Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Heddal stavkirke (stave church)

Serina fronting the Heddal stave church in county Telemark
not far away from the home of her grand aunt

This stave church, all made of tared wood, is the greatest in Norway with it's 64 roofs.

To me the style looks oriental, but one doubts that the vikings went farther east the Istambul, called Myklagard.Once there were about 2000 stave churches in Norway, now only 28 are remaining. I've got to correct myself. We know for sure that king Sigurd went to Jerusalem - Jorsal- in 1107.
King Olav Tryggvason and
Olav Haraldson the Holy , both went in viking East Way to Russia, Novgorod and further down in about year 1000.
They evidently picked up inspiration and influence from their "trips".

Heddal stave church probably dates to the early 1300 hundred, though others mean the name Maria 1242 carved in the wood should be the correct year of the building.

The church was dedicated to St. Mary, but like the rest of the churches in Norway were " Lutherized" in 1537. The so called reformation was mainly to convert power and wealth from the church to the king. The Danish kings robbed the churches of all its belongings, land, silver, art e.t.c.

The church is a natural sepia. It cannot think of any more beautiful sepia than tar. Sadly a group of satanists burnt down about a dozen churches a decade ago, 3 of them in our region.
This church is well protected, a national heritage.

Credits to Gunnar and Serina. All photos may be enlarged by double clicking.

Teach Mary is the host of Sepia Scenes,visit her.


Amrita said...

This is so special Felisol.
This not only history and religion, but travel, advention, creativity and preservation. The number of roofs you mentioned is amazing. It reminds me of Japanese buildings actually...the sillouette.

Imagaine have 2000 of such churches in the land.

Sorry to hear about the churches that were burnt down.

We are trying to preserve our nearly 200 year olf church- it was built in 1818.

Gunnar an d Serina is superb with their camers.

Sometome when Serina has time she should paint the church. I think she likes painting.

Rune said...

"The crop and the cradle" ... I was particulary taken by the first picture. But I enjoyed them all. Fine details.

anemonen said...

I like this churches!

Jidhu Jose said...

nice shots

John Cowart said...

Thank you for posting the information and the photos of this lovely church building. It's incredible to an American to think of buildings in continuous use for so many centuries before our own land was even discovered by Europeans. Your cultural heritage is a joy and a treasure.

Leora said...

It is quite a grand church. I imagine with all that wood, it would be too easy to have a building burned down. I was reading last night about a tragic fire in 1822(?) in a church in Norway.

Annie Jeffries said...

Such beautiful churches, Elise, and so sad that three were so recently burned down. Interesting history. Thank you for making the point that the Reformation was more about power plays than faith (where leaders were concerned). People get too caught up in the rights and wrongs of religion and overlook the fact that power is the dominating factor.

Your picture of Serina is lovely. I love the hint of color in the sepia.

Mrs. Mac said...

Amazing that a wooden structure would last so long .. but I suppose the tar has something to do with it. Just beautiful! A national treasure indeed. Thank you for the little tour .. and history lesson. I'm richer for having you as a friend :)

Terry said...

dear felisol...these are such beautiful pictures of the stave churches...oh boy they are so old it is too bad they couldn't tell a few stories!
they sure would be interesting..

that princess serina sure is getting more and more beautiful!
love you "norway" terry said...


From my earliest memories, the Stave churches were always part of what my mom talked of and showed us photos of. Your pictures just make my heart feel happy! :)



Liza said...

Beautiful shots! I wish I could see those churches in person...

Anonymous said...

I would love to visit those churches and see them in person.Your photos are the next bext thing. Thank you Felisol,and also for permission to use your recent gallery photo. I have posted about it today, with a link to you.

steveroni said...

St. Mary's originally with Serina in the foreground. Double Combo!

I love photos of old (and new) churches...and cemeteries. On my bike trips I stop at cemeteries, to pray and photograph.

Thanks! Also like the word "Lutherized"...