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The Most Impressive Stave Churches in Norway

Sonali Pimpale Sep 19, 2019
Along with stunning natural beauty, Norway is known for its striking relics from the Middle Ages – the beautiful stave churches. A fascinating mixture of Christian and Norse architectures, the wooden churches were once abundant across all of Norway and Europe. Today, only a handful of them have weathered the storm of time.

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Borgund Stave Church

Often honored as the most visited and best preserved stave church in Norway.

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With the carved dragon heads on overhanging roofs as its most striking feature, the 13th century church is open to public as a museum since the 19th century.

Urnes Stave Church

The oldest stave church in Norway that is still in use to this day. The 12th century church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is famous for the intricate, Viking animal carvings of its interior.

Heddal Stave Church

The largest stave church in Norway has twice undergone renovations after its inauguration in the 13th century. According to a famous legend, the triple nave church was built by five determined farmers in just three days!

Hopperstad Stave Church

Also one of the oldest stave churches, it was nearly decimated in the 19th century.
Today, the 12th century church is standing proud due to the efforts of the architect Peter Blix, who remodeled the church based on the Borgund Stave Church.

Kaupanger Stave Church

Used as a parish church since its inception in the 12th century, the church is notable for its conspicuous lack of ornate carvings and the highest number of staves of all the churches of its kind.

Undredal Stave Church

With only 40 seats, the charming little church, originally named St. Nicholas Chapel in the 12th century, is the smallest of stave churches in Norway.

Røldal Stave Church

Well-known for the “healing crucifix” that ‘sweats’ once a year every 6th July, the 13th century church is both a museum and an active church.

Lom Stave Church

One of the largest stave churches in the country, the mid-12th century church was used as both a place of worship and a pit stop for pilgrims and travelers in the olden days.