Excavations risky

Cultural heritage board assessing basement stability at Stavanger Cathedral

Stavanger church

Photo: Carina Johansen / NTB scanpix
The exterior of Stavanger Cathedral.


The Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage will consider archaeological excavations in the crypt under Stavanger Cathedral. It is not, however, certain that anything will happen.

According to Stavanger Aftenblad, the directorate stated in September that the church floor could be covered with concrete without any kind of archaeological investigations first.

“We see that there is a great local commitment to bring about archaeological excavations, and we are happy about that. We are now asking for a more thorough assessment to see if this can be done in a responsible manner,” said Elisabeth Dahle, divisional director at the department.

The Stavanger Church Joint Council has now been given the task of ordering further studies on stability and safety. An earlier report pointed out that investigations of the basement were not safe, and that there was a risk of settlement damage during an excavation. The Norwegian Directorate of Cultural Heritage is paying for the investigation.

The cathedral was closed in May this year because of comprehensive work on the interior. There are plans to reopen by Easter 2023, according to the Church of Norway.

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 13, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American.

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NTB (Norsk Telegrambyrå), the Norwegian News Agency, is a press agency and wire service that serves most of the largest Norwegian media outlets. The agency is located in Oslo and has bureaus in Brussels, Belgium, and Tromsø in northern Norway