Selja Kloster, Selje, Selje

#58 of 196 in Things to do in Sogn og Fjordane
Landmark · Tourist Spot
Selja is a small island in Selje Municipality in Sogn og Fjordane county, Norway and the original Catholic bishopric (Latin Selia; now a titular see) which soon became the pre-Reformation Ancient Diocese of Bergen (Bjørgvin). It has been formerly known as Sellø or Selø. The island is located in the Sildagapet bay, just west of the harbor in the village of Selje. The sparsely populated island has about 5 permanent residents who commute by boat to the mainland since the island is not accessible by road.The painter Bernt Tunold grew up on the island, where his parents had established a farm on the church grounds.Ecclesiastocal historyThe island is mainly known for its connection to Saint Sunniva, who, according to legend, landed and died there in the late 10th century and remains patron saint of the Diocese of Bergen. The discovery at Selo in 996 of the supposed remains of Sunniva and her companions led Norwegian King Olaf Tryggvason (995-1000) to build a church there. Today, the ruins of a monastery named "Sankta Sunniva kloster" (Selje Abbey) is the only notable feature on the island. The cave of Saint Sunniva and the ruins of an early (and very small) cathedral are also located on the island. The cathedral was the episcopal see of a Catholic Bishopric, the Diocese of Selja (Latin Selia), the predecessor of the Ancient Diocese of Bergen, a suffragan of the German (Upper Saxon) Archbishopric of Bremen, established with the monastery circa 1060 by King Olaf Kyrre. Its physical see was soon moved to Bjørgvin (Bergen), but it would take a few more bishops until that name supplanted Selja's.
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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
36 reviews
  • We booked a boat trip with guided walk to the Selja monastery at Fjord Guiding for our party of 3 adults and 3 children. It was a cloudy day in July with a slight rain, however all of us enjoyed this....  more »
  • Great experience! Lovely boat trip to the Selja island and excellent guiding. Professional service and the crew was very kind and service minded. Recommended!  more »
  • Beautiful island, cool monastery where you can actually ring the bell. The boat trip is a little pricey but worth it
  • Serene, beautiful and interesting history.

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