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Fortidsminneforeninga
Postboks 437
N-6853 Sogndal
Norway

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

The oldest preserved church

A stave church has been built three times on the same site here at Orneset. A hundred years would pass between the first and the third, the one we can visit today. The timber was felled in the years 1129-1130. On the long northern wall, original decorated sections from the demolished church have been used: the portal, wall planks and a corner post. The decorated gables from the same church are now covered to prevent wear and tear.

The stave churches are Norway's unique contribution to the world's cultural heritage. Most were built between approx. 1130 and 1350, when the Black Death brought all new building to an end. Similar churches existed elsewhere in Europe, but only the Norwegian ones have survived. Of the original approx.1,000 churches, 28 remain. Urnes stave church is the eldest and most highly decorated of them. In 1979 it was included on UNESCO's World Heritage List. In this description, we delve back to the time when the church was built, approx. 20 years before catholic Norway became a separate province under the Pope in Rome.
 
Ownership of Urnes stave church was transferred to the Society for the Preservation of Norwegian Ancient Monuments in 1880. The society's logo is taken from the carved capitals inside the church.



Prices and opening hours
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An era of church building
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Medieval man and the Church 
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A treasure chest  
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From past to present   
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The holy room
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How the church was built
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