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Wikipedia

Stave church

A stave church is a medieval wooden Christian church building once common in north-western Europe. The name derives from the building's structure of post and lintel construction, a type of timber framing where the load-bearing ore-pine posts are called stafr in Old Norse (stav in modern Norwegian). Two related church building types also named for their structural elements, the post church and palisade church, are often called 'stave churches'.

Borgund Stave Church in Borgund, Lærdal, is one of Norway's most visited stave churches.
Heddal Stave Church, Notodden, the largest stave church in Norway

Originally much more widespread, most of the surviving stave churches are in Norway. The only remaining medieval stave churches outside Norway are those of circa 1500 Hedared stave church in Sweden and one Norwegian stave church relocated in 1842 to contemporary Karpacz in the Karkonosze mountains of Poland (at the time being a part of the Kingdom of Prussia). One other church, the Anglo-Saxon Greensted Church in England, exhibits many similarities with a stave church but is generally considered a palisade church.

Contents

Drawing during reconstruction of Gol stave church by T. Prytz, 1883

Archaeological excavations have shown that stave churches are descended from palisade constructions and from later churches with earth-bound posts.

Similar palisade constructions are known from buildings from the Viking Age. Logs were split in two halves, set or rammed into the earth (generally called post in ground construction) and given a roof. This proved a simple but very strong form of construction. If set in gravel, the wall could last many decades, even centuries. An archaeological excavation in Lund uncovered the postholes of several such churches.

In post churches, the walls were supported by sills, leaving only the posts earth-bound. Such churches are easy to spot at archaeological sites as they leave very distinct holes where the posts were once placed. Occasionally some of the wood remains, making it possible to date the church more accurately using radiocarbon dating or dendrochronology. Under the Urnes Stave Church, remains of two such churches have been found, with Christian graves discovered beneath the oldest church structure.

A single church of palisade construction has been discovered under the Hemse stave church.

The next design phase resulted from the observation that earthbound posts were susceptible to humidity, causing them to rot away over time. To prevent this, the posts were placed on top of large stones, significantly increasing their lifespans. The stave church in Røldal is believed to be of this type.

In later churches the posts were set on a raised sill frame resting on stone foundations. This is the stave church in its most mature form.

It is now common to group the churches into two categories: the first, without free-standing posts, often referred to as Type A; and the second, with a raised roof and free-standing internal posts, usually called Type B.

Those with the raised roof, Type B, are often further divided into two subgroups. The first of these, the Kaupanger group, have a whole arcade row of posts and intermediate posts along the sides and details that mimic stone capitals. These churches give an impression of a basilica.

The other subgroup is the Borgund group. In these churches the posts are connected halfway up with one or two horizontal double ″pincer beams″ with semicircular indentations, clasping the row of posts from both sides. Cross-braces are inserted between the posts and the upper and lower pincer beams (or above the single pincer beam), forming a very rigid interconnection, and resembling the triforium of stone basilicas. This design made it possible to omit the freestanding lower part of intermediate posts. In some churches only the four corner posts remain (for example in Lomen Stave Church).

Many stave churches had or still have outer galleries or ambulatories around their whole perimeters, loosely connected to the plank walls. These probably served to protect the church from a harsh climate, and for processions.

Single-nave church, Type A

At the base of Type A churches, there are four heavy sill beams on a low foundation of stones. These are interconnected in the corner notch, forming a rigid sill frame. The corner posts or staves (stavene in Norwegian) are cross-cut at the lower end and fit over the corner notches and cover them, protecting them from moisture.

On top of the sill beam is a groove into which the lower ends of the wall planks (veggtilene) fit. The last wall plank is wedge-shaped and rammed into place. When the wall is filled in with planks, the frame is completed by a wall plate (stavlægje) with a groove on the bottom, holding the top ends of the wall planks. The whole structure consists of frames – a sill frame resting on the stone foundation, and the four wall frames made up of sills, corner posts and wall plate.

The wall plates support the roof trusses, consisting of a pair of principal rafters and an additional pair of intersecting "scissor rafters". For lateral bracing, additional wooden brackets (bueknær) are inserted between the rafters.

Every piece is locked into position by other pieces, making for a very rigid construction; yet all points otherwise susceptible to the harsh weather are covered.

  • The single-nave church has a square nave and a narrower square choir. This type of stave church was common at the beginning of the 12th century.
  • The long church (Langkyrkje), has a rectangular plan with nave and choir of the same width. The nave will usually take up two-thirds of the whole length. This type was common at the end of the 13th century.
  • The center-post church (Midtmastkyrkje), has a single central post reaching all the way up to and connected to the roof construction. But the roof is a simple hipped one, without the raised central part of the Type B churches. This variation on the common type of church, found in Numedal and Hallingdal, dates to around 1200.

Single-nave churches in Norway: Grip, Haltdalen, Undredal, Hedal, Reinli, Eidsborg, Rollag, Uvdal, Nore, Høyjord, Røldal, and Garmo.

The only remaining church of this type outside Norway is the Hedared church in Sweden, which shows similarities with the church at Haltdalen.

Church with a raised roof, Type B

  • Plans of Type B churches
  • Håkon Christie drawing of Borgund Stave Church.

  • G. A. Bull drawing of Borgund Stave Church.

  • Gol Stave Church. The drawing is slightly erroneous, as the sill under the church floor is missing.

On the stone foundation, four huge ground beams (grunnstokker) are placed like a sign, their ends protruding 1–2 meters from the lap joint where they intersect. The ends of these beams support the sills of the outer walls, forming a separate horizontal frame. The tall internal posts are placed on the internal frame of ground beams, and carry the main roof above the central nave (skip). On the outer frame of sills rest the main wall planks (veggtiler), carrying the roof over the pentice or aisles (omgang) surrounding the central space. The roof thus slopes down in two steps, as in a basilica.

The tall internal posts (staver) are interconnected with brackets (bueknær), and also connected to the outer walls with aisle rafters, creating a laterally rigid construction. Closer to the top of the posts (staver), shorter sills inserted between them support the upper wall (tilevegg). On top of the posts wall plates (stavlægjer) support the roof trusses, similar to those of the single-nave churches.

The Kaupanger group consists of: Kaupanger, Urnes, Hopperstad, and Lom.

The Borgund group consists of: Borgund, Gol, Hegge, Høre, Lomen, Ringebu, and Øye.

This form of a church can also be recognized from the holes which remain from earlier earth-bound post churches built on the same sites. Little is known about what these older churches actually looked like or how they were constructed, as they were all destroyed or replaced many centuries ago.

Construction techniques

Palisade work

Main article: Palisade church
Palisade work

The oldest technique is often called palisade work and was a self-supporting wall construction with densely placed earthen pillars or planks, which enclosed a room and at the same time carried the roof. Later, split logs were used, which gave the walls a flat inside, and the edges could be leveled or fitted with tongue and groove. Palisade churches have not been found in Norway.

To prevent early decay, the posts or planks were tarred, and the lower ends were charred by burning. The palisade rows were often placed in ditches filled with stone. It was long thought that this technique disappeared before the turn of the last millennium, but new research shows that it was in use right up to the 12th century.

The only structure in this technique that has survived into our time is a wall in the middle section of Greensted Church in England. This led to this church being for a long time considered the oldest wooden structure in Europe. A common dating of the church was about the year 845, but modern dendrochronological dating estimates the church's year of construction to the period just after the year 1053 (+10 / −55 years).

The post technique

Main article: Post church
The post technique

By lifting the pole planks up from the ground and placing them on sleepers clamped between more powerful corner or intermediate posts, the risk of rot damage was reduced. Thinner materials could then be used in the complementary parts of the construction. Earthen piles of coarse round timber could stand for a relatively long time before rotting. They may have been scorched at the lower end to avoid premature decay.

Postholes, often with remnants of the former pillars, have been found under or near several stave churches and in places where legends say that there must have been churches. Remains of approximately 25 pillar buildings have been identified in Norway, and indirect traces of 7–8 more. Remains of pillar churches are also found under stone churches such as Mære and Kinsarvik.

Many of the earliest churches in Norway were built using this technique, but no such buildings have survived. It is an open question whether limited life was the reason why they were replaced by real stave churches with sleepers, or whether there were other reasons. Some of the older materials found in several of the stave churches are thought to originate from such early pillar churches, in particular at the Urnes stave church in Luster, where many building parts with wooden sheds in the urn style must have belonged to an older church. It has now been proven that the reused building parts originally belonged to the current church's forerunner, dendrochronologically dated to the period 1070–1080. However, this was not a post church, but a real stave church where corner poles and wall planks stood on sleepers.

Håkon Christie assumed that the post construction fell out of use because the posts rotted from below. Jørgen H. Jensenius believes that archaeological material does not provide unequivocal support for Christie's hypothesis; a change in size or transition to a stone church may also explain why excavated pillars fell out of use. Røldal Stave Church may have had some pillars set in the ground until 1913. In Lom Stave Church, the stone foundations have been laid approximately directly over the refilled postholes. Apart from different foundation methods, Jensenius believes that the pillar churches were essentially similar to stave churches.

Stave work

Stave work

Of buildings from the Middle Ages with standing timber in load-bearing structures, only the churches in the last developed method of construction, the stave, have been left standing in our time. By lifting the entire structure up on stone foundations and placing the poles on sleepers, the life of the structure was significantly extended. The technique was developed as early as the 11th century, but it has only been proven in the forerunner of the current stave church. This was also a real stave church, since both the corner stakes and the tiles have stood on sleepers that were reused as foundations for the existing church.

Stone as a base for poles was used as early as Roman times and additional walls in sleepers may have been used from the 400s and 600s.

