Top 10 Norwegian Stave Churches

The stavchurches are Norway's most important contribution to world architecture and Norway's oldest preserved timber buildings.




Heddal 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 times. Guided tours in English, exhibition in the vicarage barn, open prallel with the guided tours. Cafeteria serving hot and cold meals. Church servises and "quiet room".

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Borgund Stave Church

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 in Norway. Some of the finest features are the lavishly carved portals and the roof carvings of dragons's heads.




Gol 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 and consecrated by the bishop of Tunsberg in 1994. In the summer evening on Wednesdays there is a devotional and sometimes musical performance.


Photo: Marco Robeerst


Hegge Stavkyrkje

The Hegge stave church dates back to 1216 and celebrated its 800th anniversary in 2016. The church is still in use as a parish church in the local community. It has a carved gate from the Middle Ages and inside the church you can see the original staves with carved face masks. One of the staves has a runic inscription. 

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Eidsborg Stave Church

The Eidsborg Stave Church is believed to be built between 1250 and 1270 and is one of the best preserved examples of 28 protected stave churches in Norway this is quite a contrast to the Middle Ages when there were more than 1000 stave churches in the country. This unique building form is seen as Norway’s contribution to world architecture.

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Fantoft stave church

The church was originally built in Fortun in Sogn, a village near inner or eastern end of Sognefjord around the year 1150. In the 19th century the church was threatened by demolition, as were hundreds of other stave churches in Norway. The church was bought by consul Fredrik Georg Gade and saved by moving it in pieces to Fantoft near (now in) Bergen in 1883. Outside the church stands a stone cross from Tjora in Sola.

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Hopperstad 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 just in the nick of time.
This stave church was one of the many stave churches that would have been lost but for the intervention of cultural conservationists, who managed to save it just in the nick of time. Hopperstad was built in 1130 and is, together with Urnes, the oldest stave church in existence. 

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Photo: Marco Robeerst


Lom 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 1158-59, confirmed through dendrochronological research. It is still the main church in Lom. The oldest part was built in Romanesque style.

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Picasa/Hilde Hokstad


Reinli Stave Church

The Reinli Stave Church of the 12th century in Oppland County is probably the third building in that exact location. Although not unusual, it is certainly unusual that the previous structure was a pagan structure. The Church of Reinli Stave looks more conservative than some of the other stave churches in Norway. Some upgrades in the 20th century upgraded the house, adding power, lighting and heating to items like it.

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Photo: Visit Norway


Urnes Stave Church

The church of Urnes Stave, the oldest of the churches with staves in Norway, is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was built about 1130 AD, but the signature statues on the north porch come from an old church. The wood was felled between 1129 and 1131, as shown by collections from foundation timbers. There were two other stave churches on the same site apart from the present one. In the second half of the 11th century, the latter was built.