The Norwegian Church is the little building in Cardiff Bay that holds a big history behind its doors. Once an important landmark and meeting place for Norwegian seafarers during the industrial revolution it was also the church that hosted Roald Dahl's baptism.
Best selling author of children's and adult books, Roald Dahl was born in Llandaff, Cardiff, on the 13 September 1916.
Born to Norwegian parents Harald and Sofie, he was named after the Norwegian polar explorer Roald Amundsen who famously beat Captain Scott to discover the South Pole.
His father Harald, from Oslo co-founded the successful ship broking company Aadnessen & Dahl in Cardiff from 1880.
The family regularly worshipped at the Norwegian Church where the children were baptised as infants.
Dahl spent his early childhood in Cardiff, and at the age of nine was sent to the Cathedral School in Llandaff before attending private schools in England.
“The Bristol Channel was always my guide, and I was always able to draw an imaginary line from my bed to our house over in Wales. It was a great comfort. ”
Library original 1780 The Bristol Channel was always my guide, and I was always able to draw an imaginary line from my bed to our house over in Wales. It was a great comfort.Library original 1781.
In 1987 the Norwegian Church Preservation Trust was established to raise funds to rescue the church - Roald Dahl became its first appointed president.
Sadly Roald Dahl died on 23 November 1990 at his home in Buckinghamshire before the reconstruction of the church was completed.
Roald Dahl Day is celebrated every September to honour the author's work.
Library original 1780 The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.Library original 1781.
"The greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places."
Norwegian seafarers were a familiar sight in Cardiff during the industrial revolution, and many decided to settle to run businesses associated with shipping, including Roald Dahl's father Harald.
The Norwegian Church was a much-appreciated home from home, particularly during the Second World War, when Norwegian seafarers were unable to return to their occupied homeland.
The Society was formed as a natural successor to the former congregation, and has members from Cardiff, Swansea, Norway and beyond. The Norwegian Church Arts Centre provides an important focus for the group, and everyone is welcome to attend our special events or get in touch if you are interested in joining the group:
The annual celebration of Norwegian Day is on 17 May where a colourful parade and flag-raising ceremony is followed by refreshments in the Norwegian Church.
Welsh Norwegian Society hold monthly meetings on a Sunday afternoons all welcome (members and non-members) Details available on the following website link
Cardiff, Wales’ Capital city, offers a startling range of unique attractions, top class entertainment and quality shopping with a difference.