Arctic Cathedral

Hans Nilsens vei 41, 9020 Tromsdalen, Norway

Many visitors are surprised to learn this cathedral’s striking modern design dates to the 1960s. The soaring triangular structure is visible from downtown Tromsø, although taking a bus or cab is recommended as the walk across Tromsøya Bridge can be a windy one even on the sunniest day. Its simple interior is brightened by the large glass mosaic on the far wall, packed with intricate detail and symbolism. The ideal time to visit is just before midnight in the summer, when midnight sun concerts are held daily.

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A Midnight Concert

It’s a long (and not particularly attractive) walk out of town to the Arctic Cathedral, built in Tromso in 1965. But it’s worth it if you go in summer, the time of the midnight sun, when the not-quite-sunsets of the Arctic Circle bathe the modernist structure in pastels and create a beautiful light within the church, too. Add in the haunting sounds of a tenor, or a soprano, or a choral quartet—the church puts on regular nighttime concerts—and the effect is quite mesmeric. You’ll walk home around 1am not quite knowing which world you’re in.

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