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 around 1100, it must have replaced a smaller sized church.
An extension was built in 1822, and today it serves the community as a regular parish church.
The story behind the runic inscriptions found in the pulpit is exiting. According to legend, King Sverre passed through Valdres in 1177 on the run from Magnus Erlingsson.
Elling, the Kvie Lendmann (feudatory), had joined King Sverre in his fight agains King Magnus and his father the Earl Erling Skakke.
When Erling fell in the battle at Kalvskinnet in Nidaros (Trondheim), Elling and his brother Audun decided to build Høre Stave Church as the runic inscriptions show: "In the summer of which the brothers Elling and Audun cut (timber) to this church, Erling (fell) in Nidaros."
Høre Stave Church is rich in dragon and lion wood carvings from the Middle Ages, and among these are two beautiful portals. What used to be the ridge turret, is today the entrance of the graveyard.
Gyda from Kvie, the church`s neighbouring farm, vas the daughter of the petty king Eirik of Hordaland. She was the one who prompted Harald Hårfagre to unite Norway into one kingdom towards the end of the 800s.
Brought up at Kvie, a manor farm in Valdres, she made Harald promise not to cut his hair or shave until he had united the country.
Initially, she turned down the king`s proposal of marriage, but when he had done what she asked, Gyda married King Harald.
Opening hours 2016: 18. June -21. August Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 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.