The Røros church is a Røros landmark and its unusual shape and decor makes it instantly recognizable as a symbol for Røros. The building was completed in 1784 as the first masonry construction among Norway's octagonal churches. The mining company paid for the construction work. Sør-Fron and Vang churches are among the notable later buildings influenced by Røros. With some 1600 seats it is one of largest churches in Norway, behind Kongsberg Church (also in a mining town) Nidaros Cathedral.
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Røros was created in the 1600s because of the copper mines established there. The town sits on a high plateau and there was only scattered settlement before mining began. Røros and surroundings, a circle 44 km around the first mine - known as the circumference, obtained royal privileges in 1646. Røros, along with Kongsberg, obtained special status as a mining town ("bergstad"), a name still used Bergstaden or Bergstaden Røros. The town was included in UNESCO world heritage list in 1980, the world heritage area was enlarged in 2010 to include the circumference. Except the masonry church the town is characterised by log buildings from the 300 years of copper mining. The town was burned during conflicts with Sweden in 1600s. Norway's first coast to coast railway connected Oslo and Trondheim via Røros and was of course named Rørosbanen - Røros line (today the main line runs via Gudbrandsdalen and Dovrefjell).
Mining ended in 1977 and left a town with a unique history that can still be seen for instance by the slag heaps. Today the town of Røros has about 3,000 inhabitants. The towns rich past can be seen by the large church that dominates the skyline. The church, also known as Bergstadens Ziir, is one of the most important works of church architecture in Norway. It is a big surprise to find this key church in a small mountain town. The church was designed by local master builders in cooperation with the copper mine manager. It is not clear how they got the idea for the particular design, except that octagonal churches already existed in Germany and in Trondheim.. Construction work was paid by the copper mine company and the church belonged to the company until 1865 when the church became public property. Several churches around Norway have been built as copies or as inspiration from this unusual building. The church tower is the symbol of Røros and instantly recognizable.