The northernmost church in Europe * – Gamvik Kirke on north chin (Nordkyn)
Europe’s northernmost church, Gamvik Kirke, is also the northernmost church in Norway. Gamvik Kirke is also one of the youngest churches in Norway and that has a sad background. Because during the withdrawal of the German occupation at the end of the Second World War, no stone should remain unturned in the whole of Finnmark and also here on North Chin (Nordkyn). These blind vicarious agents of the Satanist and tyrant Adolf Hitler did not stop at a church. But from the start:
*on the mainland
Visiting the Barents Sea – we are approaching Gamvik Kirke
The small fishing village of Gamvik in the north of north chin (Nordkyn) has been inhabited for a long time, but the first church was only built in 1894. Before that, the Sami, who are at home in this region, visited their church on the southern Tanafjord, in Gullholmen. However, with the inauguration of Gamvik Kirke, the small log house church with a small tower in Gullholmen was decommissioned. The first church in Gamvik had 260 seats.
The small Sami chapel in Gullholmen was in Tana until 1858. But it was always a challenge and also a consideration of how one could offer people somewhat central and easily accessible places in this inhospitable peninsula Nordkyn (Nordkyn), which is often only accessible from the sea.
Then came the Second World War and its gruesome end, especially for Finnmark. Because out of concern that the advancing Russian troops could use the existing structures for a faster advance, everything should be razed, everything should be burned. The German Wehrmacht did not stop at holy places like a church like Gamvik Kirke.
In Gamvik, on the morning of November 5, 1944, people were threatened with violence to get on the boats of the Germans and to be taken to areas south of the Lyngenfjord. The wooden buildings were then lit one after the other, telephone lines were cut and bridges were blown up. No fishing boat would be usable after this action.
Then it burned on the evening of November 5, 1944, the Gamvik Kirke. Can you blaspheme God worse? The Gamvik people would not celebrate Christmas this year, they would depend on the grace in the camps where they would be placed. Because the seeds were rather second-class people in Norway.
Reconstruction began immediately after the war. The displaced people had been spread all over Norway since November 1944. They wanted to go back home as soon as possible. They wanted to be with their neighbors, friends and work colleagues again. They wanted to celebrate their service together again at Gamvik Kirke. When they arrived they were left with nothing. This was how makeshift barracks were first built to enable the reconstruction workers to have an infrastructure.
But the people quickly sought their center again, where they could gather and meet. A new church was expensive and logistically not currently feasible. But at least they decided to have an interim church. It was built by volunteer artisans in the form of a large barrack with a tower. It was solemnly consecrated on December 7, 1947 and was to serve as a place of worship and meeting place until 1956.
Then the construction of the new Gamvik Kirke began. The new Gamvik Kirke was built of stone and concrete and was consecrated on April 27, 1958 by Bishop Wilg and handed over to the community. After the war, Bishop Wilk was responsible for the reconstruction of the destroyed churches and the restoration of the damaged churches in Finnmark.
The two donated candlesticks were taken from the interim church into the new Gamvik Kirke.
Right from the start, the new Gamvik Kirke was conceived as a work church. This means that Gamvik Kirke combines different functions under one roof. On the one hand, it has a worship room with 224 seats and a variable parish hall with 80 seats. This is the Gamvik Kirke church and parish hall in one. Opposite Gamvik Kirke is the cemetery behind low walls and a small iron gate.
Today Gamvik Kirke is one of the Norwegian cultural monuments and is listed in the country’s antiquarian bookshop under number 84229.