Mosque-Cathedral of Córdoba, Spain

As with most very old buildings, they have changed during the years mostly because of the rulers that would like to have their personal touch on it. “Mezquita de Córdoba” has expanded four times until it reached 24 000 m² and in the 1600th century they inserted a Renaissance Cathedral in the middle.

Even though the building is huge, it’s not easy to spot from a distance as only the bell tower and the Cathedral is quickly recognized over the surrounding buildings, which can make you believe it’s just another church.

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Borgund Stavkirke (Stave Church), Norway

The Borgund Stave Church is one of the most known and popular stave churches in Norway and it’s a so-called triple nave church. The church was built around 1180, and it’s one of the best preserved of the remaining ones.

On a side note, the Gustav Adolf Stave Church in Hahnenklee, Germany, was built in 1908 with the Borgund Stave Church in mind (means its similar but not a replica). In United States there is a replica in Rapid City, South Dakota, and on Washington Island, Wisconsin.

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Hopperstad Stavkirke (Stave Church), Norway

The Hopperstad Stavkirke is one of the oldest Stave Churches still standing, believed to be built about year 1130. The church was mostly unchanged until the 17th century when among others the nave was lengthened and a bell tower was added. In the end of the 19th century it was redesigned into “Borgund style”.

On a side note, there is a full scale replica of the Hopperstad Stave Church in Hjemkomst Center (Homecoming Center) in Minnesota, USA. Built as a reminder of all the Norwegians who emigrated to the Midwest area in the 19th century. The replica is one of very few remaining Stave Churches outside Norway.

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Kaupanger stavkirke (Stave Church), Norway

Kaupanger Stave Church is located not too far from Urnes Stave Church, only little bit further out and on the other side of the Sognefjord. The church is dated back to about 1140, and has gone through several restoration projects and alterations. Of the remaining stave churches, Kaupanger is the longest and the nave has 22 staves, 8 on each of the longer sides, 3 on each of the shorter and the elevated chancel has 4.

This is the third post about Norwegian Stave Churches.

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Nidaros Cathedral, details and Gargoyles

Being relatively close to where we live, the Nidaros Cathedral (Nidarosdomen) its a building we return to quite often. Every time we come there, we discover more details and hidden treasures that we haven’t noticed before.

When most people go to see the Gothic Cathedral in Trondheim, they only look at the front. Nothing wrong with that, but the building has so much more to offer. After spending some time at the front, please have a walk around it too.

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Urnes Stavkirke (Stave Church), Norway

The access to Urnes Stave Church is a bit more difficult than any of the others. You can take the very narrow road on the south side of Lustrafjorden, or maybe better, take the ferry across the fjord and walk the few hundred meters up to the church. Urnes Stave Church, built about 1140, is the only Stave Church on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.

This is the second post about Norwegian Stave Churches.

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Lom Stavkirke (Stave Church), Norway

This is the first post in a series in a new category we will call “Stave Churches”. As this is the first post I will explain a bit what makes a Stave Church stand out compared to more normal log constructed churches. The word “stav” (stave/post in English) comes from the Old Norse “stafr”, and are given to the load bearing posts in the corners of the building. For bigger churches, they needed more posts to hold the load. Continue reading “Lom Stavkirke (Stave Church), Norway”