Opening hours – entry and guided tours
During the summer period in 2020 Kongsberg church is open:
Wednesdays 11:00 am - 13:00 pm (1-21. June and after 17. August 2020).
Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays 11:00 am - 14:00 pm (22. June - 16. August 2020)
Entry without guiding is free of charge. For reservation of guided tours please call the church sexton +47 45425078. If you would like to visit the working church, there are regular Worship Service Sundays at 11:00 am and Morning Prayer Wednesdays at 11:30 am.
Glogerakademiet arranges organ concerts in Kongsberg church - see gloger.no for more information.
The history - Kongsberg church
Joachim Andreas Stukenbrock from Germany, an established architect and the head of the administration of the silver mines, was given the honourable task to be the architect of Kongsberg church. The building works started in 1740 and the church was consecrated in 1761. The baroque exterior is strict, dignified and monumental, but the interior is splendid, richly decorated and with lavish motifs, and the church has Norway's richest rococo interior. Stukenbrock's successor, the Norwegian oberberghauptmann Michael heltzen, was responsible for the interior.
The silver from Kongsberg was of great importance to the town and above all to the kingdom, and was looked upon as a gift from God. As a consequence of this, the altar wall with the pulpit and the organ were placed to the west and the mountain, where most of the silver was found. During the war, in 1944, the chandeliers and the church silver were stored in the silver mines in Kongsberg.
The galleries and the boxes
The church was built for 2.400 persons, but today only 1.100 persons are allowed because of fire regulations. The strict social hierarchy which prevailed in the silver works, is refletced in the church. To the east the royal box is at the top, the smaller balcony boxes were reserved for the administration. On the third gallery there are simple wodden pews. The miners, who were the lowest in ranking, sat there. On the ground floor is the bridal box.
The paintings, carvings and sculptures
Hendrich Bech and Brede Rantzau carried out the wooden carvings on the altar wall, and Bech the ornaments and sculptures. Eric Gustav Tunmarck from Sweden was the master of the painting in the ceiling, and the paintings above the side entrances. Together with von Dram and his journeymen painters, he carried out the marble painting on columns, walls, panels and banisters. Only the baptismal front is made of marble. Niels Thaaning fro Denmark has painted the pictures on the pulpit wall and on the altar wall. A painting of a piece of pure silver found in Segen Gottes mine in 1630, was painted in 1630-31 by Adam van Breen and is found in the bridal box. The piece of silver weighted 95 kilos.
The chandeliers were made at Nøstetangen glassworks in Hokksund. They have an unusually complicated construction and an impressive variation and are unique. The framevwork of the chandeliers is covered with glass, the glass is in manganese violet, cobalt blue, yellow and green and the prisms are glass blown. The chandeliers are a mixture of console and lyre chandeliers. The large 12-looped central chandelier has a royal crown on top. It is three meters high, has 30 candles and is decorated with 300 glass beads. The two smaller chandeliers are 3-looped, 2.1 metres high and have 24 candles and 175 glass beads each.
The Gloger Organ was built by Gottfried Heinrich Gloger, the greatest organ builder in Norway during the 1700s. The organ was inagurated in 1765. As with all other historic instruments, also the Gloger organ has had a dramatic past. It was finally closed down in 1889, and was silent until 2001. In January 2001, the Gloger Organ was finished, restored back to the original baroque organ from 1765 by the renowned German organ builder, Jürgen Ahrend. The restoration is considererd to be very successful. Today the organ has become a national treasure. Kongsberg now owns Scandinavia's largest historic baroque organ with a total of 42 stops and between 2.000-3.000 pipes. On special concerts bellow treaders ar waling the bellows.
The church bells
In the 1700s the church had four bells. However, two of them were sold at an auction around 1810. Since then the largest onw weighing 2.5 t and the smallest one (250 kilos) have been haning in the tower. At the 250-years jubilee of the curch in 2011, two more bells were acquired from Olsen Nauen bell founders near Tønsberg.
Thanks to a lot of donors in Kongsberg a new chime of 24 bells was inaugurated in September 2011. All the bells have been named after well-known composers and the chime was cast by Olsen Nauen bell founders. The chime has two octaves and is operated via an electronic keyboard. A computer is striking the hours. Two of the new chime's bells are also part of the swinging bells. The original number of bells from the 1700s is now complete.
The Gloger Academy
The Gloger Academy arranges concerts in the church throughout the year. At the end of Janary every year the Gloger Festival takes place.