Monday, July 30, 2007

The haunted chapel at Rokoberget

In the middle of the forest, high up on a hill, an hour or so from Hamar you find the remains of an old church. The old church at Rokoberget in Løten was located by the old pilgrims road to Nidaros, the burial place of Saint Olav, the patron saint of Norway.

Today there are not much left of it, sadly neglected as it has been allowed to fall into disrepair. It was once dedicated to Saint Mikael. Still much of its past is shrouded in mystery. We do not know when it was built, but it was probably in the 13th century. The St. Mikaels Church is mentioned in a papal letter from 1254, and it is said to have been a healing spring by its walls.

We do not how long it was in use, but it may have decayed after the reformation, as the large cathedral at Hamar. At one of the corner post somebody has written the year 1567, and this may indicate that it was around this time it fell into decay.

My friend, Øyvind, told me that the local population is hesitant to visit the church ruins during night, as the place is said to be haunted. The place has a strong position in the local folklore as the area is part of an old landscape going far back in time. Today, however, plants and trees are reclaiming the site for itself, as the ruins are slowly taken over by vegetation.

This is surely a place off the beaten track for you to see. The ruins and the area around it has a stunning natural beauty. You can even stop by Rokosjøen lake to have a swim, and you can even take a snack at the local cafe.

Stop by the local Tourist Information to get direction, as it is certainly not easy to find.

Good Luck!

No comments: