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“A quiet retreat”
Review of Svalbard Kirke

Svalbard Kirke
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed June 11, 2014

This is a red wooden church with a spire, with simple coloured glass windows. You had to change to clogs at the entrance. There was a stuffed polar bear in community hall at the back, and a simple altar up front. Positive that it was open for visitors outside service time.

1  Thank Ella63_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"stuffed polar bear"
in 9 reviews
"beautiful church"
in 6 reviews
"peaceful place"
in 5 reviews
"lounge area"
in 5 reviews
"small church"
in 3 reviews
"small donation"
in 3 reviews
"coffee and tea"
in 2 reviews
"hill overlooking"
in 2 reviews
"sunday service"
in 2 reviews
"hot drinks"
in 4 reviews
"cruise ship"
in 2 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 3 reviews
"biscuits"
in 2 reviews
"honesty"
in 6 reviews
"religious"
in 8 reviews
"shoes"
in 19 reviews
"pastor"
in 4 reviews
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94 - 98 of 221 reviews

Reviewed April 10, 2014

The Church on Svalbard is a great place to visit and relax at-it is always open,and you can have a quiet time for yourself and light a candle if you wish.

1  Thank Thomas B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2014

Maybe it is not an architectural wonder, but in its simplicity it is a true gem. It is a very relaxing and quiet place, just outside the village, very spiritual in a Franciscan way. Worth a visit and at least a brief stay, even if also to contemplate the peace and silence...

1  Thank Fabio G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 28, 2013

As I was in Longyearbyen over Christmas, it seemed somewhat appropriate to visit this church.

It stands up on the hillside on one side of the town and is about a 20 minute walk although, as with the previous review, the snow & cold weather added a bit of time to the journey in late December. The effort was worth it however; firstly for the wonderful views down into the town and over to the mountains all around, just visible through the polar night.

Inside there is a small reception area to leave your coat and take off your shoes, replacing them with crocs that are provided. The church itself is then up a short flight of stairs and I'm fairly sure that there is a disabled lift for accessibility.

Upstairs the church itself is at one end of a long narrow room, the other half of which resembles a cafe with a number of tables & chairs. This immediately conveys not only the sense of community that is strong here but also the role of the church at the heart of the community - this church effectively serves the whole island across all denominations.

With this in mind, it was a very pleasant surprise to see the beautifully detailed Christian altarpiece with its iconography. There is a box of candles to the right of the altar if you want to light one and offer intercession prayers.

Several other reviewers have commented on the volunteers who man the 'cafe' area for visitors, providing coffee & cake. Unfortunately when I was here it was empty but there was a kettle and tea/coffee/whitener & cups on a table, so I could have made myself a hot drink had I so desired, before heading back out into the cold weather.

There is also a small selection of gifts, such as pens, books and postcards that can be purchased in return for a donation to the church.

With religious attendances in the UK on the wane, it is interesting to see how this church has adapted to become a meeting place for locals: the concept of religion bringing people together as opposed to driving them apart is something that has the potential to do so much good.

It was also lovely to be able to take a few minutes of quiet contemplation, in such a magical environment and at Christmas. Not a TV advert for a PS4 or 'up 50% sale' in sight...oh, the world could be such a better place.

If you are in Longyearbyen, try and make the effort to come here, as it is worth it.

2  Thank Propaganda_Machine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 25, 2013

I found this in the depths of December and battled through the virgin snow. It was completely empty. The church has a lovely little altar and, though not religious, I sat and contemplated the silence for some time. Well worth the visit especially as it requires a walk from the site of most hotels.

Thank Fivestarcomfort
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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