"Britt-Arnhild, one day you must come to Chichester. The cathedral here is lovely and from what I can see from your pictures of the Nidaros cathedral, the two churches must look very much alike."
My friend Fran in Sussex has talked several times over the years about the likness of the two cathedrals. And she has sent me photos and postcards.
Finally it was time to travel to Chichester, a small town, or city actually, since it has a cathedral, down near the British Channel.
Seeing the cathedral made my heart sing with joy. It felt like family. It felt like coming home.
The two cathedrals are built in the same period, which is not difficult to say even though I am no historian, as the building of Nidaros cathedral has gone on for a thousand years. In medieval times cathedral builders travelled all over Europe to work on different sites, and I am absolutely sure that stone masons from Chichester have been in Trondheim and vice versa.
The inside of Chichester cathedral was not at all like Nidaros though. I have a tale from the inside for another day, another blog post. Now I want to tell you about an almost 1000 year old church which we found on the main street in Chichester.
The Church of St. Olave.
Here is what the sign outside the church says:
This Saxon church the oldest
building in Chichester was
built around 1050. It contains
evidence of late 11th century
work & was partly rebuilt
in the late 13th & early 14th
century. Being further
restored in the 19th century.
It is one of several churches
dedicated to St. Olave or Olaf.
King Olaf Haraldson.
Patron saint of Norway.
Lived from 995 - 1030 & was
canonised in 1164.
It did not only feel like coming home.
I was at home!
Home with my dear St. Olav, patron saint not only of Norway, but on Nidaros cathedral. The cathedral built on his grave.
St. Olav must have visited Chichester on one of his many travels.
By the way, have you read Ken Follett´s Pillars of the Earth?
No????? Then you really have something to look forward to :-)