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 Gol Stave Church

A walk around Gol stave church, built ca 1200, which can be seen at the Folk Museum at Bygdøy. A gorgeous construction, and one of only 29 remaining stave churches in the world.

Constructed about 1200 with staves (pillars) to support the roof. Pulled down and moved from Gol and re-erected in 1885 at King Oscar II´s place, Badstubråten. An exact replica is built in the Medieval park on Storøyni in Gol. The church is in use. There is also a replica of a Viking chief’s house from the 9th century, containing an exhibition of the gods of the old pagan religion. The Stave Church is now part of the Norwegian Folkmuseum, Bygdø. Also a replica is built in the Norwegian Pavilion at the Epcot Center, Disney World, USA.

The Stave Churches are constructions of high quality, richly decorated with carvings. In virtually all of them the door frames are decorated from top to bottom with carvings. This tradition of rich ornamentation appears to go back to the animal carvings of the Viking age. The dragons are lovingly executed and transformed into long-limbed creatures of fantasy, here and there entwined with tendrils of vine, with winding stems and serrated leaves. The elaborate designs are executed with supreme artistic skill. The stave church doorways are, therefore, among the most distinctive works of art to be found in Norway. However, it is difficult to connect them with the Christian gospel.

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