Saint Olav's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Oslo

Saint Olav's Roman Catholic Cathedral, Oslo

Saint Olav Cathedral stands as the primary Catholic sanctuary in Oslo. It holds the distinction of being the inaugural Catholic church erected in Norway subsequent to the Lutheran Reformation – a transformative Christian movement spearheaded by Martin Luther that momentarily suppressed Catholicism across Northern Europe.

Established in the year 1843, the cathedral's construction aimed to accommodate the burgeoning Catholic community, which expanded due to immigration into Norway. Presently, it is estimated that Norway is home to a modest Catholic population of around 36,000 individuals, with a noteworthy 60% of them being foreign-born. Since its inception, the cathedral has consistently conducted Mass in a diverse array of languages, fostering an inclusive atmosphere to attract a varied congregation.

Architect H.E. Schirmer's creative vision brought the cathedral to life in the distinctive neo-Gothic architectural style. Its formal inauguration took place in 1856, eventually rising to prominence as the central church of the Catholic Diocese of Oslo one hundred years later. Inside, the cathedral boasts several notable features, including an exquisite altarpiece capturing Raphael's Madonna, an opulent Italian marble tabernacle bestowed by Pope Pius, and a throne once utilized by Pope John Paul II during his visit in 1989.

The cathedral received a comprehensive restoration in 1975, during which a new high altar and naves pillars were incorporated. Among the cathedral's treasures is the most ancient artifact found within its walls – the sole surviving relic attributed to King Olav, Norway's patron saint and the namesake of the cathedral.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Oslo. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Saint Olav's Roman Catholic Cathedral on Map

Sight Name: Saint Olav's Roman Catholic Cathedral
Sight Location: Oslo, Norway (See walking tours in Oslo)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Oslo, Norway

Create Your Own Walk in Oslo

Create Your Own Walk in Oslo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Oslo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Old Oslo Walking Tour

Old Oslo Walking Tour

The historic Old Town of Oslo is the oldest part of the city which dates back to the days of medieval Norway. This urban area emerged around the year 1000 and became the capital of Norway's dominion (within the Dano-Norwegian Realm) around 1300. The Old Town district continued to be known as Oslo, while the whole city was called Christiania, until 1925.

One of its prominent landmarks is...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Museum District (Bygdoy) Walking Tour

Museum District (Bygdoy) Walking Tour

Oslo's Museum District, located on the Bygdoy Peninsula, is home to some of the most visited museums in the city. Repositories of precious artifacts from Norway’s history, these remarkable institutions collectively represent a treasure trove for those keen on exploring this northerly nation's past.

One of the standout attractions here is the Fram Museum, showcasing the incredible...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Oslo Introduction Walking Tour

Oslo Introduction Walking Tour

Oslo is the capital of Norway. The name "Oslo" means the field below the hill or the field of the Gods. The city's ancient roots can be traced as far back as the year 1000. Back then, the area was known as Viken. By 1300, it had a population of about 3,000 residents. Around that time, King Haakon V ordered the construction of the Akershus Fortress which today is a major city...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Grunerlokka Walking Tour

Grunerlokka Walking Tour

Formerly a working-class area of Oslo, Grunerlokka is one of the capital’s hippest neighborhoods. This district is named after Friedrich Gruner, the former chief administrator of the city in the late 1600s. Today's Grunerlokka is a fusion of Norwegian and foreign cultures, owing it largely to the late 20th-century gentrification process.

Apart from the street art, stylish bars, happening...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Historical Churches Walking Tour

Historical Churches Walking Tour

Oslo's religious landscape, particularly within the Christian tradition, is a captivating tapestry interwoven with history, faith, and architectural elegance. The city boasts a collection of historical churches reflecting the evolution of local Christian communities. Diverse in their designs, these sacred sites offer a glimpse into the deep-rooted religious traditions that have shaped Oslo...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Traveler's Choice: 15 Norwegian Gifts from Oslo

Traveler's Choice: 15 Norwegian Gifts from Oslo

The Norwegians are strict about gift making and believe that each gift must be equaled with a return one. For this reason, public holidays and birthdays are a very serious business in Norway, with everyone making and receiving gifts. In the spirit of this tradition, you might want to treat your dear...