The Norwegian Church Arts Centre
Norwegian Church, Cardiff Bay, © Crown copyright (2013) Visit Wales
Originally a Norwegian sailors’ church, this distinctive white building is a prominent feature in the Cardiff Bay area. Fully refurbished in 2011, it’s the perfect venue for meetings, corporate hospitality, private parties and concerts. It has a full programme of exhibitions and events such as zumba and street dance classes, Welsh language courses, art workshops, concerts and plays.
The church was built in 1868 and became world famous as a meeting place for Scandinavian sailors. Between 1867 and 1915, the church served between 7,500 and 73,000 seamen every year. It eventually fell into disrepair but was rescued during the renovation of the bay area. The building was dismantled, parts of the interior were rescued and it was re-erected on the present site.
The church has strong links with Roald Dahl: he was born in Cardiff on 13th September, 1916 and spent his early childhood and school days in the city. He and his family worshipped at the Norwegian Church when it was in its original location in the Cardiff Docks and Roald Dahl and his sisters were christened at the church. He became the first President of the Norwegian Church Preservation Trust when it was established in 1987.
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