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Norwegian wood

Elaborately carved wooden churches were once present in many parts of northwest Europe. Today, they are almost exclusively
found in Norway.

During the Middle Ages, immense stone cathedrals were constructed in many parts of Europe. In Norway, a similar technique was used for building in wood. Thanks to the Vikings’ interest in boat construction and home building, the technique and tradition of wood carving was further developed. The work culminated in the stave churches.

There are several types of stave churches, but one thing they have in common is corner-posts (“staves”) and a framework of timber with wall planks standing on sills. These walls are known as stave walls, hence the name stave church.

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.

Norway’s remaining stave churches
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… Read more
Borgund Stave church
This small stave church is located close to West Telemark Museum, location Eidsborg. Take a guided journey through 800 years of history… Hear about… Read more
Eidsborg Stave Church
Fantoft Stave Church (Norwegian: Fantoft stavkirke) is a reconstructed stave church in the Fana borough of the city of Bergen, Norway. The church was… Read more
Fantoft Stave Church
Flesberg stave church dating back to approximately 1150-1200, this church are famous for interior decorations. Church services are still held in the… Read more
Flesberg stave church
Garmo stave church is at the top of the hill near the entrance to the Open Air Museum. It is the most striking building at the museum with its pointed… Read more
Garmo stave church
Gol Stave Church, which is in the mediaval park Gordarike, is a true copy of the Gol stave church built in the 1200s. The copy was built in the 1980s… Read more
Gol Stave Church
In the middle of the island, protected by houses and on the island's highest point, you will find the little red stave church, standing as it has… Read more
Grip Stave church
The church is built to the same dimensions and in the same architectural style as the original from ca. 1170 that is now housed in Trøndelag… Read more
Haltdalen new stave church (millennium site)
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.… Read more
Hedalen Stave Church
Norway's largest stave church built in the 1200s and still in use. Rose paintings from 1600's, "bishop's chair" and incence vessels from mediavel… Read more
Heddal Stave Church
The Hegge stave church dates back to 1216 and is celebrating its 800th anniversary this year! The church is still in use as a parish church in the… Read more
Hegge Stave Church
The richly decorated Hopperstad stave church in Vik would have been lost but for the intervention of cultural conservationists, who managed to save it… Read more
Hopperstad Stave Church
An unusual runic insription shows that Høre Stave Church dates back to around 1179. However, as the oldest coin found under the church floor is from… Read more
Høre Stave Church
Its size and numbers of posts is what makes Kaupanger stave church stand out from other stave churches, as well as its interior. The church… Read more
Kaupanger Stave Church, Sogndal
A beautiful and special stave church. Kvernes stave church, dating from approx. 1300 AD., is one of the youngest of the Norwegian stave churches.… Read more
Kvernes Stave Church
Lomskyrkja – the church in Lom - is one of the biggest and most beautiful stave churches in our country. The impressive church dates back to… Read more
Lom 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… Read more
Lomen Stave Church
Reinli Stave Church dates back to around 1326, but prior to this the site has been home to two other churches. The only remains left of the first… Read more
Reinli Stave Church
Christianity was introduced to Norway around 1000 AD, and in the years to follow some one thousand stave churches were built. Ringebu Stave Church… Read more
Ringebu Stave Church
Rollag Stave Church The church is located a few kilometres north of the centre of the village Rollag. It was probably originally built in second half… Read more
Rollag Stave church
The history of this church dates back to the 13th century, and a crucifix from that period is among the oldest furnishings. A new chancel and sacristy… Read more
Rødven Stave Church
The church was built between 1200 and 1250, and is famous for its healing crucifix still in the church. According to legend it sweats once a year on… Read more
Røldal Stave Church
This church built in a stave church style was completed in 1897. It belongs to the Church of England and is under the spiritual administration of the… Read more
St. Olaf's Church - The English Church
Ål Stave church was erected around 1170 and torn down in 1880. The stave churches are a wooden building with a carrying construction of poles. The… Read more
The old Ål Stave Church site
The Norwegian stave churches are, together with the Vikingships Norways, part of the worlds culturale heritage. The museum is located at Ringebu… Read more
The Stave Church Exhibition, Ringebu
At the start, Hallingdal had seven stave churches. Today, Torpo Stave Church is the oldest and only original stave church left in Hallingdal. It is… Read more
Torpo Stave Church Ål in Hallingdal
Undredal Church is built as a stave church in 1147 and was called St. Nicholas Chapel. The church has white clapboard sidings and is the smallest in… Read more
Undredal Stave church
UNESCO Urnes Stave Church , the oldest of Norway's stave churches, is included on UNESCO's World Heritage List. It was built around 1130 AD, but the… Read more
Urnes Stave Church
Uvdal Stave Church, as it stands today, does not have its original appearance but is a result of steady expansion and modifications until the 1800s.… Read more
Uvdal Stave Church
The Ål Stave Church dating from the latter part of the 12th century was richly decorated at the time of its demolition in 1880. The main doorway and… Read more
Ål Stave Church Museum
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… Read more
Øye Stave Church
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    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. 

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