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Saint Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall

#1 of 30 in Things to do in Kirkwall
Must see · Religious Site · Historic Site
Visit Saint Magnus Cathedral to see a fine example of Romanesque architecture. The Viking, Earl Rognvald, founded the Cathedral in 1137 in honor of his uncle St Magnus. From the outside of the "Light of the North," as the Cathedral is known, admire the sandstone construction. Centuries of weathering have given the site a charm rarely found at other cathedrals. Inside, check out the Stone Manson Marks from the Viking ages, the medieval dungeon, and the ball from the Royal Oak ship sunk by the Germans during World War II. The cathedral still hosts weekly services, weddings, and funerals, so confirm its availability to visitors before you come. For an especially memorable experience, find out when the choir's scheduled to perform. Put Saint Magnus Cathedral and other Kirkwall attractions into our Kirkwall trip planning app, and watch your holiday take shape.
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1,856 reviews
  • Beautiful inside! When I go to Kirkwall to see my family, I always go here to not only to get some quiet but also, it is lovely! I love lighting candles for my grandad and nana. The reason I don't...  more »
  • Must see when in Kirkwall. A quiet place for reflection and worship if that is your thing or just a place that holds a lot of history. Worth a visit.  more »
  • Really lovely place and not as I expected inside. Built with high, vaulted ceilings and tall pillars, the church was in stone. The pillars were far narrower than I expected but that added to the feeling of being surrounded by the body of the church and concentrating your attention on the stained glass window above the altar. Your honesty is asked for regarding souvenirs and the box awaits your monies. All souvenirs are priced and they are held low, which is nice. All monies go to the restoration fund.
  • This is one of my favorite cathedrals ever!!! And I've been to many in the UK. The behind the scenes tour is FANTASTIC!!! Never saw such amazing views of a Cathedral, and getting to see the bell tower was amazing! Beautiful architecture. Beautiful stained glass. Beautiful cemetery. Beautiful sunset shots here. Fantastic place, and one of the best sites to see in Kirkwall!!
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