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Frikirkju (Bru) Lutheran Church

NE 30-6-12 WPM, Somerset, Manitoba, R0K, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1997/12/09

Context view, from the east, of Frikirkju (Bru) Lutheran Church, Cypress River area, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Context View
Primary Elevations, from the southeast, of Frikirkju (Bru) Lutheran Church, Cypress River area, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Primary Elevations
View of one of the stained-glass windows in Frikirkju (Bru) Lutheran Church, Cypress River area, 2005; Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Culture, Heritage, Tourism and Sport, 2005
Stained Glass Window

Other Name(s)

Frikirkju (Bru) Lutheran Church
Bru café
Bru Lutheran Church
Cafe Bru
Église luthérienne Bru

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1910/01/01 to 1910/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/11/09

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Frikirkju (Bru) Lutheran Church is an unpretentious 11/2-storey wood-frame structure with a lofty tower and spire. Built in 1910, it is located in the Cypress River area amongst open fields. The municipal designation applies to the church.

Heritage Value

Frikirkju (Bru) Lutheran Church is a fine example of Lutheran architectural traditions with its Gothic Revival details and unwavering symmetry. As the second Icelandic Lutheran church built in south-central Manitoba, it is an important identifier of the origins of the pioneers of the area. The unpretentious structure was erected with limited resources and funds by Deacon Jon Olafson, while a parishioner, Byring Hallgrimsson, hand-carved the intricate oak altar. The church was moved from its original site in 1997 after being taken out of active use and threatened by neglect; with a few small additions it now operates as a restaurant/hall and bed and breakfast.

Source: Rural Municipality of Lorne By-law No. 1631, December 9, 1997

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that define the church's external Gothic Revival style include:
- the 11/2-storey wood-frame structure with symmetrical facades, horizontal wood siding, a T-shaped gable roof and a lower gabled volume to the north denoting the sanctuary
- the symmetrical tower in the southeast corner featuring large doors with pointed arch top lights; a wooden belfry with paired and louvered pointed arches, decorative friezes and cornices; all capped by an octagonal metal spire with pinnacles at each corner of the base and at the crown a metal finial depicting Icelandic fowl and flower blooms, etc.
- the 13 vibrant stained-glass windows atop the doors, in the sanctuary and on the east, west and south walls, commonly arranged in banks of three, with the tallest in the centre; all featuring pointed arches and basic wooden tracery
- the limited ornamentation, including the simple wooden detailing on the east and south gable ends, basic wooden surrounds on the windows and entrance doors, etc.

Key elements that define the church's modest interior layout, finishes and details include:
- the formal plan, including a vestibule, nave, simple choir to the east side of the nave and slightly raised sanctuary
- the varied plaster and lath ceilings throughout, with the nave featuring a barrel vault ceiling, the choir with a lower barrel vault ceiling and the sanctuary with a lower pointed arch ceiling
- the modest details, including the fir plank flooring, wooden doors, mouldings, etc.
- the furnishings and accoutrements, including the oak altar and altar rails, three original chairs, etc.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (MB)

Recognition Statute

Manitoba Historic Resources Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Site

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Building Social and Community Life
Religious Institutions

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Eating or Drinking Establishment


Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Religious Facility or Place of Worship

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

RM of Lorne 307-3rd Street Box 10 Somerset, MB R0G 2L0

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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