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garmo stave church
GARMO STAVE CHURCH

The original placement was Garmo in Gudbrandsdal. The church is mentioned for the first time in 1363 AD, but is for sure much older, probably built in approximately 1190-1225 AD or even some earlier. This church was built by Torgeir of Garmo, a.k.a. Torgeir the Old, according to the local folk tradition. He built it in return for the ownership of lake Tess by King Olaf the Saint.

The story can in fact be true, however the church he built can not be the same as the existing church, because this was certainly built much later. The pulpit was made in Møre & Romsdal, and the remaining inventory consists of 17th and 18th century pieces from the valley. As for many of the other churches, even this have parts from a much older church. Probably from a church at the site prior to this, but must have been torn down when this was built.

Perhaps this could have dated as far back as 1021 AD, but we are only guessing of course. We don´t believe such a church could have existed long enough to be replaced by this, so perhaps there was yet another church on the site, just as for the Urnes site. The church was finally disassembled in 1882 and sold to Anders Sandvig, who brought it to Lillehammer, but it was not re-erected at Maihaugen before in 1920-1921.

The Sandvig Collection, Maihaugen, Lillehammer.


 Stave Churches of Norway Church buildings tell some of the story of this cultural convergence.