Monday, July 24, 2006

Røldal stavkirke (stavechurch)


Norway has a more or less unique type of old wooden churches - "stavkirker" (stave churches) . They date from the middle ages and get their name from the way they are constructed with the roof hanging on four or five vertical logs ("staves") mounted on a timber frame. There may have been nearly 2000 of these churches in Norway before 1350, but only 28 of them are now left.

The one shown here, Røldal stavkirke, is supposed to be from around 1200 and is not the most typical. There is indications that it is based on an even older form of church where the staves were mounted directly on a founding of rocks. Also, it has not the fancy roof architecture that many people associates with stave churces. It is still in daily use.

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