Size

Side view of Stedje Stave Church by G. A. Bull

Lorentz Dietrichson believed that the stave churches were originally small and only later built with larger dimensions. He believed that the background for this was the construction technique. He points out that the youngest churches in the Mør type are the largest. He calculated the ground plan and area for 79 churches, and the nine largest were all in Sunnmøre with Hjørundfjord, Volda and Norddal of over 280 m2. This is three times larger than, for example, Urnes and Hopperstad. According to Dietrichson, the large size of the stave churches in Sunnmøre were partly a result of later expansions. He estimated the cross arms of Volda Stave Church at 7.3 × 6 meters. Hjørundfjord Stave Church was a "half-cross church" with only one cross arm measuring 7.9 × 9.1 meters. The first stave church had cross arms of 7.9 × 6.7 meters after expansion. Dietrichson was unsure whether the cross arms in the Møre churches were generally added in the lath construction or whether it was a medieval stave construction. He concluded that several were originally listed as cruciform churches in stakes, including Hareid, Volda, Vatne and Ørsta. For some other churches (Bremsnes and Kornstad on Nordmøre), contemporary sources say that the cross arms were later added to the lumber. According to Håkon Christie, these churches of the Mør type had a simpler construction and were both larger and longer than the other types. Roar Hauglid estimated that most (80–90%) of the medieval Norwegian stave churches were simple single-nave buildings (Type A) and most were relatively small. Hauglid called these "the ordinary Norwegian stave church".

Jelling church stone in Denmark
The portal from Fåberg Stave Church
Arch decoration from Urnes Stave Church

Stave churches were once common in northern Europe. In Norway alone, it was thought about 1000 were built; recent research has increased this estimate and it is now believed there may have been closer to 2000.

Norway

Most of the surviving stave churches in Norway were built between 1150 and 1350. Stave churches older than the 1100s are known only from written sources or from archaeological excavations, but written sources are sparse and difficult to interpret. Only 271 masonry churches were constructed in Norway during the same period, of which 160 still exist, while in Sweden and Denmark there were 900 and 1800 masonry churches respectively. Frostathing Law and Gulating law rules about "corner posts" show that the stave church was the standard church building in Norway, even though the Catholic church preferred stone. All wooden churches in Norway before the reformation were constructed with staves. Log building is younger than stave building in Norway, and was introduced in residential buildings around year 1000. Stave building is not influenced by the log technique.

The word "stave church" is unknown in Old Norse, presumably because there were no other types of wooden churches. When Norway's churches after the Reformation were constructed from logs, there was a need for a separate term for the older churches. In written sources from the Middle Ages, there is a clear distinction between stafr (posts) and þili or vægþili (wall boards). However, in documents from the 1600–1700s, "stave" was also used for wall boards or panels. Emil Eckhoff in his Svenska stavkyrkor (1914–1916) also included wood-frame church buildings without posts.

According to Norway's oldest written laws and Old Norwegian Homily Book, the consecration of the church was valid as long as the four corner posts were standing. One of the sermons in the old homily book is known as the "stave church sermon". The sermon dates from around 1100 and was presumably performed at consecrations, or on their anniversaries. The sermon text is a theological interpretation of the building elements in the church. It names most of the building elements in the stave church, and can be a source of terminology and technique. For instance, the sermon says: "The four corner posts of the church are a symbol for the four gospels, because their teachings are the strongest supports within the whole of Christianity."

Church building was mentioned in the Gulatingsloven (Gulating Law), which was written down in the 1000s. In the chapter on Christianity, the 12th article states:

If one man builds a church, either lendmann does it or a farmer, or whoever builds a church, shall keep the church and the plot in good condition. But if the church breaks down and corner posts fall, then he shall bring timber to the plot before twelve months; if not, he will pay three marks in punishment to the bishop and bring timber and rebuild the church anyway.
(Um einskildmenn byggjer kyrkje, anten lendmann gjer det eller bonde, eller kven det er som byggjer kyrkje, skal han halda henne i stand og inkje øyda tufti. Men um kyrkja brotnar og hyrnestavane fell, då skal han føra timber på tufti innan tolv månadar; um det ikkje kjem, skal han bøta tre merker for det til biskopen og koma med timber og byggja opp kyrkja likevel.)

In Norway, stave churches were gradually replaced; many survived until the 19th century when a substantial number were destroyed. Today, 28 historical stave churches remain standing in Norway. Stave churches were particularly common in less populated areas in high valleys and forest land, and in fishermen's villages on islands and minor villages along fjords. By about 1800, 322 stave churches were still known in Norway, most of them in sparsely populated areas. If the main church was masonry, the annex church could be a stave church. Masonry churches were mostly built in towns, along the coast, and in rich agricultural areas in Trøndelag and eastern Norway, as well as in the larger parishes in fjord districts in western Norway. No new churches were built in Norway during the 1400s and 1500s. Norway's stave churches largely disappeared until 1700 and were replaced by log buildings. Several stave churches were redesigned or enlarged using different techniques during 1600–1700; for instance, Flesberg Stave Church was converted into a cruciform church partly in log construction. According to Dietrichson, most stave churches were dismantled to make room for a new church, partly because the old church had become too small for the congregation, and partly because the stave church was in poor condition. Fire, storm, avalanche and decay were other reasons. In 1650 there were about 270 stave churches left in Norway, and in the next hundred years 136 of these disappeared. There were still 95 stave churches in 1800, while over 200 former stave churches were still known by name or in written sources. From 1850 to 1885, 32 stave churches disappeared; since then only the Fantoft Stave Church has been lost.

Heddal stave church was the first stave church described in a scholarly publication, when Johannes Flintoe wrote an essay in Samlinger til det Norske Folks Sprog og Historie (Christiania, 1834). The book also printed Flintoe's drawings of the facade, the ground floor and the floor plan – the first known architectural drawing of a stave church.

Other countries

The number of stave churches constructed in Iceland and the rest of Europe is unknown.[citation needed] Some believe[who?] they were the first type of church to be constructed in Scandinavia; however, the post churches are an older type, although the difference between the two is slight. A stave church has a lower construction set on a frame, whereas a post church has earth-bound posts.

In Sweden, the stave churches were considered obsolete in the Middle Ages and were replaced. In Denmark, traces of post churches have been found at several locations, and there are also parts still in existence from some of them. A plank of one such church was found in Jutland. The plank is now on display at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen and an attempt at reconstructing the church is a featured display at the Moesgård Museum near Aarhus. Marks created by several old post churches have also been found at the old stone church in Jelling.

In Sweden, the medieval Hedared stave church was constructed c. 1500 at the same location as a previous stave church. Other notable places are Maria Minor church in Lund, with its traces of a post church with palisades, and some old parts of Hemse stave church on Gotland. In Skåne alone there were around 300 such churches when Adam of Bremen visited Denmark in the first half of the 11th century, but how many of those were stave churches or post churches is unknown.

In England, there is one similar church of Saxon origin, with much debate as to whether it is a stave church or predates them. This is the Greensted Church in Essex. General consensus categorizes it as Saxon Type A. Another church bears similarities to stave churches, the medieval stone church of St. Mary in Kilpeck in Herefordshire. It features a number of dragon heads.

In Germany, there is one stone church with a motif depicting a dragon similar to those often seen on Norwegian stave churches and on surviving artifacts from Denmark and Gotland. Whether this decoration can be attributed to cultural similarities or whether it indicates similar construction methods in Germany has sparked controversy.

Between 1950 and 1970, postholes from older buildings were discovered under Lom stave church as well as under masonry churches such as Kinsarvik Church, and this discovery was an important contribution to understanding the origin of stave churches. Postholes were first identified during excavations in Urnes stave church.

Influences

Details of Borgund Stave Church

Lorentz Dietrichson in his book De norske Stavkirker ("The Norwegian Stave Churches") (1892) claimed that the stave church is "a brilliant translation of the Romanesque basilica from stone to wood" ("En genial oversettelse fra sten til tre av den romanske basilika"). Dietrichson claimed that Type B displays an influence from early Christian and Roman basilicas. The style was assumed to be transferred via Anglo-Saxon and Irish architecture, where only the particular roof construction was local. Dietrichson emphasized the clerestory, arcades and capitals. The "basilica theory" was introduced by N. Nicolaysen in Mindesmærker af Middelalderens Kunst i Norge (1854). Nicolaysen wrote: "Our stave churches are now the only remaining of its kind, and according to the sparse records and known circumstances, it appears that nothing similar existed except perhaps in Britain and Ireland." ("Vore stavkirker er nu de eneste i sit slags, og saavidt sparsomme beretninger og andre omstændigheder lader formode, synes de heller ikke tidligere at have havt noget sidestykke med undtagelse af maaske i Storbritannien og Irland.") Nicolaysen further claimed that the layout and design may have been inspired by Byzantine architecture. Nicolaysen wrote: "All facts suggest that the stave churches like the masonry churches and all medieval architecture in Western Europe originated from the Roman basilica." ("Alt synes at henpege paa, at forbilledet til vore stavkirker ligesom til stenkirkerne og overhovedet til hele den vesteuropæiske arkitektur i middelalderen er udgaaet fra den romerske basilika.") This theory was further developed by Anders Bugge and Roar Hauglid. Peter Anker believed that the influence from foreign masonry architecture was primarily in decorative details.

Per Jonas Nordhagen does not reject the basilica theory, but suggests development along two paths and that the basilical was a development towards larger and technically more sophisticated churches. The main, progressive path according to Nordhagen lead to Torpo and Borgund.

