Friday Lens Affair 238

Svalbard Church, Norway

This week I’m featuring a beautiful shot of Svalbard Church in Norway taken by Aga from the Worldering Around Blog.

Agnieszka is from Poland, she travelled to 50+ countries, hitch-hiked around Europe, paraglided in the Himalayas, climbed active volcanoes in Indonesia and swum with turtles in Madagascar.

She is always up for the adventure, follow her for more on Facebook and Instagram.

Photo Story: Svalbard Church

Have you ever thought how it would be to go to the North?

Like to the very north – to the most northerly town in the world? With the most northerly shops, the most northerly pub and the most northerly church. Well, I did it. And it was magical.

Located in the Svalbard archipelago, in the north of Norway, lies a town of Longyearbyen. It’s the world’s most northerly settlement of more than 1000 people.

Currently, the town has over 2000 permanent residents (with 3000 polar bears living on the island).

There are also several shops, a few restaurants, and one church.

Svalbard church, that you can see on the picture, has been the most northerly church in the world, until another church was built in Nagurskoye, Russia.

Even though it might not be one of the “most” anymore, it is still incredibly picturesque, especially with the backdrop of the Svalbard rugged mountains towering behind.

The church is both a meeting and religious venue and it’s open 24h. In the wilderness of the Arctic, an institution like this can be an important place for various people coming from all the sides of the world.

The “locals” from Svalbard are normally there just for limited period of time. Not everyone can stand the harsh, dark winters and no sun for half a year.

But for those who do, there is a reward of amazing views, stunning wildlife, incredible nature and geology that can’t be compared to any other place in the world.

I took this picture of the church during the midnight sun, at the end of April. It was almost midnight when the sky turned orange and the sun dropped by the horizon, but it never set.

The sun hovers above the sea for a while and then it travels up in the sky again, providing the light during the whole night.

A visit to Svalbard is like a trip to another world, and a must-do for every adventurous traveller.

Svalbard Church is located at Longyearbyen in Svalbard, Norway.

It was the northernmost church in the world before the St. Nicolas church was built in Nagurskoye, Russia.

The first church at Longyearbyen was consecrated on August 28, 1921. During World War II, it was bombed, and the church burned down.

In 1956, the foundation stone for the new church was laid down. The architect was Hans Magnus. The church was consecrated on August 24, 1958.

The church is built of wood, is of rectangular plan, and has 140 seats.

Svalbard is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Situated north of mainland Europe, it is about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole.

The largest island is Spitsbergen, followed by Nordaustlandet and Edgeøya.

Since 2002, Svalbard’s main settlement, Longyearbyen, has had an elected local government, somewhat similar to mainland municipalities.

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