Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Borgund Stave Church

In the Borgund Stave Church pamphlet, the structure is given the Harry Potter-esque nickname, "The church that has survived." Most stave churches were built between 1130 and 1350, before the Plague ravaged Norway. Of the 1000 originally constructed, only 28 are still standing, and the church you see below is widely acknowledged to be the best preserved.

Stave churches take their names from the large wooden support beams, or staves, that anchor the church. Norwegians were already well known for their woodwork (think Viking ships), so it's no surprise that they extended their craft to churches. Some of the remarkable features include wooden support "elbows" that were taken from the curve of a tree where the roots meet the trunk, so that these pieces could naturally support the weight above them.

Standing in the church, it was incredible to think that I was being sheltered by wood first cut almost 800 years ago. Even "the boy who lived" would be impressed by that.

1 comment:

Borgund Stave Church said...

Great travel stories you give us. Glad to read you enjoyed Borgund and come back next year to see our new exhibition on archaeologic finds from the Viking Age in our museum. These finds where discoverd 10 km west of the Church and date back from the 9th Century and include remnants of a Viking "Kaupang" (trade Centre)