- Type: Castles, Palaces & Historic Buildings
NileGuide Expert Says:
Gol stavkirke is one of the easiest accessible stave churches in Norway. Urnes stavkirke in Western Norway is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Stave churches—easily Norway's most significant contribution to the world's religious architecture—are the closest thing to Gothic cathedrals in this country. They are Gothic in that the roof is carried by a firm framework of ground beams, upright corner staves and top sills rather than by solid walls. Elsewhere in Europe, this structure allowed for large bay windows and luminous interiors; here, light is admitted only through narrow "peep-holes," a fact that can be explained by the cold climate as well as in terms of the Norwegian idea of light. As they were made entirely of wood, stave churches were tarred every three years, otherwise there would not be as many as 28 of them still standing. In 1880, the dilapidated Gol Stave Church was moved to the Bygdøy peninsula and restored at the expense of King Oscar II, to embellish his then newly opened outdoor museum. Attending the regular Lutheran service or the occasional Roman Catholic Mass held here is a memorable experience. Services are held on Sundays at 1.15pm while Catholic mass is held only occasionally.
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