Foto: Helle Frogner

Pilgrims in Selje

Selje is one of four regional pilgrim centres on the coastal pilgrimage route and one of nine approved pilgrimage routes and European cultural routes in Norway. Leia is part of the St. Olav's Way to Trondheim and Nidaros cathedral. The key site/sacred destination in Selje is the island of Selja and its monastery. Selja is also the destination of the Sunnivaleia – a pilgrimage path that connects the two sacred islands of Kinn and Selja. Sunnivaleia is also part of the coastal pilgrimage route.

In 996, Selja became the first pilgrimage site in the country. Legend has it that it was here that Saint Sunniva – the God-fearing king’s daughter – was martyred. She fled Ireland when she was to be married off to a pagan Viking chieftain against her will. In a cave up on the mountainside, Olav Tryggvason found relics of Sunniva and her entourage. Her remains were intact and unharmed, and Olav then made her Norway’s first saint. Today, she remains the only female saint in the country.

Throughout the Middle Ages, pilgrims flocked to Selja to honour St. Sunniva and the Seljumen. The Sunniva cave in the mountainside by the monastery is said to be the birthplace of the church in Norway.
The island of Selja is one of the holy islands found around the world, known as The Holy Island of the North, and remains a small Catholic diocese. Today, pilgrims are once again coming to Selja, and we want to make you feel as welcome as possible.

Selje Prestegard is a vicarage that was established at Hove in the late 1500s. Before then, the vicarage and church were located at Bø, on the east side of Selja.

In June 2021, Selje Prestegard opened to the public – a place where everyone is welcome, both pilgrims and locals. It’s a place where you can feel at home.

If you take the monastery boat across to Bø and walk the trail out to the monastery, you will pass the place where the vicarage was once located when Norway was a Catholic country.

A gateway to rest and unity
The vicarage has always been an important meeting place for visitors and villagers. It has played an important role in the development of the local community as a gathering place and as a basis for training, culture building, and dissemination.
Today, the Selje vicarage is once again a meeting place for pilgrims, visitors, and villagers, and the heritage is being preserved and passed on for future generations.

The Selje Pilgrim Centre is located here and there are lounges and information. There are also plans to have accommodation for pilgrims, regardless of whether their goal is Selja or Nidaros.

In our brochure, you will find information about boat services to Selja monastery, hiking trails on the island of Selja, our churches, and some important trails that we believe have historically been used as paths for pilgrims.

We look forward to welcoming you to Selje! Please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

Facebook: Selje Pilgrim Center
Facebook: Selje prestegard
Tel: (+47) 475 15 463