Folklore and circumstantial evidence seem to suggest that stave churches were built upon old indigenous Norse worship sites, the hof. Dietrichson believed that the stave churches were closely connected to the hof and the "hof theory" attracted interest in the 1930s and 1940s. The theory assumed that the hofs had a square, raised roof supported by four columns. During Christianization of Norway local chiefs were forced to either dismantle the hofs or to convert hofs into churches. Bugge and Norberg-Schultz accordingly claimed that "there is no reason to believe that the last hofs and the first churches had any major differences" ("og da er det liten grunn til å tro at de siste hov har skilt seg synderlig fra de første kirker"). This assumption has been rejected by archeological evidence several times, in the case of Iceland by Åge Roussel. Olaf Olsen described the hof merely as function related to ordinary buildings on major farms. If the hof was a particular building they remain to be identified, according to Olsen. Olsen rejected the hof theory. Nicolay Nicolaysen also concluded that there is not a single known case of a hof that was converted to a church.

Lack of historical evidence for hofs as buildings undermines the hof theory. Nicolaysen also introduced the community centre hypothesis which argued that hofs were destroyed and churches constructed on the same convenient location for the local community. Location near a previous hof would then be a coincidence, according to Nicolaysen. Pope Gregory I encouraged (year 601) Augustine of Canterbury to reuse pre-Christian temples, but this had little relevance for Norway according to Nicolaysen. Jan Brendalsmo in his dissertation concluded that churches were often established on major farms or farms of local chiefs and close to feasting halls or graveyards.

Stave churches sometimes appear to have built upon or used materials from old pagan worship sites and are considered to be the best evidence for the existence of Norse Pagan temples and the best guide as to what they looked like. The layout of the churches is believed to have mimicked old Pagan temples in design and was possibly designed in order to adhere to old Norse cosmological beliefs, especially as some churches were built around a central point like a world tree. Stave churches were also often located near or in the sight of large natural formations which also had a significant role in Norse Paganism, thus also suggesting a form of continuity through placement and symbolism. Furthermore, dragons' heads and other clear mythological symbolism suggests the cultural blending of Norse mythological beliefs and Christianity in a non-contradictory synthesis.[clarification needed] Owing to this evidence newer research has suggested that Christianity was introduced into Norway much earlier than was previously assumed.[citation needed]

Portal detail from Tønjum Stave Church

Even though the wooden churches had structural differences, they give a recognizable general impression. Formal differences may hide common features of their planning, while apparently similar buildings may turn out to have their structural elements organized completely differently. Despite this, certain basic principles must have been common to all types of building.

Basic geometrical figures, numbers that were easy to work with, one or just a few length units and simple ratios, and perhaps proportions, were among the theoretical aids all builders inherited. The specialist was the man who knew a particular type of building so well that he could systematise its elements in a slightly different way from previous building designs, thus carrying developments a stage further.

"Exposing the timber frame on the interior and/or exterior of the structures is seen to release its matrix of timber members and its capacity to contribute architectural expression to buildings. The matrix, forming ‘lines’ in space, has an expressive potential that includes the capacity to delineate proportion, direct eye-movement, suggest spatial enclosure, create patterning, permit transparency and establish continuity with landscape."

Portals

Main portal in Hedal stave church
Drawing by G. A. Bull of the main portal in Hedal stave church, from c.1853

Portals or parts of them from about 140 stave churches have been preserved. There are roughly three portal types: the simple profile portal, the column portal and the beam portal.

The simple profile portal is a doorway framed by simple profiles or pilasters. These portals are mostly used on cord doors. About 20 such doors have been preserved.

The column portal is derived from stone architecture. It has full or half columns that carry a curved archivolt. The columns have bases and chapters. They are richly decorated and were used both on front doors and inside cross-sections. About 40 such portals are known.

The beam (or magnificent) portal consists of two portal planks and a top piece with continuous decoration. The upper part has two to five horizontal planks that are folded into each other with tongue and groove. This is supported by the standing wall planks that flank the doorway. 75 more or less complete portals of this type have been preserved. In some beam portals, the column motif is also incorporated together with the surface decorations, with or without archivolt.

Most of the preserved material comes from Sogn-Hardanger and from the mountain villages in eastern Norway. The main part of the portals is Romanesque and lacks Gothic features.

It is possible that the portals may have been painted, but this has been difficult to determine with certainty. The paint on the few that are painted today seems to be newer.

It is common to divide the portals according to style to Urnes style and Romanesque style.

Iconography

Most portals show dragons, "lions" and vines that do not refer to specific biblical or other Christian stories. One of the exceptions is the Christian motifs found on the west portal from the torn Hemsedal stave church, which shows St. Olav's martyrdom and status as a Christlike saint.

A research problem has been the portal's iconography. As for the Urnes style portals, the idea that it should have a pagan content is rejected. The large animal has been interpreted as a lion. The lion can represent Christ who fights with and wins over evil.

Common features of most portals are that they are monumental and that they have fighting dragons, which may be symbolic of magic to avert pain. Bugge believes that this may be a pagan iconography in Christian interpretation. In the Sogn-Valdres portals the lion is replaced by a vine, which also represents Christianity. in reference to Joh. 15.5: "I am the vine, you are the branches." Hohler opposes this interpretation. She believes that the portals cannot have a religious content, but is a picture of the client's or builder's intention, a ruling motif. There are many portals in Europe that are pure ornaments. She refers to Bernhard of Clairvaux, who opposed the use of animals in the Christian context.

  • Lion on the door, Historisk museum, Oslo

  • Lion from the portal of Eidsborg Stave Church.

  • Lion from the Vang Stave Church

  • Lion on arch decoration from Borgund Stave Church

  • Sigurd sucking the dragon blood off his thumb, engravings from Hylestad Stave Church

  • The slaying of Regin, engravings from Hylestad Stave Church

What justification do the beasts of the monastery have for the formless treasure of form and the formless formlessness? What do pictures there have to do with unclean monkeys, wild lions, amazing centaurs and half-humans? Why serve tigers, fighting knights, hunters who blow their horns? There you see under a head several bodies, and there you see on a four-legged body a snake's tail, there on a fish an animal head – Everywhere there is such a rich and fantastic collection of different shapes that one directs one's eyes to the sculptures rather than the content of the holy books.

She therefore believes that animal motifs in Romanesque art have little religious significance, and the portals can be pure ruler symbols.

Hoftun believes that many of the so-called pagan portal motifs have a clear Christian message, believing that in principle the Norwegian stave church motifs do not differ from many of the motifs found in other Romanesque church art, such as on Romanesque church portals and stone baptismal fonts in Sweden and Denmark.

Other researchers believe that the portals are inspired by English art. The background may be manuscripts and stone sculpture. Some of these manuscripts are animal books with a Christian allegorical content, often referred to as bestiaries. The origin of these is the Physiologus, a collection of allegories about animals with Christian interpretations, which are said to have originated in Alexandria in the 2nd century. This basic text was in Greek, and throughout the Middle Ages the text was translated into a number of languages. These stories are also the background for all the bestiaries that are preserved in various libraries and collections. The sources of the Physiologus are Indian, Hebrew and Egyptian animal stories and various classical texts written by, among others, Aristotle and Pliny the Elder. No early Greek text has survived; the oldest preserved are in Latin, but these must be very close to the Greek original. Gradually, it became common to illustrate the texts, but there is a leap in development, and a number of texts with illustrations have been lost.

Lindkvist refers to the Physiologus as a background for animal depictions in portals on Gotland. These stone churches were often built after the stave churches in the same places had become too small. Unfortunately, most of the wooden churches have disappeared, so it is not possible to study the decor. But it is not unreasonable to assume that they have had the same decor as Norwegian stave churches, and that these motifs may then have been continued in the stone portals. Background and origin would then be approximately the same.

Stave churches can be dated in various ways: by historical records or inscriptions, by stylistic means using construction details or ornaments, or by dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating. Often historical records or inscriptions will point to a year when the church is known to have existed. Archaeological excavations can yield finds that provide relative dating for the structure, whereas absolute dating methods such as radiocarbon dating and dendrochronology can provide a more exact date. One drawback of dendrochronology is that it tends to overlook the possibility that the wood could have been reused from an older structure, or felled and left for many years before use.

An important problem in dating the churches is that the solid ground sills are the construction elements most likely to have the outer parts of the log still preserved. Yet they are the most susceptible to humidity, and as people back then reused building parts, the church may have been rebuilt several times. If so, a dendrochronological dating may be based upon a log from a later reconstruction.

Coin finds made under the church floors are also important for dating.

Results from studies with the photodendrome method published in 2019 have come with adjusted estimates for age of the timber used. The churches at Urnes, Kaupanger and Hopperstad were examined particularly thoroughly.

  • Hoppestad Stave Church dendrodated to 1131–1132, previously assumed 1125–1250.
  • Kaupanger Stave Church dated to 1137–1138, formerly adopted 1170–1200.
  • Gol Stave Church 1204–05, previously assumed 1170–1309.
  • Borgund Stave Church 1180–1181, previously assumed 1150–1250.
  • Kvernes Stave Church, 1633, previously believed to be from the Middle Ages, is the only known stave church in Norway built after the Reformation.

The poor condition of the stave churches led the National Heritage Board to start the Stave Churches Program in 2001. The program was to create positive ripple effects in the form of greater local activity with traditional ways of using materials and resources.

The goals of the program were:

  • to restore the stave churches so that they can be preserved for posterity,
  • to preserve the decor and church art,
  • to supplement the documentation of the stave churches as a basis for research and reconstruction of lost parts.

The results of the program with the details of what has been done at the individual churches was documented in a report in 2008.

  • Old and modern photos of the most iconic Norwegian stave churches
  • Borgund Stave Church, Martinus Rørbye, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, København, 1833

  • Borgund Stave Church, 2005

  • Heddal Stave Church. Illustration from the book Norge fremstillet i Tegninger, 1848

  • Heddal Stave Church, 2010

  • Eidsborg Stave Church, 1880–1890

  • Eidsborg Stave Church, 2018

  • Vang Stave Church (Now in Poland) on a postcard, 1886

  • Vang Stave Church, 2012

Most stave churches are in Norway, but they can also be found in Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany. Stave churches are quite popular phenomenon and several have been built or rebuilt around the world. The two most copied are Borgund and Hedared, with some variations, and sometimes with adaptations to add elements from known stave churches from the area. In other places they are of a freer form and built for display.

