Norwegian Church, Cardiff

4 out of 5 stars 12 Reviews

Harbour Drive, Cardiff Bay, CF10 5PA +44 (0)29 20 454 899

Been here? Rate It!

hide
  • The church from the bay.
    The church from the bay.
    by mustertal
  • Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay
    Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay
    by spidermiss
  • Tea & Cheesecake at Norsk Cafe
    Tea & Cheesecake at Norsk Cafe
    by spidermiss
  • uglyscot's Profile Photo

    The Norwegian Church Art Centre

    by uglyscot Updated Feb 3, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Norwegian Church
    3 more images

    The Norwegian merchant navy sailed all over the globe after the Crimea War resulting in thousands of Norwegian sailors having to be absent from home for long periods of time. This resulted in religious missions being set up in numerous ports throughout Europe, and eventually elsewhere in the world.
    Because the port of Cardiff was one of the major ports at the time , it was one of the first to have a Norwegian sailors' church. It was built in 1868 between the East and West Docks .
    It was consecrated in December 1868, and was extended several times. In 1885 a gallery and bell-tower were added. It was a very busy and world famous meeting place for Scandinavian sailors and was the centre of Scandinavian religion, culture and tradition. The Church was first and foremost a seamen's mission, but it was also a home-from-home for sailors, where they could read newspapers and magazines from home, write letters to their families, relax and chat with their friends over a cup of coffee and a plate of waffles.
    When the export of coal from Cardiff docks declined Norwegian ships turned elsewhere for trade. Without maintenance, the building fell into disrepair and was vandalised. To avoid the total destruction of the church , the church was dismantled in 1987 and re-erected on its present site.
    The writer Roald Dahl was baptised in the church.

    It is open daily from 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 pm, admission free

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • spidermiss's Profile Photo

    Norwegian Church Arts Centre

    by spidermiss Updated Dec 14, 2012
    Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay
    4 more images

    I paid a visit to this former church where Norwegian Seaman, whilst docked in Cardiff, worshipped and where Roald Dahl, the writer, was baptised in 1917, a year after his birth.

    The church was built in 1868 by Herman Lunde, a Norwegian. The church served as a Norwegian cultural centre as well as place for worship. Following a decline of dock activity at the bay in the 1970s the church closed in 1974. Funds for restoration were raised by the Norwegian Church Preservation Society with which Roald Dahl was the first president.

    It reopened in 1992 by Princess Martha Louise of Norway as an arts centre and coffee shop. A refurbishment followed in 2011 and the centre observes National Constitutional Day.

    I paid a visit to their Norsk coffee shop where I had tea and a delicious cheesecake. It's a lovely cafe with its Scandinavian memorabilia and views of the bay. I also visited the exhibition of Arnold Lavery, a painter, in the Dahl Gallery. I had an interesting discussion with him about how artists interpret their feelings and moods in paintings. There is also some information about Roald Dahl.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

    Was this review helpful?

  • ettiewyn's Profile Photo

    The Norwegian Church

    by ettiewyn Updated Apr 12, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    2 more images

    When I I arrived at Cardiff Bay and first saw the Norwegian Church from the Aquabus, it indeed felt a little surreal. The building looks so Scandinavian that it really looked out of place here! So why is there a Norwegian Church in Cardiff at all? It is because in the 19th century, many Norwegian sailors lived in Cardiff Bay. It was one of the most multicultural places in the world because the coal trade attracted so many workers, and the Norwegian community was very big. They needed their own place to worship and to have social care, so guess who donated some land to them? Yes, the Marquess of Bute.
    In 1868, the church was built and it served as a place of worship and meeting place for Norwegians until the 1970s. The Norwegian-Welsh writer Roald Dahl was christened here. Roald Dahl Plass between the waterfront and the Millennium Centre is also named after him.
    After it was out of use, the church fell into disrepair and was then dismantled to prevent its total dilapidation.
    When the redevelopment of Cardiff Bay started, the church was re-erected and renovated on a new site (where it stands now). Roald Dahl himself was president of the reservation trust, although sadly he died before the work was completed.

    The church is now an arts centre and café. I did not visit the café, but I had a look at the exhibition by a local painter. In addition, there are also dance classes, yoga classes, concerts and other community projects. I think it is nice that the church now again is a meeting place for local people, where they can meet, chat and have a good time - just as it was to the Norwegian sailors a hundred years ago.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • grayfo's Profile Photo

    Norwegian Church Arts Centre

    by grayfo Written Dec 30, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Cardiff was one of the first port’s to have a Norwegian Sailor’s Church and was built to provide religious and social care to thousands of sailors employed in the Norwegian merchant fleet. The Church was founded by Herman Lunde of Oslo and built in 1868; in 1885 a gallery and a bell tower were added. The building was later rescued from demolition and rebuilt as a cultural centre on Cardiff Bay’s waterfront in 1992, the church was again refurbished and revitalised with a complete refurbishment programme funded by the Landfill Communities Fund and the Hordaland County Council in 2011.

