The Stave Church @ Folkemuseet

This is the stave church at Norsk Folkemuseum (Norwegian Folk Museum) at Bygdøy, Oslo. The folk museum is Norway’s largest museum of cultural history, featuring the world’s oldest open air museum and large indoor collections.

The museum’s most popular attraction is Gol Stave Church. It was built around year 1200 and is one of 28 remaining stave churches in Norway.

The stave church at Gol was built in the 12th century. From the 1600s to early 1800s, the structure went through several renovations and alterations. In the 1870s, however, the congregation had become too large, so the old church was replaced by a new and bigger church. (

The Church Was Moved From Gol to Oslo
“In 1881, the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Norwegian Monuments bought the stave church, and King Oscar II offered to finance its re-erection in the public park at Bygdø Kongsgård. Because the snow conditions for sled transportation was too poor, the disassembled church could not be moved to Christiania (Oslo) before in January 1884! In the summer that same year, the church was re-erected at Bygdøy.” (

The term “stave” comes from the huge wooden posts which carries the structure. The entrance halls are richly decorated with flora and dragon motifs, while the dragon heads that adorn the end wall used Borgund Stave Church in Sogn as an example.

Gol Stave Chuch at Folkemuseet is probably Norway’s most visited stave church, but the world’s most visited stave church is Vang Stave Church in Poland.

Vang stave church (Polish: Świątynia Wang; Norwegian: Vang stavkyrkje) is a stave church which was bought by the Prussian King and transferred from the Vang in Valdres region of Norway and re-erected in 1842 in Brückenberg near Krummhübel in Germany, now Karpacz in the Karkonosze mountains of Poland. – Source: Wikipedia

Sources and additional reading:
Source 1:
Source 2:
More posts about stave churches: 

This post was my entry for Paula’s Thursday Challenge.

40 thoughts on “The Stave Church @ Folkemuseet

    • Tusen takk Malin. Jeg syntres det var flott med morgensolen som tittet frem gjennom trærne, så jeg måtte bare ha med dette bildet (det er tatt like i nærheten av stavkirka).

      • Det är en skön stämning i den, så förstår att du ville ha med bilden.

        Ps Nu är det vår och snart är den efterlängtade sommaren här.

  1. so very interesting !! The name, the structure……
    Wikipedia talks of some Old Norse and Modern Norwegian language in the context of the naming of the church. What is the difference in the language ??

    • Old Norse is the language that the Norwegian vikings used to speak. The closest thing to Old Norse nowadays is Icelandic, which is a mix between Old Norse and Gaelic.

  2. Finally, I know the meaning of stave church. This is quite an informing post with fascinating facts and photos. Thank you very much, CG 🙂

  3. Pingback: Thursday’s Special: Breaking the Rules | Lost in Translation

  4. Posts like this one tend to remind me of how much more there is in the world we know absolutely nothing about. In this one post you’ve managed to introduce me to stave churches and Old Norse all in one swoop.

  5. Intressant läsning! Jag visste inte mycket om stavkyrkor, utom att det lär ska finnas en i Trondheim … eller var det Tromsö?! Underbara bilder, och vilken design, när man betänker att den är från 1200-talet!

  6. Brilliant photos and thanks for sharing a bit of the history. Don’t think we have stave churches or anything similar in Australia, they really are quite rare. It does look a bit like Chinese architecture in my opinion.

  7. Pingback: Details from The Stave Church @ Folkemuseet | Cardinal Guzman

  8. Pingback: Stave Church | Folk Museum – artishorseshit

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