If you've been to Cardiff Bay recently you can't
fail to have noticed the landmark buildings of the Wales Millennium
Centre or the Senedd, home to Wales' National Assembly. But
did you also notice, sitting quietly on the eastern side of the bay
a tiny white church.
This is Cardiff's Norwegian Church, a legacy of the days when the
city's docks were one of the busiest in the world and frequented by
sailors from all over the globe, including Norway. It was
built in 1868 and as well as being a place of worship it also acted
as a sort of community centre for Scandinavian sea men where they
could meet up and socialise with their countrymen. It was at
this church that the famous children's author Roald Dahl, born in
Cardiff to Norwegian parents, was christened in 1916.
With the decline of Cardiff docks the church finally closed its
doors in 1974 and fell into disrepair. It was restored and
reopened as an arts centre and coffee shop in 1992.
The church has undergone further refurbishment work this year and
re-opened last week to coincide with the annual Norwegian Day
The church continues to be a arts centre and is open 7 days a week
with a varied programme of performances and exhibitios while the
newly extended coffee shop serves a range of mouth watering cakes
and dishes with a distinctive Norwegian flavour all whilst enjoying
the panoramic views across the bay.