Fantoft Stave Church

Bergen, Norway

Fantoft Stave Church is a reconstructed stave church, originally built in Fortun in Sogn around the year 1150. In the 19th century the church was threatened by demolition, as were hundreds of other stave churches in Norway. The church was bought by consul Fredrik Georg Gade and saved by moving it in pieces to Fantoft near (now in) Bergen in 1883. Outside the church stands a stone cross from Tjora in Sola.

On 6 June 1992, the church was destroyed by arson; the first in a string of church burnings by members of the early Norwegian black metal scene. At first, the fire was thought to have been caused by lightning or an electrical failure. In 1994, Varg Vikernes of the one-man band Burzum was found guilty of burning Åsane Church and Storetveit Church in Bergen, the burning of Skjold Church in Vindafjord, and the burning of Holmenkollen Chapel in Oslo. He was also charged with the burning of Fantoft stave church, although the jurors voted not guilty. The judges called this an error but did not overthrow the whole case. A photograph of the church's burnt shell appears on the cover of the 1993 Burzum EP Aske (Norwegian for 'ashes'). According to Vikernes, the church was burnt as retaliation against Christianity for building a church on sacred, pagan grounds. Reconstruction of the church began soon after the fire and was completed in 1997.



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Founded: 1150
Category: Religious sites in Norway


4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Cassie Miller (8 months ago)
There's a path with concrete steps and a railing that lead up the church which is tucked into the trees. It's a very nice, quiet space. Security is high here, which is why their is a fence and cameras. Also, before you complain about the entrance fee, remember that they exist to preserve, protect and educate people about these historic buildings.
Vega Translingual (11 months ago)
Wow, one of the most beautiful churches i have seen in my life. It's black due to the pine tar that covers it (it gets renewed every couple years). This tar also gives it a fresh foresty smell and keeps the wood from weathering. Tip: We waited for folks outside of the site and asked for their stickers to enter, and saved the 10€ fee.
Ana Suarasan (11 months ago)
Might be the most special church in Bergen, with viking, Christian and protestant elements. The church dates back to the 1150, but it was completely rebuilt in 1997 after it burned in 1992. Being a stave church, it's built entirely out of wood (same type of wood was used for the rebuild too), which makes it so simple and special. There are several beautiful Norse old carvings, such as dragons, which, by the old Norse mythology, used to keep evil spirits at bay. There's also a small cross on the inside roof of the building, showing the beginnings of Christianity. There are several nice stories behind this church too, one of them having to do with the small window on the left. Norway was deeply affected by the Leprosy disease for 500 years (check out the Leprosy museum in Bergen for more details), and the infected people were not allowed in the church, but they had a special place outside right next to this small window, where they could listen to the church service and pray. Ask for details there!;) Only 70 NOK for adults, 50 for students. The surrounding area is a nice forest, lovely to wander around too. Easy to get to Fantom station by metro, line 1, from the city centre, and then walk 10 minutes to the church area. Lovely authentic experience.
Nicole Chu (12 months ago)
The church is a slight walk from the light rail stop, but it is in a quiet and peaceful location surrounded by trees. The church is small but aesthetically impressive. I don’t know much about the history and I only tagged along with my group, so from my philistine perspective, I don’t have much to say except that I’d probably be satisfied not paying the entrance fee and admiring the structure from outside.
Alex Sei (13 months ago)
This is truly a beautiful stave church. It is modeled after the ancient Vikings and the carvings are stunning. Admission is 70 NOK for adults. Around the church there is a small park that invites you to explore.
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