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Postboks 437
N-6853 Sogndal

tel 57 67 88 40
fax 57 67 88 89
Borgund Stave Church

A historic glimpse

In 1180 there was great activity in Borgund: they were going have a new church. The trees had been felled and the great logs hauled to the site. The old wooden church had to be replaced because the timbers were rotting, especially the roof-bearing posts where they were set in the ground. In the new church the timber framework would not be in contact with the damp earth: it would be raised up on stone foundations, a great improvement that would lengthen the life of the building. Skilled and experienced craftsmen arrived and set to work trimming the logs and planks and timbers-perhaps as many as 2,000 pieces in all.

With the help of the local people, the great posts or 'staves' - were slotted into the ground frame and hauled upright to form the main structure. The rest was relatively easy and soon the local community was planning the consecration of their fine new church. The service was conducted by the bishop himself. He first went round the building three times, then knocked thrice on the closed door with his bishop's crook before he entered and led the parishioners in mass, consecrating the building in the name of Christ, conqueror of all evil and Lord of the Church.

Five crosses were carved in the altar and five more in the walls. They were sprinkled with holy water and consecrated with oil. The nave was full, the men and boys standing to the south of the aisle, the women and girls to the north. The only benches were along the walls and these were reserved for the old and the crippled. 

The medieval church and the people

New exhibition summer 2010
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A time of church building

How the stave-church was built

The holy room

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