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06.03.2020

St George's Church, Bergen

St George's Church, Bergen (Norwegian: Sankt Jørgen kirke) is a historic church in Bergen, Norway. This is also the site of the Leprosy Museum (Lepramuseet).

The complex is located on Kong Oscars gate, close to the central railway station, in the central part of the city of Bergen. The church is part of the Bergen domprosti (arch-deanery) in the Diocese of Bjørgvin.

The entire site, including the church, is now open to the public as a Leprosy museum which has been open to the public since 1970. The church remains consecrated and is kept in good order and condition. The church is no longer used as a regular parish church, but it is still used twice a month for English language worship services as well as occasional Swedish language services.

The church was originally the hospital chapel (Hospitalskirken) in Bergen. A leprosy hospital in Bergen was documented in 1411, and was run at that time by the nuns of Nonneseter Abbey in Bergen. It seems likely that this facility was the immediate forerunner of the hospital and church. The church initially just served the patients at the hospital, but eventually it became its own parish serving the surrounding parts of Årstad. The parish was also the base for chaplains at the nearby city prison, poor house, and home for widows.

The church had burned down with the rest of the hospital in 1640. The church was rebuilt again after the Bergen citywide fire in 1702 when most of the city was burned to ashes. The church building was largely designed in late Baroque style. The present appearance of the church results from a major reconstruction of 1789–90.

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