Hamar or just in Norwegian: Hamardomen. In his deep inside lives the old Hamar Cathedral, at least what was left of it.

And so, in the city of Hamar, one has united an old landmark of the city with a new one instead of replacing it. You have to imitate this first. But back to the beginning.

The origin of the hamardomen

On the banks of Mjøsa, in 1152-1153, work began on the construction of a cathedral that was impressive at the time, thus giving expression to the founding of a new diocese. Around the year 1200, this church is completed in Romanesque style. The cathedral is visible from the lake. Christianity in Norway is still in its infancy. It is the time of the dissection of the famous stave churches / Stavskirken.

The place for the cathedral in Hamar has been chosen on the highest point of the headland, which is now assigned to the name “Domkirkeodden”. For that time, this sacred building is an impressive, a powerful landmark.

At this time, Mjøsa, the great lake, is home to the already significant city of Hamarkaupangen. Already in the 14th century the cathedral in Hamar is extended in gothic style. For 300 years, the Hamar Cathedral is said to be the most important spiritual or religious place between Oslo and Trondheim.

But then comes the Reformation, which spreads like wildfire. Above all, Scandinavia freed itself from the previous Catholicism and so the cathedral in Hamar already from the year 1536 or 1537 superfluous. The whole country is reforming its church within a short time.

Then follows the seven-year Nordic War, Swedish soldiers invade the medieval city of Hamarkaupangen and set the bishopric on Domekirkeodden on fire. Remains of a previously imposing building remain.

The glass casket Hamardomen

For centuries, the ruins have been a ruin in the landscape. They dominate the Domkirkeodden on Mjøsa, but the ruin threatens to expire. So how to handle it. So the idea comes up to cover the remains of the cathedral in the Hamar, in order to protect it from further decay. But, the ruin should continue to be visible. So the architect Kjell Lund designs from 1987 a protective structure made of steel and glass and sets it exactly over the ruins.

In 1998, the hamardomen was ceremoniously opened. Quickly established the name Hamardomen. The result is a living museum and an excellent concert hall. Because the combination of the sloping glass-metal construction in a huge roof shape with the soft stone of the ruin inside offers a unique, outstanding sound. The venue for music events is also home to a variety of events, here in the Hamardomem.

Farm Storhamar at Hamardomen

As large as the protective structure of Hamardomen is, it can, of course, only accommodate a small part of the former bishop’s residence. The plant also occupies a large area in the hamardomen. For the episcopal see was originally a generous palace with a correspondingly spacious courtyard. Today only the floor slabs and outlines of the walls have been preserved here.

On one part of the foundations stands the farm Storhamar since the 18th / 19th century. Also this is today part of the museum complex and according to the architect Sverre Fehn provided with a modern interior design. Inside the barns of Storhamar invites a permanent exhibition on the history of the bishopric and the Hamardomen.

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