Ringebu Stave Church
In the middle ages there were over 1200 Stave Churches in Norway; today there are just 28. Everyone who sees the construction of a Stave Church will be fascinated by its beauty and sacredness, a temple in wood. Ringebu Stave Church is the only Stave Church in Gudbrandsdalen still standing on its original site. Its design places it in the Borgund group of Stave Churches and is one of the few really large Stave Churches remaining.
The church has been in constant use since the beginning of the 13th century. During an archaeological excavation in 1980-81, it was found that the church’s history was even older than first thought.
Ringebu Stave Church was built about 1220; a period of wealth and a society with a strong religious base. These are most probably the reasons for the size of the church. After the Black Death in 1349-50 there was a long period of depression on a national, religious and human level.
The first 10 years of the 17th Century were a period of accelerating development. One of the areas of development was the improvements in the churches. Ringebu Stave Church, having survived from the Middle Ages was in need of large scale improvement.
By 1660 the population had fully recovered to its previous levels, and it was at this time that Werner Olsen – legendary church & tower builder – left his mark on Gudbrandsdalen. The expansion of the church in 1630 gave us evidence that a new style of building had arrived in Norway.
In Ringebu Stave Church you can still see two crucifixes and a
statue of St. Lawrence from the Middle Ages as well as the font,
which dates from ca 1100. The entrance is beautifully decorated in a
Link to Ringebu Vicarage and
the summer exhibions.