Believed to be built in the first quarter of the 13th century, and is one of the largest of the remaining stave churches in Norway. The church was expanded in the 17th century into the cruciform shape it has today.
The only remaining stave church where the nave and choir is built with the same width. Dating of the church is debatable as the dating of the wood is older than the documented erection of the building, meaning the wood has been taken from older buildings and possible an older church. Erection is estimated to be between second half of 13th century and first half of 14th century. As with most older churches, this has also underwent big interior and exterior changes through the time. The building is very well preserved and does not have electric light or heating, so it’s only open on special occasions.
Lomen stave church dates back to second half of the 12th century, and was rebuilt and enlarged in 1749. The church does not have electric light or heating, so it’s only open and used during the summer for services and weddings.
Kaupanger Stave Church is located not too far from Urnes Stave Church, only little bit further out and on the other side of the Sognefjord. The church is dated back to about 1140, and has gone through several restoration projects and alterations. Of the remaining stave churches, Kaupanger is the longest and the nave has 22 staves, 8 on each of the longer sides, 3 on each of the shorter and the elevated chancel has 4.
This is the third post about Norwegian Stave Churches.
The access to Urnes Stave Church is a bit more difficult than any of the others. You can take the very narrow road on the south side of Lustrafjorden, or maybe better, take the ferry across the fjord and walk the few hundred meters up to the church. Urnes Stave Church, built about 1140, is the only Stave Church on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
This is the second post about Norwegian Stave Churches.
This is the first post in a series in a new category we will call “Stave Churches”. As this is the first post I will explain a bit what makes a Stave Church stand out compared to more normal log constructed churches. The word “stav” (stave/post in English) comes from the Old Norse “stafr”, and are given to the load bearing posts in the corners of the building. For bigger churches, they needed more posts to hold the load. Continue reading “Lom Stavkirke (Stave Church), Norway”