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Norway’s Stave Churches

Urnes Stave Church. Photo by Micha L. Rieser, via Wikimedia Commons.

Good morning. I thought I would do something a little different to wrap up the year–a series of photos on a particular theme or from a particular place. First up, we have Norway’s stave churches. Most of these churches were built between 1150 and 1350. Not a single nail was used. There used to be over 1,000 stave churches in Norway alone. Now there are only 28. Watch a short video about the construction of these churches here, and read more about them here. Enjoy! All images via Wikimedia Commons.


Borgund Stave Church. Photo by Gerben Jacobs. The Borgund church was built between 1180 and 1250.


Borgund Stave Church. Photo by Bjørn Erik Pedersen.


Garmo Stave Church. Photo by Martin Schmidt. Built circa 1150.


Detail of roof of Garmo. Photo by Palickap.


Gol. Photo by Bjoertvedt.


Gol, circa 1880. Photo by Axel Lindahl.


Hopperstad. Photo by Petr Šmerkl.


Lom. Photo by Christian Flaaten.


Interior of Lom Stave Church. Photo by Palickap.


Interior of Lom. Photo by Micha L. Rieser.


Nore Stave Church. Built in 1109. Photo by TormodF.


Nore. Photo by TormodF.


Ringebu. Photo by Concierge.2C.


Windows of Ringebu Stave Church. Photo by Ringebu Stavkyrkje 23.


Ringebu. Photo by Øyvind Holmstad.


Rollag. Photo by TormodF.


Flesberg. Photo by Trond Strandsberg.


Heddal Stave Church. Photo by Ilya Grigorik.


Door of Heddal. Photo by Bjoertvedt.


Heddal’s bell tower, which was built next to the church circa 1850. Photo by Jun Kwang Han.


Røldal. Photo by DimiTalen.


Torpo. Photo by Eric Spenle.


Undredal. Photo by Aconcagua.


Urnes Stave Church. Photo by Micha L. Rieser.


Painting of Urnes Stave Church by Tycho Jæger, 1853.


Interior of Urnes. Photo by Lars-bh.


Uvdal. Photo by Elena Giglia.


Interior of Uvdal. Photo by DBerdasov.


Vang Stave Church. The church was bought by King Frederick William IV of Prussia and transferred from Vang in the Valdres region of Norway to what is now Karpacz in 1842. Photo by Uzytkownik3008.

about the author

Micah Mattix is the literary editor of The American Conservative and an associate professor of English at Regent University.  His work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, National Review, The Weekly Standard, Pleiades, The Washington Times, and many other publications. His latest book is The Soul Is a Stranger in this World: Essays on Poets and Poetry (Cascade). Follow him on Twitter.

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