Church of São Francisco, Porto – Portugal

Igreja de São Francisco (Church of Saint Francis) is located in the historic center of Porto and was built as in gothic style about 600 years ago. in the first half of the 18th century the interior was decorated into a more baroque style.

The church is located not far from the river Douro and its a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Lomen Stavkirke (Stave Church), Norway

Lomen stave church dates back to second half of the 12th century, and was rebuilt and enlarged in 1749. The church does not have electric light or heating, so it’s only open and used during the summer for services and weddings.

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Øye Stavkirke (Stave Church), Norway

Øye Stavkirke is a triple nave stave church dated back to 12th century. The church was taken down and the pieces hidden when a new and bigger church was built in the area. The pieces was rediscovered in 1950s and the church was rebuilt in a different location a bit higher in the terrain than it was originally. The church is believed to have had a tower at some point, but its not included in the last erection.

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Heddal Stavkirke (Stave Church), Norway

Heddal Stave Church is one of the most visited stave churches in Norway, located just next to the E138 in Notodden in Telemark county. The church is the largest of the remaining stave churches, reaching 20 meters in length and 26 meters in height, and was built in the beginning of the 13th century.

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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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