Friday, June 8, 2012

Lom Stave Church, Norway

Stave Church, Lom, Gudbrandsdal, Norway, ca 1980
[photo:  courtesy of a Frenchman]

A Frenchman took this picture of a Stavkirke or Stave Church in Norway in 1980.  He was not sure which church this might be but since there are only 28 of these old wooden churches left, fire being the biggest danger, by comparing photos of the ones still standing and using a process of elimination I believe this looks most like the Lom church in the Gudbrandsdal district of Norway, in the fylke or county of Oppland.  Oppland is situated more or less in the middle of the country between Sogn og Fjordane on the west and Hedmark on the east.   It borders on Buskerud and Akershus to the south and Møre og Romsdal, Sør Trøndelag and part of Hedmark to the north. 

The Lom church was originally constructed in 1158-1159 but was rebuilt into a cruciform church in the 17th century.  Additions occurred in 1608, 1634 with a cross section added in 1663.  In 1933 there was a complete restoration and another smaller restoration in 1973.  This church is one of the few remaining stave churches to retain the original medieval crest with a dragon head.  It is what is described as a triple nave stave church and is one of the oldest Stave Churches still in existence. Known to have one of the largest collections of paintings found in any Norwegian church, it was built extra large and was an important stopover for pilgrims in the Middle Ages.   It is still in use today and is the main church in Lom. 

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When he sent the picture of the church he also included three other pictures shown below.  They are postcard picture beautiful and look almost as if they could be paintings.  I do not have the locations for these photos but since a map does show Sognefjord winding its way inland perhaps they are from the Gudbrandals district as well.  If any readers recognize the area and can identify the places, please leave a comment. 

Norwegian fjord
[photo:  courtesy of a Frenchman]

Norwegian farm house
[photo:  courtesy of a Frenchman]

Two houses or buildings in Norway
[photo:  courtesy of a Frenchman]*


* Merci beaucoup for sending and sharing these pictures of Norway.

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