To the west of Trondheim, on the Byneset peninsula is a little farming villiage. Towards the water in a beautiful pocket of leafy oak trees is the Byneset Church.
Built under the direction of Archbishop Eystein around 1180, the church was dedicated to the Archangel Michael with the title: Byneset Church – Saint Michael’s Church on Stone. From the reformation in 1537, the Crown owned the church until it was sold to a private owner in 1725. The farmers of Byneset and Buvika repurchased the church and land in 1803 and it has been in the community ever since.
A Latin inscription in the church from the 1500s reads:
MORS TUA, MPRS CHRISTI, FRAUS MUNDI, GLORIA COELI ET DOLOR INFERNI SUNT MEDITANDA TIBI
“Thy death, death of Christ, the deception of the world, the glory of Heaven and the pains of Hell should be considered by thee”
The church was originally build with a wooden roof but in 1899 it was refurbished to slate. The pulpit was built in 1652, the pews in 1655, and the organ in 1874. The original church bell hung in the free-standing campanile built in 1638. In 1960 Fresco wall paintings from the 16th century were ‘discovered’ and restored.
The grounds are beautifully kept and the colours that surround compliment this quaint stone church. The church is on a lush hill that looks over farmland and a branch of the Trondheim Fjord. There are many old tombs of steel and stone with history galore. It is certainly a place of envy for those looking for peace and beauty.
The best (and only) way to this church is by car. Highway 707 from Trondheim takes you on a 30min drive straight to Byneset and from there you will have to follow the tourist attraction symbol through the back streets. The church is still in use by the community so if you want to go inside you will need to pick times that church or activities are on or find out from the Trondheim tourist centre when (or if) they have opening times. We visited on a Sunday afternoon and there was no one to be seen (but that’s how we like it).