Unique wooden Christian churches, decorated with Viking carvings depicting animals and dragons
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The wooden stave churches in Norway are typical Scandinavian churches built by Christians. You'll find these churches almost exclusively in Norway. The construction resembles that of a cathedral, but it is made entirely out of wood.
The local name stavkirke derives from the wooden structure, a frame consisting of timber beams and connecting wallboards. The wooden stave churches in Norway are exceptional buildings. Stave churches were built during the period when Christianity spread through Scandinavia.
Urnes Stave Church is Norway's oldest stave church. And the oldest wooden church of the Christian faith. This 12th century church was probably built between 1100 and 1150. It is located on the east side of the Lusterfjord.
It is on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. There are many more stave churches along this fjord. It also shows that this area has been used by humans for centuries.
Lom Stave Church is considered by many to be the most beautiful stave church in Norway. To be fair, the church is very impressive. Incidentally, this church is still in use. And so you can attend a service from the local Christian community.
Heddal Stave Church is Norway's largest. It was built at the beginning of the 13th century. This one is still in service and you can visit it.
The churches can only be found in a small part of Norway. Roughly east of Bergen in the fjord area. Why you can only find them in this part of Scandinavia is not entirely clear. A stave church does not have bells so special bell towers were built nearby.