Old stave churches

Norway

Outside Norway

Notable replicas and later built churches

  • Directorate for Cultural Heritage, Stave Churches
  • Anker, Peter (1997). Stavkirkene: Deres egenart og historie (in Norwegian). Oslo: J.W. Cappelens forlag. ISBN 978-82-02-15978-8.
  • Lindgren, Mereth; Lydberg, Louise; Sandstrøm, Birgitta; Waklberg, Anna Greta (2002). Svensk Konsthistoria (in Swedish). Kristianstad. ISBN 978-91-85330-72-0.
  • Bugge, Gunnar; Mezzanotte, Bernardino (1993). Stavkirker (in Norwegian). Oslo: Grøndahl og Dreyer. ISBN 978-82-504-2072-4.
  • Bugge, Gunnar (1981). Stavkirkene i Norge (in Norwegian). Oslo: Dreyer. ISBN 978-82-09-01890-3.
  • Hoftun, Oddgeir (2002). Stavkirkene – og det norske middelaldersamfunnet (in Norwegian). Copenhagen. ISBN 978-87-21-01977-8.
  • Hoftun, Oddgeir (2003). Stabkirchen – und die mittelalterliche Gesellschaft Norwegens (in German). Köln: Verlag der Buchhandlung König. ISBN 978-3-88375-675-2.
  • Hoftun, Oddgeir (2008). Kristningsprosessens og herskermaktens ikonografi i nordisk middelalder (in Norwegian). Oslo: Solum. ISBN 978-82-560-1619-8.
  • Hohler, Erla Bergendahl (1999). Norwegian Stave Church Sculpture. 1–2. Oslo: Scandinavian University Press. ISBN 978-82-00-12748-2.
  • Lagerlöf, Erland; Svahnström, Gunnar (1991). Gotlands Kyrkor (in Swedish). Kristianstad: R&S. ISBN 978-91-29-61598-2.
  • Elstad, Hallgeir (2002). "Dei norske stavkyrkjene – ei innføring". Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo, curriculum. Archived from the original on 11 November 2005.Cite journal requires |journal= ()
  • Hauglid, Roar, Norske Stavkirker, Oslo 1973, multipart work
Note that Roar Hauglid is a prolific author and the listed title is just one of several. Other books by him include: Norwegische Stabkirchen, Oslo 1970, ISBN 82-09-00938-9 and Norwegian stave churches, Oslo 1970

Note: Several sections of this article have been translated from its Norwegian version. For complete detailed references in Norwegian, see the original version at no:Stavkirke.

  1. "British Archaeology, no 10, December 1995: News".
  2. Magnell, Steinar (2009): De første kirkene i Norge. Kirkebyggingen og kirkebyggere før 1100-tallet. Masteroppgave, Universitetet i Oslo.
  3. Krogh 2011 s. 166–170
  4. Håkon Christie (1981). Stavkirkene – arkitektur. pp. 139–252. ISBN 8205122644.
  5. Jensenius, Jørgen H. (2010): Bygningstekniske og arkeologiske bemerkninger om trekirker i Norge i vikingtid og middelalder. Collegium Medievale.
  6. Christie 1974 s. 15
  7. Krogh 2011 s. 74–98
  8. Jensenius, Jørgen H. (2001): Trekirkene før stavkirkene. Avhandling dr.ing., Arkitekthøyskolen i Oslo, 2001.
  9. Dietrichson, L. (1892). De norske stavkirker: studier over deres system, oprindelse og historiske udvikling : et bidrag til Norges middelalderske bygningskunsts historie. Kristiania: Cammermeyer.
  10. Hauglid, 1976, s.339–344.
  11. "Verdifulle stavkirker : Riksantikvaren". Riksantikvaren.no. Archived from the original on 21 April 2008. Retrieved30 April 2010.
  12. Storsletten, Ola (1993). En arv i tre: de norske stavkirkene. Oslo: Aschehoug. ISBN 8203220061.
  13. Anker, Leif: Middelalder i tre, Stavkirker, ARFO forlag 2005, ISBN 82-91399-16-6 (Kirker i Norge; bind 4)
  14. Ekroll, Øystein (1997): Med kleber og kalk. Norsk steinbygging i mellomalderen. Oslo: Samlaget.
  15. Bugge and Mezzanotte, 1994, p. 17.
  16. Gjærder, Per (1999). Stolper og staver i bygningsteknisk sammenheng. Grindbygde hus i Vest-Norge. NIKU-seminar om grindbygde hus, Bryggens museum 23.-25.03 1998. Edited by Helge Schjelderup and Ola Storsletten. Oslo: Norsk institutt for kulturminneforskning.
  17. Storsletten, Ola (1993). Takverk i steinkirker fra middelalderen. Oslo: Program for forskning om kulturminnevern, Norges forskningsråd. ISBN 8212001040.
  18. Ágústsson, Hördur 1976: "Kyrkjehus i ei norrøn homilie". By og Bygd, vol. XXV, 1–38; according to Jørgen H. Jensenius "Stavkirkeprekenen som bygningshistorisk kilde" I: Fortidsminneforeningens årbok, 2001.
  19. Gammelnorsk homiliebok. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1971, p. 102.
  20. Gulatingslovi. Oslo: Samlaget. 1952
  21. Vreim, Halvor (1947): Norsk trearkitektur. Oslo: Gyldendal.
  22. Muri, Sigurd: Gamle kyrkjer i ny tid. Oslo: Samlaget, 1975, s. 14.
  23. Bugge, Anders (1954). Heddal stavkirke. Oslo: Grøndahl.
  24. Christie, Håkon: Urnes stavkirkes forløper belyst ved utgravninger under kirken, Foreningen til norske Fortidsminnesmerkers bevaring, Årbok 1958, vol. 113, pp. 49–74
  25. Dietrichson (1892) p. 82
  26. Dietrichson (1892) p, 83
  27. Peter Anker (1997) Stavkirkene: deres egenart og historie. Oslo: Cappelen. ISBN 8202159784.
  28. Nordhagen, Per Jonas, "Stavkyrkjene" in Norsk arkitekturhistorie: frå steinalder og bronsealder til det 21. hundreåret. Oslo: Samlaget 2003, ISBN 82-521-5748-3, pp. 89–119
  29. Bugge og Norgberg-Schultz, 1994, s. 35.
  30. Aage Roussel, Islands gudehove, Stenberger 1943, side 215–223
  31. Olaf Olsen, Hørg, hov og kirke
  32. Jensenius, Jørgen H. (2001): Trekirkene før stavkirkene. Avhandling dr.ing. [PhD-dissertation], Arkitekthøyskolen i Oslo, 2001.
  33. Nordhagen 2003
  34. Hansen, Margareth (2014). Fire kirkesteder i Romsdal. Bergen: Universitetet i Bergen.
  35. Davidson, H. R. Ellis. 1988. Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe : Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press. ISBN 0-8156-2441-7
  36. Reed, Michael F. "Norwegian Stave Churches and Their Pagan Antecedents." RACAR: Revue D'art Canadienne / Canadian Art Review 24, no. 2 (1997): 3–13
  37. The Expressive Capacity of the Timber Frame by Brit Andresen. School of Geography, Planning and Architecture, Faculty of Engineering, Physical Sciences and Architecture, University of Queensland, QLD 4072, Australia. http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/ocs/index.php/AASA/2007/paper/viewFile/54/7. Retrieved 2 November 2013
  38. The west portal in Hemsedal Stave Church is preserved History Museum in Oslo
  39. Hoftun 2002; 2008
  40. Anker 2005 s.61
  41. Anker 1997 s. 265
  42. Anker 2005 s. 62
  43. Paulsson 1969
  44. Hoftun 2002; 2008
  45. Anker 1997 s. 267
  46. Lindkvist 1997 s. 105
  47. "Stavkirker i Norge er eldre enn antatt". Gemini.no. 31 October 2019.
  48. Aksnes, Solveig Nyhus (11 December 2019). "Eit lite hol avslørte ein stor hemmelegheit". NRK.
  49. Riksantikvaren (2008): Stavkirkeprogrammet 2001–2015. Hva har skjedd så langt? (in Norwegian) (pdf)
  50. Frewins, Clive. The Church Explorer's Handbook. Canterbury Press Ltd, 2005. ISBN 1-85311-622-X. p. 16.
  51. https://www.hcscconline.org/stavechurch.html
Wikimedia Commons has media related toStave churches.

