Medieval churches in Norway

Nes Church

Nes Church dates from c. 1180. The stone church has still some remnants of reliefs from the Middle ages. Near the church is an old farm which, according a legend, belonged to the 'King of Grenland' (Grenland is a traditional district in the county of Telemark).
Founded: c. 1180 | Location: Sauherad, Norway

Hoff Church

Hoff stone church was built in the 12th century. Hoff church is similar in construction to the old cathedrals at Hamar, Nikolai Church in Gran, Old Aker Church, and Ringsaker Church. The joint model for these churches was the historic Hallvards Cathedral, the main church of medieval Oslo. After 1658, Hallvards Cathedral was demolished with only ruins left of the former cathedral in Oslo. Hoff stone church was built of li ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Østre Toten, Norway

Kodal Church

Kodal Church chancel dates from the 12th century. The nave from 1691 is made of round timbers. The altarpiece dates from 1781 and the painting 'Jesus and the disciples on the walk to Emmaus' by Otto Valstad in the style of Dorph from 1899.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Kodal, Norway

Botne Church

Botne church was built originally in the 13th century and is dedicated to St. Nicholas. It was expanded in 1865 and restored in 1947. The Renaissance and Baroque style altarpiece dates from 1664.
Founded: 13th century | Location: Holmestrand, Norway

Hem Church

Hem Church is a Romanesque stone church with a rectangular nave and choir. It was built in 1392.
Founded: 1392 | Location: Svarstad, Norway

Styrvoll Church

Styrvoll church was probably built between 1150 and 1200. The wooden porch and spire were added in 1870.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Lardal, Norway

Skjee Church

Skjee Church was built between 1190-1200. It has a Christ picture from 1692 and Renaissance style pulpit.
Founded: 1190-1200 | Location: Stokke, Norway

Eidsberg Church

Eidsberg church, also called as Østfold Cathedral, was built in the late 1200s, but burned in 1440. The church was rebuilt, and in 1880-81 it was extended and restored to its present appearance. The wall is derived in part from the old medieval church. Findings suggest an early church about the year 1000, followed by a Romanesque church in 1100-tallet. Alteret the current church is from 1651, the pulpit from 1662. The ba ...
Founded: 13th century | Location: Eidsberg, Norway

Rokke Church

Rokke church is a Romanesque stone church built in the 12th century. It was restored and rebuilt in 1886. Several remains of burials under the church floor were found then. Lars Ovesen made the church pulpit and altarpiece in 1685. Rokke church has one Olav Statue from the 1300s and three figures of saints.
Founded: 12th century | Location: Halden, Norway

Rødenes Church

Rødenes church was built in c. 1230 and it underwent an extensive restoration in 1703-1709. It was privately owned from 1729-1849 before moved to the municipality. Altarpiece dates from the 1720s and was given by Chr. Hansen Sarpsborg, who was commander of Basmo fortress.
Founded: c. 1230 | Location: Ørje, Norway

Ingedal Church

Ingedal church was built in c. 1250 and it was restored to the 18th century style in 1968.
Founded: 1250 | Location: Skjeberg, Norway

Våler Church

Våler church was built between 1150 and 1200. The restorations were made in 1714, 1867 and 1961-63. One of the church bells is probably cast before 1160 while the other dates from 1799. Other treasures include a crucifix from the mid-1200s (from Limoges in France) and organs from ca. 1781 (built by Niels Samuelsen Dæli). The altarpiece and pulpit were a gift from cicar Peder Hansøn Prydz and his wife Ka ...
Founded: 12th century | Location: Våler i Østfold, Norway

Råde Church

It is supposed that Råde Church with its mighty tower was built around the year 1200. In old documents the church is first mentioned in 1330. It was damaged by lightning in the 16th century. The present altarpiece dates from 1638. In 1723 the church was sold to the owner of Tomb manor house, general Lützow. For 130 years to come the church belonged to different owners of Tomb, who got all its income and kept t ...
Founded: 1185-1200 | Location: Råde, Norway

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Kirkjubøargarður

Kirkjubøargarður ('Yard of Kirkjubøur', also known as King"s Farm) is one of the oldest still inhabited wooden houses of the world. The farm itself has always been the largest in the Faroe Islands. The old farmhouse dates back to the 11th century. It was the episcopal residence and seminary of the Diocese of the Faroe Islands, from about 1100. Sverre I of Norway (1151–1202), grew up here and went to the priest school. The legend says, that the wood for the block houses came as driftwood from Norway and was accurately bundled and numbered, just for being set up. Note, that there is no forest in the Faroes and wood is a very valuable material. Many such wood legends are thus to be found in Faroese history.

The oldest part is a so-called roykstova (reek parlour, or smoke room). Perhaps it was moved one day, because it does not fit to its foundation. Another ancient room is the loftstovan (loft room). It is supposed that Bishop Erlendur wrote the 'Sheep Letter' here in 1298. This is the earliest document of the Faroes we know today. It is the statute concerning sheep breeding on the Faroes. Today the room is the farm"s library. The stórastovan (large room) is from a much later date, being built in 1772.

Though the farmhouse is a museum, the 17th generation of the Patursson Family, which has occupied it since 1550, is still living here. Shortly after the Reformation in the Faroe Islands in 1538, all the real estate of the Catholic Church was seized by the King of Denmark. This was about half of the land in the Faroes, and since then called King"s Land (kongsjørð). The largest piece of King"s Land was the farm in Kirkjubøur due to the above-mentioned Episcopal residence. This land is today owned by the Faroese government, and the Paturssons are tenants from generation to generation. It is always the oldest son, who becomes King"s Farmer, and in contrast to the privately owned land, the King"s Land is never divided between the sons.

The farm holds sheep, cattle and some horses. It is possible to get a coffee here and buy fresh mutton and beef directly from the farmer. In the winter season there is also hare hunting for the locals. Groups can rent the roykstovan for festivities and will be served original Faroese cuisine.

Other famous buildings directly by the farmhouse are the Magnus Cathedral and the Saint Olav"s Church, which also date back to the mediaeval period. All three together represent the Faroe Island"s most interesting historical site.