The Cathedral of the Northern Lights is inspired by the nightsky

The Cathedral of the Northern Lights in the town of the Northern Lights, Alta, is a modern cathedral in a modern town with lines as elegant as the northern lights themselves.

Architectural firm Link, based in Stavanger, designed a building shaped like a spiral that swings its way up the building to a clock tower. The Northern Lights were the inspiration behind the design and from every angle you can see undulating waves resembling the Northern Lights. What could be more appropriate in the town of the Northern Lights than a Cathedral of the Northern Lights? The embellishments are the work of Danish artist Peter Brandes. The cathedral was consecrated on 10 February.

Does one build cathedrals in the third millenium?

If you thought the age of the cathedral was over, Alta has proven itself an exception. Alta previously had two centres, Bossekop and Elvebakken. However, the facilities of the two centres have now been brought together in Alta centre, located between the two. With the high proportion of young people, and therefore the need for a large number of christenings, confirmations, gospel choirs, children’s groups and so on among the population, there was considerable demand for a church in the centre of the town. With Alta’s name as the town of the Northern Lights, there was a strong desire for a church that was a bit different.

There are other churches in Alta

The old Alta Church in Bossekop, which dates from 1858, was the only building left standing after the evacuation in 1944, and it is of course protected. Elvebakken Church dates from 1964 and is situated in Elvebakken. Both of these churches remain in use for their respective local communities.

Read more about the Northern Lights Cathedral

The Cathedral of the Northern Lights has its own website,, with drawings, sketches of embellishments and lots of other information. is an excellent place to find further information on Alta.

Facts about the Northern Lights Cathedral

Alta enjoys a dry, stable climate with lots of clear skies. It is also the location for the first scientific research on the Northern Lights. Therefore, it was natural to name the church the Northern Lights Cathedral.

The Northern Lights Cathedral is open for visitors most days. Check their website for the exact opening hours.

The website Visit Alta has a lot of good information what, where, when and how in Alta.