Stave church
Stave church Article Talk Language Watch Edit A stave church is a medieval wooden Christian church building once common in north western Europe The name derives from the building s structure of post and lintel construction a type of timber framing where the load bearing ore pine posts are called stafr in Old Norse stav in modern Norwegian Two related church building types also named for their structural elements the post church and palisade church are often called stave churches Borgund Stave Church in Borgund Laerdal is one of Norway s most visited stave churches Heddal Stave Church Notodden the largest stave church in Norway Originally much more widespread most of the surviving stave churches are in Norway The only remaining medieval stave churches outside Norway are those of circa 1500 Hedared stave church in Sweden and one Norwegian stave church relocated in 1842 to contemporary Karpacz in the Karkonosze mountains of Poland at the time being a part of the Kingdom of Prussia One other church the Anglo Saxon Greensted Church in England exhibits many similarities with a stave church but is generally considered a palisade church Contents 1 Construction 1 1 Single nave church Type A 1 2 Church with a raised roof Type B 1 3 Construction techniques 1 3 1 Palisade work 1 3 2 The post technique 1 3 3 Stave work 1 4 Size 2 History 2 1 Norway 2 2 Other countries 2 3 Influences 3 Architecture and decoration 3 1 Portals 3 2 Iconography 4 Dating of churches 5 Stave Churches Program 6 Gallery 7 List of stave churches 7 1 Old stave churches 7 1 1 Norway 7 1 2 Outside Norway 7 2 Notable replicas and later built churches 8 See also 9 Further reading 10 References 11 External linksConstruction Edit Drawing during reconstruction of Gol stave church by T Prytz 1883 Archaeological excavations have shown that stave churches are descended from palisade constructions and from later churches with earth bound posts Similar palisade constructions are known from buildings from the Viking Age Logs were split in two halves set or rammed into the earth generally called post in ground construction and given a roof This proved a simple but very strong form of construction If set in gravel the wall could last many decades even centuries An archaeological excavation in Lund uncovered the postholes of several such churches In post churches the walls were supported by sills leaving only the posts earth bound Such churches are easy to spot at archaeological sites as they leave very distinct holes where the posts were once placed Occasionally some of the wood remains making it possible to date the church more accurately using radiocarbon dating or dendrochronology Under the Urnes Stave Church remains of two such churches have been found with Christian graves discovered beneath the oldest church structure A single church of palisade construction has been discovered under the Hemse stave church The next design phase resulted from the observation that earthbound posts were susceptible to humidity causing them to rot away over time To prevent this the posts were placed on top of large stones significantly increasing their lifespans The stave church in Roldal is believed to be of this type In later churches the posts were set on a raised sill frame resting on stone foundations This is the stave church in its most mature form It is now common to group the churches into two categories the first without free standing posts often referred to as Type A and the second with a raised roof and free standing internal posts usually called Type B Those with the raised roof Type B are often further divided into two subgroups The first of these the Kaupanger group have a whole arcade row of posts and intermediate posts along the sides and details that mimic stone capitals These churches give an impression of a basilica The other subgroup is the Borgund group In these churches the posts are connected halfway up with one or two horizontal double pincer beams with semicircular indentations clasping the row of posts from both sides Cross braces are inserted between the posts and the upper and lower pincer beams or above the single pincer beam forming a very rigid interconnection and resembling the triforium of stone basilicas This design made it possible to omit the freestanding lower part of intermediate posts In some churches only the four corner posts remain for example in Lomen Stave Church Many stave churches had or still have outer galleries or ambulatories around their whole perimeters loosely connected to the plank walls These probably served to protect the church from a harsh climate and for processions Single nave church Type A Edit Plans of Type A churches Holtalen Stave Church drawing by Hakon Christie Reinli Stave Church drawing by Georg Andreas Bull ca 1855 At the base of Type A churches there are four heavy sill beams on a low foundation of stones These are interconnected in the corner notch forming a rigid sill frame The corner posts or staves stavene in Norwegian are cross cut at the lower end and fit over the corner notches and cover them protecting them from moisture On top of the sill beam is a groove into which the lower ends of the wall planks veggtilene fit The last wall plank is wedge shaped and rammed into place When the wall is filled in with planks the frame is completed by a wall plate stavlaegje with a groove on the bottom holding the top ends of the wall planks The whole structure consists of frames a sill frame resting on the stone foundation and the four wall frames made up of sills corner posts and wall plate The wall plates support the roof trusses consisting of a pair of principal rafters and an additional pair of intersecting scissor rafters For lateral bracing additional wooden brackets bueknaer are inserted between the rafters Every piece is locked into position by other pieces making for a very rigid construction yet all points otherwise susceptible to the harsh weather are covered The single nave church has a square nave and a narrower square choir This type of stave church was common at the beginning of the 12th century The long church Langkyrkje has a rectangular plan with nave and choir of the same width The nave will usually take up two thirds of the whole length This type was common at the end of the 13th century The center post church Midtmastkyrkje has a single central post reaching all the way up to and connected to the roof construction But the roof is a simple hipped one without the raised central part of the Type B churches This variation on the common type of church found in Numedal and Hallingdal dates to around 1200 Single nave churches in Norway Grip Haltdalen Undredal Hedal Reinli Eidsborg Rollag Uvdal Nore Hoyjord Roldal and Garmo The only remaining church of this type outside Norway is the Hedared church in Sweden which shows similarities with the church at Haltdalen Church with a raised roof Type B Edit Plans of Type B churches Hakon Christie drawing of Borgund Stave Church G A Bull drawing of Borgund Stave Church Gol Stave Church The drawing is slightly erroneous as the sill under the church floor is missing On the stone foundation four huge ground beams grunnstokker are placed like a sign their ends protruding 1 2 meters from the lap joint where they intersect The ends of these beams support the sills of the outer walls forming a separate horizontal frame The tall internal posts are placed on the internal frame of ground beams and carry the main roof above the central nave skip On the outer frame of sills rest the main wall planks veggtiler carrying the roof over the pentice or aisles omgang surrounding the central space The roof thus slopes down in two steps as in a basilica The tall internal posts staver are interconnected with brackets bueknaer and also connected to the outer walls with aisle rafters creating a laterally rigid construction Closer to the top of the posts staver shorter sills inserted between them support the upper wall tilevegg On top of the posts wall plates stavlaegjer support the roof trusses similar to those of the single nave churches The Kaupanger group consists of Kaupanger Urnes Hopperstad and Lom The Borgund group consists of Borgund Gol Hegge Hore Lomen Ringebu and Oye This form of a church can also be recognized from the holes which remain from earlier earth bound post churches built on the same sites Little is known about what these older churches actually looked like or how they were constructed as they were all destroyed or replaced many centuries ago Construction techniques Edit Palisade work Edit Main article Palisade church Palisade work The oldest technique is often called palisade work and was a self supporting wall construction with densely placed earthen pillars or planks which enclosed a room and at the same time carried the roof Later split logs were used which gave the walls a flat inside and the edges could be leveled or fitted with tongue and groove Palisade churches have not been found in Norway To prevent early decay the posts or planks were tarred and the lower ends were charred by burning The palisade rows were often placed in ditches filled with stone It was long thought that this technique disappeared before the turn of the last millennium but new research shows that it was in use right up to the 12th century The only structure in this technique that has survived into our time is a wall in the middle section of Greensted Church in England This led to this church being for a long time considered the oldest wooden structure in Europe A common dating of the church was about the year 845 but modern dendrochronological dating estimates the church s year of construction to the period just after the year 1053 10 55 years 1 The post technique Edit Main article Post church The post technique By lifting the pole planks up from the ground and placing them on sleepers clamped between more powerful corner or intermediate posts the risk of rot damage was reduced Thinner materials could then be used in the complementary parts of the construction Earthen piles of coarse round timber could stand for a relatively long time before rotting They may have been scorched at the lower end to avoid premature decay Postholes often with remnants of the former pillars have been found under or near several stave churches and in places where legends say that there must have been churches Remains of approximately 25 pillar buildings have been identified in Norway and indirect traces of 7 8 more Remains of pillar churches are also found under stone churches such as Maere and Kinsarvik 2 Many of the earliest churches in Norway were built using this technique but no such buildings have survived It is an open question whether limited life was the reason why they were replaced by real stave churches with sleepers or whether there were other reasons Some of the older materials found in several of the stave churches are thought to originate from such early pillar churches in particular at the Urnes stave church in Luster where many building parts with wooden sheds in the urn style must have belonged to an older church It has now been proven that the reused building parts originally belonged to the current church s forerunner dendrochronologically dated to the period 1070 1080 However this was not a post church but a real stave church where corner poles and wall planks stood on sleepers 3 Hakon Christie assumed that the post construction fell out of use because the posts rotted from below 4 Jorgen H Jensenius believes that archaeological material does not provide unequivocal support for Christie s hypothesis a change in size or transition to a stone church may also explain why excavated pillars fell out of use Roldal Stave Church may have had some pillars set in the ground until 1913 In Lom Stave Church the stone foundations have