    The centre is now a renowned cultural venue with a diverse annual programme of art exhibitions, concerts and events. It also has a stylish coffee shop on the waterfront with a range of mouth watering cakes and dishes with a Norwegian flavour overlooking the bay.

    Sunday to Saturday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

    email norwegianchurch@cardiff.gov.uk

    September 2011

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Religious Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • mustertal's Profile Photo

    Not just a Church.

    by mustertal Written Aug 27, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The church from the bay.
    1 more image

    This newly renovated little wooden church, was buit around 1865. At the time Cardiff was a thriving sea port and a very multi cultural City.
    The church was brought over by the Norwegien importers, and, is famously the place were Roald Dahl was babtised.
    The church now lends itself to a host of things, weddings, the arts, even Zumba classes, but not to be missed is the coffee shop selling Welsh cakes and other Welsh delicasies. There is a nice large decking area if you want to sit outside and watch the pleasure boats as they make their way round the Bay.
    Open every day aprt from Christmas day.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Myfanwe's Profile Photo

    The Norwegian Church

    by Myfanwe Updated May 17, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    A famous landmark in Cardiff bay is the magnificent Norwegian Church. It was originally built in 1868 as a place of worship for Norwegian sailors. The original building was situated a mile from where it is now, in 1987 the building was dismantled piece by piece and re-located at its' current waterside position. It now houses a Coffee Shop and gallery, there are also rooms available for hire. I love going here on a cold winters day to escape the elements & peer out of the windows over to the Barrage.

    The Norwegian Church has just undergone a major revamp to improve disabled access, toilet facilities. It also now has a lovely decked area which overlooks the bay.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Arts and Culture

    Was this review helpful?

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo

    Norwegian Church

    by HORSCHECK Updated Sep 26, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Norwegian Church

    The Norwegian Church was built in 1868 and used to be a place of worship for the norwegian sailors and dockers.

    It was once sited in Butetown but was moved to its current position after the regeneration of Cardiff Bay. The famous childrens' author Roald Dahl was baptised in this church in 1916. Nowadays the church serves as an arts centre and coffee shop.

    Directions:
    The Norwegian Church is located in Cardiff Bay at the end of Harbour Drive. Cardiff Bay is situated about 2 miles south of the city centre.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Trains
    • Backpacking

    Was this review helpful?

  • Balam's Profile Photo

    Cardiff's Norwegian Church

    by Balam Written Oct 21, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Norwegian Church
    2 more images

    One of the landmark buildings on Cardiff Bay’s waterfront is this lovely white wooden building that was formerly a Norwegian Sailors Church, now a renowned cultural venue.
    It hosts art exhibitions, concerts and other events most art exhibitions are free but there are charges for some events
    There is a cafe that you can call into if you fancy a drink or a snack.

    Related to:
    • Food and Dining
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Tom_Fields's Profile Photo

    Norwegian Church

    by Tom_Fields Written Mar 11, 2008

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The Norwegian Church in Cardiff

    Long a church for sailors, the old Norwegian Church at Cardiff's harbour is now an art gallery, with a small coffee shop and special events.

    Built in 1868, on land donated by the Marquess of Bute, this is Britain's oldest surviving church built by the Norwegian Seamen’s Mission. It served not only as a place of worship but also as a social gathering spot for Scandinavian sailors.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

    Was this review helpful?

  • Carmela71's Profile Photo

    Norwegian Church

    by Carmela71 Updated Mar 20, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    'Norwegian Church'

    Cardif bay church.

    The views from the bay from this church are incredible. Is a nice place to sit or walk along and enjoy the views, specially in a nice day.

    Also is a good place to park the car while walking around

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Eco-Tourism

    Was this review helpful?

  • neilward's Profile Photo

    Lovely Hot Chocolates...

    by neilward Written Jan 17, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Great hot drinks

    THIS WAS BUILT IN CARDIFF AS A PLACE OF WORSHIP FOR SEAFARERS BACK IN1867,IT FELL INTO DISREPAIR AND IN 1987, A TRUST FUND WAS SET UP UNDER THE GUIDANCE OF ROALD DAHL,WHO WAS BAPTISED THERE.iN 1992 IT WAS OFFICIALLY OPENED BY PRINCESS MARTHA LOUISE OF NORWAY.
    IT IS NOW A THRIVING COFFEE SHOP AND ARTS CENTRE.
    THEY DO A GREAT HOT CHOCOLATE !!!

    Was this review helpful?

  • neilward's Profile Photo

    Inside The Norwegian Church

    by neilward Written Jan 17, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This is a picture inside what used to be the hall part of the church.
    I thought it was strange to see a sailing ship in a ceiling of an old church !!

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Cardiff

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

90 travelers online now

Comments

Hotels Near Norwegian Church
4.5 out of 5 stars
1 Review
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
0.1 miles away
Show Prices
4.0 out of 5 stars
0.3 miles away
Show Prices

View all Cardiff hotels