StaveChurches

Stave churches are an important part of Norway’s architectural heritage. Urnes Stave Church in the Sognefjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A stave church is a medieval wooden Christian church building. The name is derived from the buildings’ structure of post and lintel construction which is a type of timber framing, where the load-bearing posts are called stafr in Old Norse and stav in Norwegian. Two related church building types are also named for their structural elements, the post church and palisade church, but are often also called stave churches.

Lom Stave Church is one of the biggest and most beautiful stave churches in Norway. It dates back to the 12th century and is still in use. The church is closed during church services. The church in Vågå is also worth a visit.

In and around the Jotunheimen national park you can find a lot of interesting stave churches:

Hedal 1225 – 1250 Hedalen in Valdres

Hegge 1235 – 1265 Øystre Slidre in Valdres

Lomen 1235 – 1265 Vestre Slidre in Valdres

Høre 1225 – 1250 Vang in Valdres

Øye 1250 – 1300 Vang in Valdres

Reinli 1290 – 1320 Reinli in Valdres

Borgund 1225 – 1250 Lærdal beside the Sognefjord

Urnes 1150 – 1175 Luster beside the Sognefjord

Kaupanger 1180 Sogndal beside the Sognefjord

Hopperstad 1190 – 1225 Vik beside the Sognefjord

Lom 1210 – 1240 Lom

Vågå 1100 – 1630 Vågå

Borgund Stave Church is a stave church located in Borgund, Lærdal, Norway.

Where to find us

Borgund stavkirke

Norway - Borgund stavkirke (stave church)

bergomsvegen 21
2686 Lom
+47 61 21 73 38)

www.lom.kommune.no

Lom stave church

Lom stave church is one of the biggest and most beautiful stave churches in Norway. It dates back to the 12th century and is still in use. The churches’ wooden doors and finials are beautifully carved. The decorations feature an intriguing combination of Christian motifs and what is often assumed to be pre-Christian Viking themes with animals and dragons.
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6888 Borgund
+47 57 66 81 09)
borgund@stavechurch.com
www.stavechurch.com

Borgund Stave Church

Built around 1180 and is dedicated to the Apostle Andrew. The church is exceptionally well preserved and is one of the most distinctive stave churches in Norway. Some of the finest features are the lavishly carved portals and the roof carvings of dragons’s heads. The stavchurches are Norway’s most important contribution to world architecture and Norway’s oldest preserved timber buildings. “UNIQUE VIKING FINDS” – new permanent exhibition opening 15th of May. Presenting Viking Finds.
VISITORS CENTRE – The Center offers exhibitions about the history of stave churches in Norway and their role in the Middle Ages. Restaurant, souvenir shop and quiet rom.
The King’s Road across Filefjell
Borgund Stavechurch is situated at The King’s Road across Filefjell. Combine a walk on Vindhellavegen with Sverrestigen for a splendid rounddtrip !(1.5 hour .
It is easy to reach Borgund stavechurch and The King’s Road across Filefjell by public transport (bus) from Lærdal. You can also rent a bike in Lærdal and bike to the church (25 km). Source: Visit Sognefjord AS
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+47 61 34 85 80)
kirke@sor-aurdal.kommune.no
www.hedalen.no

Hedalen Stave Church

The Hedalen Stave Church may be the oldest of its kind in Valdres today. It comprises an unusual amount of catholic items and among these a reliquary. Only a few of these can still be found in Norway.
The church dates back to around 1163, and coins from King Sverre`s era 1177-1202 have been found under the floor. It is in use as a regular parish church.
The west-facing portal features dragon and vine decorations from the late 1100s. These dragons symbolise the evil forces you leave behind before you enter the place of worship.
The reliquary is the most treasured item in the church. It is made out of copper-gilded wood, and dates back to around 1250. The figures featured are Christ, St. Mary, St John, St. Jacob, St. Thomas, St. Olav and St. Peter. Norway has only a few such reliquaries left. Its original reliquary casket is still intact, and is the only one of its kind.
The Hedal Madonna (sculpture of St. Mary, dating back to the mid-1200s, is one of the most stunning pieces of medieval ecclesiastical art in Norway. Source: Valdres Destinasjon
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)
post@vestre-slidre.kommune.no
www.vestre-slidre.kommune.no

Lomen Stave Church

Lomen Stave Church is believed to date back to around 1192. The oldest coin found is from King Sverre`s era 1177-1202. In 1750, the church was converted and extended as it had become too small to meet the needs of an increasing population. When the new Lomen Church was completed in 1914, regular use of the stave church ended. Today, it is only used for weddings and church services during the summer season. Wooden sections dating back to the Middle Ages have been stripped down to the woodwork, but post-reformatory parts are still painted. The church, belfry and graveyard are protected. Several medieval portals featuring wood carvings and animal decorations can be found in the church. Of the soapstone font from the Middle Ages, only the base remains. A mediaeval chest leans towards the wall in the choir. It features a magic runic inscription that has almost been rubbed off. The Madonna-head on the altar is a plaster copy of the beautiful original from the 1200s. It was probably once part of a whole figure. Mary has wawy hair and a crown with four points. The original can be found at Valdres Folk Museum in Fagernes.
Opening hours 2015: Mon, Thu, Sat and Sun 21. June-16. August 11am-5pm
Admission: Adults NOK 50,- Children under 16 yrs free of charge Groups (min. 10 paying persons) NOK 40,- per pers.
Source: Valdres Destinasjon
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2977 Øye
)
info@valdres.no
www.norgeskirker.no

Øye Stave Church

Øye Stave Church was probably built towards the end of the 1100s. its original location was in the fields facing Vangsmjøsa. This was an extremely wet area, and during the spring flooding the graves were often be filled with water and stones had to be added to the coffins in order to lower them down.
The church was in a porr state of repair, and it either rotted away or was taken by the wind. 1747 saw the consecration of the new Øye Church. The stave church disappeared.
In th 1930s, work had to be done on the foundations of new Øye Church. Under the church floor, Øye Stave Church was found – 156 pieces in total.
No one knows why it was stored here. It was in the end decided to erect the stave church, and it was consecrated in 1965. Today Øye Stave Church is used for weddings and Midsummer Mass only.
The church has a strong Catholic medieval character with a narrow opening to the choir and pews along the walls only.
It features copies of two medieval portals (probably from the 1100s) with capitals and numerous animal decorations. The door has a medieval ring handle.
On the altar stands a crucifix dating back to the 1200s, featuring a Christ-figure from the 1300s. The wooden baptismal font from the 1300s is quite unique, and one of the pews in the choir may be from the Middle Ages.
Opening hours 2015:
Mon, Thur, Sat, Sun 21.06.-16.08.  11am-5pm
Admission (incl. guiding):
Adults NOK 50,-
Children up to 16 years free
Groups (min. 10 paying persons) NOK 40,- per pers.
There is no senior discount.
Source: Valdres Destinasjon
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