been laid approximately directly over the refilled postholes Apart from different foundation methods Jensenius believes that the pillar churches were essentially similar to stave churches 5 Stave work Edit Stave work Of buildings from the Middle Ages with standing timber in load bearing structures only the churches in the last developed method of construction the stave have been left standing in our time 6 By lifting the entire structure up on stone foundations and placing the poles on sleepers the life of the structure was significantly extended The technique was developed as early as the 11th century but it has only been proven in the forerunner of the current stave church This was also a real stave church since both the corner stakes and the tiles have stood on sleepers that were reused as foundations for the existing church 7 Stone as a base for poles was used as early as Roman times and additional walls in sleepers may have been used from the 400s and 600s 8 Size Edit Side view of Stedje Stave Church by G A Bull Lorentz Dietrichson believed that the stave churches were originally small and only later built with larger dimensions He believed that the background for this was the construction technique He points out that the youngest churches in the Mor type are the largest He calculated the ground plan and area for 79 churches and the nine largest were all in Sunnmore with Hjorundfjord Volda and Norddal of over 280 m2 This is three times larger than for example Urnes and Hopperstad According to Dietrichson the large size of the stave churches in Sunnmore were partly a result of later expansions He estimated the cross arms of Volda Stave Church at 7 3 6 meters Hjorundfjord Stave Church was a half cross church with only one cross arm measuring 7 9 9 1 meters The first stave church had cross arms of 7 9 6 7 meters after expansion Dietrichson was unsure whether the cross arms in the More churches were generally added in the lath construction or whether it was a medieval stave construction He concluded that several were originally listed as cruciform churches in stakes including Hareid Volda Vatne and Orsta For some other churches Bremsnes and Kornstad on Nordmore contemporary sources say that the cross arms were later added to the lumber 9 According to Hakon Christie these churches of the Mor type had a simpler construction and were both larger and longer than the other types 4 Roar Hauglid estimated that most 80 90 of the medieval Norwegian stave churches were simple single nave buildings Type A and most were relatively small Hauglid called these the ordinary Norwegian stave church 10 History Edit Jelling church stone in Denmark The portal from Faberg Stave Church Arch decoration from Urnes Stave Church Stave churches were once common in northern Europe In Norway alone it was thought about 1000 were built recent research has increased this estimate and it is now believed there may have been closer to 2000 11 Norway Edit Most of the surviving stave churches in Norway were built between 1150 and 1350 12 Stave churches older than the 1100s are known only from written sources or from archaeological excavations but written sources are sparse and difficult to interpret 13 Only 271 masonry churches were constructed in Norway during the same period of which 160 still exist while in Sweden and Denmark there were 900 and 1800 masonry churches respectively 14 Frostathing Law and Gulating law rules about corner posts show that the stave church was the standard church building in Norway even though the Catholic church preferred stone 13 All wooden churches in Norway before the reformation were constructed with staves Log building is younger than stave building in Norway and was introduced in residential buildings around year 1000 Stave building is not influenced by the log technique 15 9 The word stave church is unknown in Old Norse presumably because there were no other types of wooden churches When Norway s churches after the Reformation were constructed from logs there was a need for a separate term for the older churches In written sources from the Middle Ages there is a clear distinction between stafr posts and thili or vaegthili wall boards However in documents from the 1600 1700s stave was also used for wall boards or panels Emil Eckhoff in his Svenska stavkyrkor 1914 1916 also included wood frame church buildings without posts 16 According to Norway s oldest written laws and Old Norwegian Homily Book the consecration of the church was valid as long as the four corner posts were standing 13 One of the sermons in the old homily book is known as the stave church sermon The sermon dates from around 1100 and was presumably performed at consecrations or on their anniversaries The sermon text is a theological interpretation of the building elements in the church It names most of the building elements in the stave church and can be a source of terminology and technique 17 18 For instance the sermon says The four corner posts of the church are a symbol for the four gospels because their teachings are the strongest supports within the whole of Christianity 19 Church building was mentioned in the Gulatingsloven Gulating Law which was written down in the 1000s In the chapter on Christianity the 12th article states 20 If one man builds a church either lendmann does it or a farmer or whoever builds a church shall keep the church and the plot in good condition But if the church breaks down and corner posts fall then he shall bring timber to the plot before twelve months if not he will pay three marks in punishment to the bishop and bring timber and rebuild the church anyway Um einskildmenn byggjer kyrkje anten lendmann gjer det eller bonde eller kven det er som byggjer kyrkje skal han halda henne i stand og inkje oyda tufti Men um kyrkja brotnar og hyrnestavane fell da skal han fora timber pa tufti innan tolv manadar um det ikkje kjem skal han bota tre merker for det til biskopen og koma med timber og byggja opp kyrkja likevel In Norway stave churches were gradually replaced many survived until the 19th century when a substantial number were destroyed Today 28 historical stave churches remain standing in Norway Stave churches were particularly common in less populated areas in high valleys and forest land and in fishermen s villages on islands and minor villages along fjords By about 1800 322 stave churches were still known in Norway most of them in sparsely populated areas If the main church was masonry the annex church could be a stave church 13 Masonry churches were mostly built in towns along the coast and in rich agricultural areas in Trondelag and eastern Norway as well as in the larger parishes in fjord districts in western Norway 14 No new churches were built in Norway during the 1400s and 1500s 21 Norway s stave churches largely disappeared until 1700 and were replaced by log buildings Several stave churches were redesigned or enlarged using different techniques during 1600 1700 for instance Flesberg Stave Church was converted into a cruciform church partly in log construction 22 According to Dietrichson most stave churches were dismantled to make room for a new church partly because the old church had become too small for the congregation and partly because the stave church was in poor condition Fire storm avalanche and decay were other reasons 9 In 1650 there were about 270 stave churches left in Norway and in the next hundred years 136 of these disappeared There were still 95 stave churches in 1800 while over 200 former stave churches were still known by name or in written sources From 1850 to 1885 32 stave churches disappeared since then only the Fantoft Stave Church has been lost 13 Heddal stave church was the first stave church described in a scholarly publication when Johannes Flintoe wrote an essay in Samlinger til det Norske Folks Sprog og Historie Christiania 1834 The book also printed Flintoe s drawings of the facade the ground floor and the floor plan the first known architectural drawing of a stave church 23 Other countries Edit The number of stave churches constructed in Iceland and the rest of Europe is unknown citation needed Some believe who they were the first type of church to be constructed in Scandinavia however the post churches are an older type although the difference between the two is slight A stave church has a lower construction set on a frame whereas a post church has earth bound posts In Sweden the stave churches were considered obsolete in the Middle Ages and were replaced In Denmark traces of post churches have been found at several locations and there are also parts still in existence from some of them A plank of one such church was found in Jutland The plank is now on display at the National Museum of Denmark in Copenhagen and an attempt at reconstructing the church is a featured display at the Moesgard Museum near Aarhus Marks created by several old post churches have also been found at the old stone church in Jelling In Sweden the medieval Hedared stave church was constructed c 1500 at the same location as a previous stave church Other notable places are Maria Minor church in Lund with its traces of a post church with palisades and some old parts of Hemse stave church on Gotland In Skane alone there were around 300 such churches when Adam of Bremen visited Denmark in the first half of the 11th century but how many of those were stave churches or post churches is unknown In England there is one similar church of Saxon origin with much debate as to whether it is a stave church or predates them This is the Greensted Church in Essex General consensus categorizes it as Saxon Type A Another church bears similarities to stave churches the medieval stone church of St Mary in Kilpeck in Herefordshire It features a number of dragon heads In Germany there is one stone church with a motif depicting a dragon similar to those often seen on Norwegian stave churches and on surviving artifacts from Denmark and Gotland Whether this decoration can be attributed to cultural similarities or whether it indicates similar construction methods in Germany has sparked controversy Between 1950 and 1970 postholes from older buildings were discovered under Lom stave church as well as under masonry churches such as Kinsarvik Church 13 and this discovery was an important contribution to understanding the origin of stave churches Postholes were first identified during excavations in Urnes stave church 24 Influences Edit Details of Borgund Stave Church Lorentz Dietrichson in his book De norske Stavkirker The Norwegian Stave Churches 1892 claimed that the stave church is a brilliant translation of the Romanesque basilica from stone to wood En genial oversettelse fra sten til tre av den romanske basilika Dietrichson claimed that Type B displays an influence from early Christian and Roman basilicas The style was assumed to be transferred via Anglo Saxon and Irish architecture where only the particular roof construction was local Dietrichson emphasized the clerestory arcades and capitals 9 The basilica theory was introduced by N Nicolaysen in Mindesmaerker af Middelalderens Kunst i Norge 1854 Nicolaysen wrote Our stave churches are now the only remaining of its kind and according to the sparse records and known circumstances it appears that nothing similar existed except perhaps in Britain and Ireland Vore stavkirker er nu de eneste i sit slags og saavidt sparsomme beretninger og andre omstaendigheder lader formode synes de heller ikke tidligere at have havt noget sidestykke med undtagelse af maaske i Storbritannien og Irland 25 Nicolaysen further claimed that the layout and design may have been inspired by Byzantine architecture Nicolaysen wrote All facts suggest that the stave churches like the masonry churches and all medieval architecture in Western Europe originated