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

Cathedral in the town of the Northern Lights

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.

A cathedral in 2013?

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.

Northern Lights attraction

The church was designed to be a Cathedral of the Northern Lights in more than name alone. There are plans to create a Northern Lights attraction in the basement, which will help to further promote Alta as a Northern Lights destination.

Other churches

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

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.