Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Oslo off the beaten track: The Church of Old Aker

The Church of Old Aker is the oldest church building within the borders of Oslo. It is situated on Akersberget overlooking the old street of Telthusbakken. Under it you find the oldest silver mines in Norway, dating back to the viking era.

It may go back as far back as 900 years, and is said to have been built by the old norse king Olav III Kyrre in 1080. Old Aker Church is a beautiful example of Romanesque architecture. It is well worth a visit.

It is an old myth connected to the church and the caves underneath it. It claims that a dragon rests in a cave under the church, and that it guards a treasure. In the cave there are said to be four pillars of gold holding up the church building. The stories says that from time to time you can see a sulphurous steam coming out of the cave from the sleeping dragon.

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