from the Roman basilica Alt synes at henpege paa at forbilledet til vore stavkirker ligesom til stenkirkerne og overhovedet til hele den vesteuropaeiske arkitektur i middelalderen er udgaaet fra den romerske basilika 26 This theory was further developed by Anders Bugge and Roar Hauglid Peter Anker believed that the influence from foreign masonry architecture was primarily in decorative details 27 Per Jonas Nordhagen does not reject the basilica theory but suggests development along two paths and that the basilical was a development towards larger and technically more sophisticated churches The main progressive path according to Nordhagen lead to Torpo and Borgund 28 Folklore and circumstantial evidence seem to suggest that stave churches were built upon old indigenous Norse worship sites the hof Dietrichson believed that the stave churches were closely connected to the hof and the hof theory attracted interest in the 1930s and 1940s The theory assumed that the hofs had a square raised roof supported by four columns 27 During Christianization of Norway local chiefs were forced to either dismantle the hofs or to convert hofs into churches Bugge and Norberg Schultz accordingly claimed that there is no reason to believe that the last hofs and the first churches had any major differences og da er det liten grunn til a tro at de siste hov har skilt seg synderlig fra de forste kirker 29 This assumption has been rejected by archeological evidence several times in the case of Iceland by Age Roussel 30 Olaf Olsen described the hof merely as function related to ordinary buildings on major farms If the hof was a particular building they remain to be identified according to Olsen 31 Olsen rejected the hof theory Nicolay Nicolaysen also concluded that there is not a single known case of a hof that was converted to a church 32 Lack of historical evidence for hofs as buildings undermines the hof theory 33 Nicolaysen also introduced the community centre hypothesis which argued that hofs were destroyed and churches constructed on the same convenient location for the local community Location near a previous hof would then be a coincidence according to Nicolaysen Pope Gregory I encouraged year 601 Augustine of Canterbury to reuse pre Christian temples but this had little relevance for Norway according to Nicolaysen Jan Brendalsmo in his dissertation concluded that churches were often established on major farms or farms of local chiefs and close to feasting halls or graveyards 34 Stave churches sometimes appear to have built upon or used materials from old pagan worship sites and are considered to be the best evidence for the existence of Norse Pagan temples and the best guide as to what they looked like 35 The layout of the churches is believed to have mimicked old Pagan temples in design and was possibly designed in order to adhere to old Norse cosmological beliefs especially as some churches were built around a central point like a world tree Stave churches were also often located near or in the sight of large natural formations which also had a significant role in Norse Paganism thus also suggesting a form of continuity through placement and symbolism 36 Furthermore dragons heads and other clear mythological symbolism suggests the cultural blending of Norse mythological beliefs and Christianity in a non contradictory synthesis clarification needed Owing to this evidence newer research has suggested that Christianity was introduced into Norway much earlier than was previously assumed citation needed Architecture and decoration Edit Portal detail from Tonjum Stave Church Even though the wooden churches had structural differences they give a recognizable general impression Formal differences may hide common features of their planning while apparently similar buildings may turn out to have their structural elements organized completely differently Despite this certain basic principles must have been common to all types of building Basic geometrical figures numbers that were easy to work with one or just a few length units and simple ratios and perhaps proportions were among the theoretical aids all builders inherited The specialist was the man who knew a particular type of building so well that he could systematise its elements in a slightly different way from previous building designs thus carrying developments a stage further Exposing the timber frame on the interior and or exterior of the structures is seen to release its matrix of timber members and its capacity to contribute architectural expression to buildings The matrix forming lines in space has an expressive potential that includes the capacity to delineate proportion direct eye movement suggest spatial enclosure create patterning permit transparency and establish continuity with landscape 37 Portals Edit Main portal in Hedal stave church Drawing by G A Bull of the main portal in Hedal stave church from c 1853 Portals or parts of them from about 140 stave churches have been preserved There are roughly three portal types the simple profile portal the column portal and the beam portal The simple profile portal is a doorway framed by simple profiles or pilasters These portals are mostly used on cord doors About 20 such doors have been preserved The column portal is derived from stone architecture It has full or half columns that carry a curved archivolt The columns have bases and chapters They are richly decorated and were used both on front doors and inside cross sections About 40 such portals are known The beam or magnificent portal consists of two portal planks and a top piece with continuous decoration The upper part has two to five horizontal planks that are folded into each other with tongue and groove This is supported by the standing wall planks that flank the doorway 75 more or less complete portals of this type have been preserved In some beam portals the column motif is also incorporated together with the surface decorations with or without archivolt Most of the preserved material comes from Sogn Hardanger and from the mountain villages in eastern Norway The main part of the portals is Romanesque and lacks Gothic features It is possible that the portals may have been painted but this has been difficult to determine with certainty The paint on the few that are painted today seems to be newer It is common to divide the portals according to style to Urnes style and Romanesque style Iconography Edit Most portals show dragons lions and vines that do not refer to specific biblical or other Christian stories One of the exceptions is the Christian motifs found on the west portal 38 from the torn Hemsedal stave church which shows St Olav s martyrdom and status as a Christlike saint 39 A research problem has been the portal s iconography As for the Urnes style portals the idea that it should have a pagan content is rejected 40 The large animal has been interpreted as a lion The lion can represent Christ who fights with and wins over evil Common features of most portals are that they are monumental and that they have fighting dragons which may be symbolic of magic to avert pain Bugge believes that this may be a pagan iconography in Christian interpretation 41 In the Sogn Valdres portals the lion is replaced by a vine which also represents Christianity in reference to Joh 15 5 I am the vine you are the branches Hohler opposes this interpretation 42 She believes that the portals cannot have a religious content but is a picture of the client s or builder s intention a ruling motif There are many portals in Europe that are pure ornaments She refers to Bernhard of Clairvaux who opposed the use of animals in the Christian context Lion on the door Historisk museum Oslo Lion from the portal of Eidsborg Stave Church Lion from the Vang Stave Church Lion on arch decoration from Borgund Stave Church Sigurd sucking the dragon blood off his thumb engravings from Hylestad Stave Church The slaying of Regin engravings from Hylestad Stave ChurchWhat justification do the beasts of the monastery have for the formless treasure of form and the formless formlessness What do pictures there have to do with unclean monkeys wild lions amazing centaurs and half humans Why serve tigers fighting knights hunters who blow their horns There you see under a head several bodies and there you see on a four legged body a snake s tail there on a fish an animal head Everywhere there is such a rich and fantastic collection of different shapes that one directs one s eyes to the sculptures rather than the content of the holy books 43 She therefore believes that animal motifs in Romanesque art have little religious significance and the portals can be pure ruler symbols Hoftun believes that many of the so called pagan portal motifs have a clear Christian message believing that in principle the Norwegian stave church motifs do not differ from many of the motifs found in other Romanesque church art such as on Romanesque church portals and stone baptismal fonts in Sweden and Denmark 44 Other researchers believe that the portals are inspired by English art The background may be manuscripts and stone sculpture 45 Some of these manuscripts are animal books with a Christian allegorical content often referred to as bestiaries The origin of these is the Physiologus a collection of allegories about animals with Christian interpretations which are said to have originated in Alexandria in the 2nd century This basic text was in Greek and throughout the Middle Ages the text was translated into a number of languages These stories are also the background for all the bestiaries that are preserved in various libraries and collections The sources of the Physiologus are Indian Hebrew and Egyptian animal stories and various classical texts written by among others Aristotle and Pliny the Elder No early Greek text has survived the oldest preserved are in Latin but these must be very close to the Greek original Gradually it became common to illustrate the texts but there is a leap in development and a number of texts with illustrations have been lost Lindkvist refers to the Physiologus as a background for animal depictions in portals on Gotland 46 These stone churches were often built after the stave churches in the same places had become too small Unfortunately most of the wooden churches have disappeared so it is not possible to study the decor But it is not unreasonable to assume that they have had the same decor as Norwegian stave churches and that these motifs may then have been continued in the stone portals Background and origin would then be approximately the same Dating of churches EditStave churches can be dated in various ways by historical records or inscriptions by stylistic means using construction details or ornaments or by dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating Often historical records or inscriptions will point to a year when the church is known to have existed Archaeological excavations can yield finds that provide relative dating for the structure whereas absolute dating methods such as radiocarbon dating and dendrochronology can provide a more exact date One drawback of dendrochronology is that it tends to overlook the possibility that the wood could have been reused from an older structure or felled and left for many years before use An important problem in dating the churches is that the solid ground sills are the construction elements most likely to have the outer parts of the log still preserved Yet they are the most susceptible to humidity and as people back then reused building parts the church may have been rebuilt several times If so a dendrochronological dating may be based upon a log from a later reconstruction Coin finds made under the church floors are also important for dating Results from studies with the photodendrome method published