Photo: Royal Norwegian Consulate General.Photo: Royal Norwegian Consulate General

Shanghai building with Norwegian history

Last updated: 23.09.2014 // In Spring 2014 reverend Steinar Rishaug and the Norwegian Consulate General started to find the address of the Norwegian Seamen’s Church premises in Shanghai in the 1930s. On the 18th of September, Rishaug finally went to visit the historical building.

The Norwegian Consulate General’s search earlier this year, in fruitful cooperation with the relevant Chinese authorities and experts, revealed that the Seamen’s Church (Sjømannskirken, Norwegian Churces Abroad) had been located on 213 Yangshupu Road nearby the Huangpu River, in a brick house built in 1921. The building has later been listed as one of Shanghai’s excellent historical buildings by the Shanghai Municipality.

Thereafter, The Seamen’s Church in Bergen searched the Norwegian State Archives for further documentation, so that the Consulate General could present the idea for the Foreign Affairs Office (FAO) of Hongkou District to put up a sign – informing that the building once was the Norwegian Seamen’s Church premises. Among other things, the archives in Norway revealed three letters and one flyer, dated between 1934 and 1937, proving Norwegian household and gatherings for seamen and the others on 213 Yangshupu Road. The FAO forwarded the information to the Historical Museum for Cultural Heritage, which quickly could confirm that it was accurate.

On the 18th of September, reverend Steinar Rishaug, together with the Consul General in Shanghai Øyvind Stokke and others from the Consulate General staff, went to see the building. Representatives from the FAO in Hongkou District and Historical Museum for Cultural Heritage were present too. The visitors also got the opportunity to go into the building, guided by Mr. He who has lived there since 1948 with his family members. Everything looked very different from what had been described by Norwegians visiting the place in the 1930s. However, when being inside the building, one could immediately picture scenes from several years ago.


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