29 stave churches all over Norway waiting for your visit
Norway's stave churches
From around the 1.000 stave churches ever build in Norway, only 29 are still around. All the others burnt down, fell to pieces or were, sad but true, simply torn down to make space. But 29 are still plenty to gain an impression of these master pieces of, mainly, medieval craftsman.
So wherever you are travelling in the lower third of Norway, you will come across a stave church sooner or later.
If so, you should stop or take a little detour as they are usually not located right next to the main road.
They are impressive from outside, and usually surrounded by a well maintained graveyard.
But what we absolutely can recommend is to get there when they are open and you can visit them inside. Most of them have some rather good opening times during the summer season and offer guided tours for free. There is an entrance fee of course but the price is not too steap.
The guides often highlight and explain details which you otherwise would have missed. Even when you are not very interested in history as such, the additional information will give an excellent impression of how life was in past times and how the Norwegian society worked back then in broad terms. The guides, usually all volunteers, possess an enormous knowledge and are happy to share it, often in several languages.
Our favorite stave churches are (1) Urnes, the oldest and, we think, the cutest one, (2) Lom, because of its great location and the fantastic interior as well as (3) Borgund, because of its details and how it is integreated into the surrounding landscape.
You will for sure make out your own favorites once you have visited a few!