in 2019 have come with adjusted estimates for age of the timber used The churches at Urnes Kaupanger and Hopperstad were examined particularly thoroughly 47 Hoppestad Stave Church dendrodated to 1131 1132 previously assumed 1125 1250 Kaupanger Stave Church dated to 1137 1138 formerly adopted 1170 1200 Gol Stave Church 1204 05 previously assumed 1170 1309 Borgund Stave Church 1180 1181 previously assumed 1150 1250 Kvernes Stave Church 1633 previously believed to be from the Middle Ages is the only known stave church in Norway built after the Reformation 48 Stave Churches Program EditThe poor condition of the stave churches led the National Heritage Board to start the Stave Churches Program in 2001 The program was to create positive ripple effects in the form of greater local activity with traditional ways of using materials and resources The goals of the program were to restore the stave churches so that they can be preserved for posterity to preserve the decor and church art to supplement the documentation of the stave churches as a basis for research and reconstruction of lost parts The results of the program with the details of what has been done at the individual churches was documented in a report in 2008 49 Gallery EditOld and modern photos of the most iconic Norwegian stave churches Borgund Stave Church Martinus Rorbye Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek Kobenhavn 1833 Borgund Stave Church 2005 Heddal Stave Church Illustration from the book Norge fremstillet i Tegninger 1848 Heddal Stave Church 2010 Eidsborg Stave Church 1880 1890 Eidsborg Stave Church 2018 Vang Stave Church Now in Poland on a postcard 1886 Vang Stave Church 2012List of stave churches EditSee also List of stave churches in Norway List of archaeological sites and dismantled stave churches and List of later stave churches and replicas Most stave churches are in Norway but they can also be found in Iceland Sweden Denmark and Germany Stave churches are quite popular phenomenon and several have been built or rebuilt around the world The two most copied are Borgund and Hedared with some variations and sometimes with adaptations to add elements from known stave churches from the area In other places they are of a freer form and built for display Old stave churches Edit Borgund Eidsborg Flesberg Favang Garmo Gol Grip Haltdalen Hedal Heddal Hegge Hopperstad Hore Hoyjord Kaupanger Kvernes Lomen Lom Nore Oye Reinli Ringebu Rollag Rodven Roldal Torpo Undredal Urnes UvdalMap of well preserved old stave churches in Norway Norway Edit Borgund Stave Church Sogn og Fjordane end of the 12th century Eidsborg Stave Church Telemark middle of the 13th century Flesberg Stave Church in Flesberg Buskerud c 1200 Garmo Stave Church Oppland c 1150 Gol Stave Church in Gol now at Norwegian Museum of Cultural History Oslo Buskerud 1212 Grip Stave Church More og Romsdal second half of the 15th century Haltdalen Stave Church Sor Trondelag 1170 1179 Hedal Stave Church Oppland second half of the 12th century Heddal Stave Church Telemark beginning of the 13th century Hegge Stave Church Oppland 1216 Hopperstad Stave Church Sogn og Fjordane 1140 Hore Stave Church Oppland 1179 Hoyjord Stave Church Andebu Vestfold second half of the 12th century Kaupanger Stave Church Sogn og Fjordane 1190 Kvernes Stave Church More og Romsdal second half of the 14th century Lomen Stave Church Oppland 1179 Lom Stave Church Oppland 1158 Nore Stave Church Nore og Uvdal Buskerud 1167 Oye Stave Church Oppland second half of the 12th century Reinli Stave Church Oppland 1190 Ringebu Stave Church Oppland first quarter of the 13th century Rollag Stave Church Rollag Buskerud second half of the 12th century Rodven Stave Church More og Romsdal c 1200 Roldal Stave Church Hordaland first half of the 13th century could be a post church Torpo Stave Church Al Buskerud 1192 Undredal Stave Church Sogn og Fjordane middle of the 12th century Urnes Stave Church Sogn og Fjordane first half of the 12th century on UNESCO s World Heritage Site Uvdal Stave Church Uvdal Buskerud 1168 Outside Norway Edit Vang Stave Church moved from Norway to Poland in 1842 Hedared stave church Sweden c 1500 built on the site of an earlier stave church Greensted Church England 845 or 1053 the only one palisade church is known to survive has been claimed to be the oldest wooden church in the world 50 and probably the oldest wooden building in Europe still standing Notable replicas and later built churches Edit Skaga stave church in Toreboda Vastra Gotaland county Sweden built in the 12th century torn down in the 19th century rebuilt in the 1950s burnt down and rebuilt again in 2001 Heimaey stave church at Heimaey Vestmannaeyjar Iceland built in 2000 Chapel in the Hills in Rapid City South Dakota United States a replica of Borgund Stave Church 1969 Little Norway Wisconsin United States relocated to Orkdal Norway in 2016 Fantoft Stave Church Norway built c 1150 destroyed by arson in 1992 and rebuilt in 1997 Favang Stave Church in Ringebu Oppland Norway rebuilt in 1630 two old churches rebuilt as one Moorhead Stave Church in Moorhead Minnesota United States a full scale replica of the Hopperstad Stave Church located in Vik Norway Located at the Hjemkomst Center 51 See also EditChurches in Norway Architecture of Norway Medieval Scandinavian architecture Wooden Churches of Maramureș Transylvanian churches of similar character Painted Churches in the Troodos Region wooden roofed medieval churches in Cyprus Kizhi and Kizhi Pogost an open air museum of Russian wooden architecture Churches of Chiloe Heathen hofFurther reading EditDirectorate for Cultural Heritage Stave Churches Anker Peter 1997 Stavkirkene Deres egenart og historie in Norwegian Oslo J W Cappelens forlag ISBN 978 82 02 15978 8 Lindgren Mereth Lydberg Louise Sandstrom Birgitta Waklberg Anna Greta 2002 Svensk Konsthistoria in Swedish Kristianstad ISBN 978 91 85330 72 0 Bugge Gunnar Mezzanotte Bernardino 1993 Stavkirker in Norwegian Oslo Grondahl og Dreyer ISBN 978 82 504 2072 4 Bugge Gunnar 1981 Stavkirkene i Norge in Norwegian Oslo Dreyer ISBN 978 82 09 01890 3 Hoftun Oddgeir 2002 Stavkirkene og det norske middelaldersamfunnet in Norwegian Copenhagen ISBN 978 87 21 01977 8 Hoftun Oddgeir 2003 Stabkirchen und die mittelalterliche Gesellschaft Norwegens in German Koln Verlag der Buchhandlung Konig ISBN 978 3 88375 675 2 Hoftun Oddgeir 2008 Kristningsprosessens og herskermaktens ikonografi i nordisk middelalder in Norwegian Oslo Solum ISBN 978 82 560 1619 8 Hohler Erla Bergendahl 1999 Norwegian Stave Church Sculpture 1 2 Oslo Scandinavian University Press ISBN 978 82 00 12748 2 Lagerlof Erland Svahnstrom Gunnar 1991 Gotlands Kyrkor in Swedish Kristianstad R amp S ISBN 978 91 29 61598 2 Elstad Hallgeir 2002 Dei norske stavkyrkjene ei innforing Faculty of Theology University of Oslo curriculum Archived from the original on 11 November 2005 Cite journal requires journal help Hauglid Roar Norske Stavkirker Oslo 1973 multipart workNote that Roar Hauglid is a prolific author and the listed title is just one of several Other books by him include Norwegische Stabkirchen Oslo 1970 ISBN 82 09 00938 9 and Norwegian stave churches Oslo 1970References EditNote Several sections of this article have been translated from its Norwegian version For complete detailed references in Norwegian see the original version at no Stavkirke British Archaeology no 10 December 1995 News Magnell Steinar 2009 De forste kirkene i Norge Kirkebyggingen og kirkebyggere for 1100 tallet Masteroppgave Universitetet i Oslo Krogh 2011 s 166 170 a b Hakon Christie 1981 Stavkirkene arkitektur pp 139 252 ISBN 8205122644 Jensenius Jorgen H 2010 Bygningstekniske og arkeologiske bemerkninger om trekirker i Norge i vikingtid og middelalder Collegium Medievale Christie 1974 s 15 Krogh 2011 s 74 98 Jensenius Jorgen H 2001 Trekirkene for stavkirkene Avhandling dr ing Arkitekthoyskolen i Oslo 2001 a b c d Dietrichson L 1892 De norske stavkirker studier over deres system oprindelse og historiske udvikling et bidrag til Norges middelalderske bygningskunsts historie Kristiania Cammermeyer Hauglid 1976 s 339 344 Verdifulle stavkirker Riksantikvaren Riksantikvaren no Archived from the original on 21 April 2008 Retrieved 30 April 2010 Storsletten Ola 1993 En arv i tre de norske stavkirkene Oslo Aschehoug ISBN 8203220061 a b c d e f Anker Leif Middelalder i tre Stavkirker ARFO forlag 2005 ISBN 82 91399 16 6 Kirker i Norge bind 4 a b Ekroll Oystein 1997 Med kleber og kalk Norsk steinbygging i mellomalderen Oslo Samlaget Bugge and Mezzanotte 1994 p 17 Gjaerder Per 1999 Stolper og staver i bygningsteknisk sammenheng Grindbygde hus i Vest Norge NIKU seminar om grindbygde hus Bryggens museum 23 25 03 1998 Edited by Helge Schjelderup and Ola Storsletten Oslo Norsk institutt for kulturminneforskning Storsletten Ola 1993 Takverk i steinkirker fra middelalderen Oslo Program for forskning om kulturminnevern Norges forskningsrad ISBN 8212001040 Agustsson Hordur 1976 Kyrkjehus i ei norron homilie By og Bygd vol XXV 1 38 according to Jorgen H Jensenius Stavkirkeprekenen som bygningshistorisk kilde I Fortidsminneforeningens arbok 2001 Gammelnorsk homiliebok Oslo Universitetsforlaget 1971 p 102 Gulatingslovi Oslo Samlaget 1952 Vreim Halvor 1947 Norsk trearkitektur Oslo Gyldendal Muri Sigurd Gamle kyrkjer i ny tid Oslo Samlaget 1975 s 14 Bugge Anders 1954 Heddal stavkirke Oslo Grondahl Christie Hakon Urnes stavkirkes forloper belyst ved utgravninger under kirken Foreningen til norske Fortidsminnesmerkers bevaring Arbok 1958 vol 113 pp 49 74 Dietrichson 1892 p 82 Dietrichson 1892 p 83 a b Peter Anker 1997 Stavkirkene deres egenart og historie Oslo Cappelen ISBN 8202159784 Nordhagen Per Jonas Stavkyrkjene in Norsk arkitekturhistorie fra steinalder og bronsealder til det 21 hundrearet Oslo Samlaget 2003 ISBN 82 521 5748 3 pp 89 119 Bugge og Norgberg Schultz 1994 s 35 Aage Roussel Islands gudehove Stenberger 1943 side 215 223 Olaf Olsen Horg hov og kirke Jensenius Jorgen H 2001 Trekirkene for stavkirkene Avhandling dr ing PhD dissertation Arkitekthoyskolen i Oslo 2001 Nordhagen 2003 Hansen Margareth 2014 Fire kirkesteder i Romsdal Bergen Universitetet i Bergen Davidson H R Ellis 1988 Myths and Symbols in Pagan Europe Early Scandinavian and Celtic Religions Syracuse Syracuse University Press ISBN 0 8156 2441 7 Reed Michael F Norwegian Stave Churches and Their Pagan Antecedents RACAR Revue D art Canadienne Canadian Art Review 24 no 2 1997 3 13 The Expressive Capacity of the Timber Frame by Brit Andresen School of Geography Planning and Architecture Faculty of Engineering Physical Sciences and Architecture University of Queensland QLD 4072 Australia http epress lib uts edu au ocs index php AASA 2007 paper viewFile 54 7 Retrieved 2 November 2013 The west portal in Hemsedal Stave Church is preserved History Museum in Oslo Hoftun 2002 2008 Anker 2005 s 61 Anker 1997 s 265 Anker 2005 s 62 Paulsson 1969 Hoftun 2002 2008 Anker 1997 s 267 Lindkvist 1997 s 105 Stavkirker i Norge er eldre enn antatt Gemini no 31 October 2019 Aksnes Solveig Nyhus 11 December 2019 Eit lite hol avslorte ein stor hemmelegheit NRK Riksantikvaren 2008 Stavkirkeprogrammet 2001 2015 Hva har skjedd sa langt in Norwegian pdf Frewins Clive The Church Explorer s Handbook Canterbury Press Ltd 2005 ISBN 1 85311 622 X p 16 https www hcscconline org stavechurch htmlExternal links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to Stave churches Stave Church Medieval Wooden Churches in Norway Stave churches owned by the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Norwegian Monuments Google map of Norwegian stave churches List over stave churches in Norway Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title Stave church amp oldid 1058139874, wikipedia, wiki, book,

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