Hove Stone Church

Hove stone church in Vik has been dated to around 1170, making it one of the oldest stone churches in Norway.

The church was erected on land owned by the large farm Hove. It is small, but its exquisite forms show that it was built for a wealthy owner. The church was at risk of being torn down when architect Peter Andreas Blix (1831–1901) bought it with his own money in 1880 and started extensive restoration work. This church is a monument to the man who saved it.

Was to be sold for stone. When architect Blix was in charge of the restoration of Håkon's Hall in Bergen, he was offered soapstone from Hove church, which was to be pulled down. Once the new Vik church was completed in 1877, Hove church was surplus to requirements. Blix bought the church to prevent it being torn down, and he restored it according to his own plans and funded the work himself.

The church interior is characterised by Blix's choices, and the decor and furnishings reflect how he imagined the church may have looked in the Middle Ages. The church walls are covered in colourful decoration, and the nave has a dado painted in imitation ashlar. The chancel is lavishly decorated. The altar area is framed by a painted ashlar pattern, and the ceiling of the dome above the altar is painted in a vivid blue like the sky with sun and moon.

The medieval stone altar is preserved, and the altar stone contains a reliquary covered by a slab of marble. Blix owned the church at the time of his death in 1901 and is buried beneath the church floor.

Last updated: 06/20/2023

Source: Visit Sognefjord AS

Hove Stone Church

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