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

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4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Angelika Pe (3 months ago)
Very beautiful stabschurch that unfortunately can only be visited outside at this time of the year. You have a nice view there and it's surrounded by nature. A stone bench is nearby.
Adam Coston (4 months ago)
Beautiful Church. Absolutely worth the visit. Just hop on the 1 train at Fantoft and it’s a pleasant 15 minute walk, but it is mostly uphill. I would suggest renting one of the city scooters and riding up the hill on that. The church is closed throughout most of winter. It is still worth a visit during closed hours. You can still get pretty close to the church and see it through the chain link fence. It could use some more signs outside telling us about the history. Especially for off-season visitors
Tamami Naito-Badessa (5 months ago)
Came here in the summer using our Bergen Card. It's not in the city centre so you do need to take a train and it's a good 15 minutes walk thru a residential area. Just to see the architecture of the church was worth it since it was not the typical architecture of a church that most of us know of. Fascinating!
Adam Coston (7 months ago)
Beautiful Church. Absolutely worth the visit. Just hop of the 1 train at Fantoft and it’s a pleasant 15 minute walk, but it is mostly uphill. I would suggest renting one of the city scooters and riding up the hill on that. The church is closed throughout most of winter. It is still worth a visit during closed hours. You can still get pretty close to the church and see it through the chain link fence. It could use some more signs outside telling us about the history. Especially for off-season visitors
Joseph Kincaid (9 months ago)
We visited en route to the airport from central Bergen. As others had suggested it is straight forward to get to and worth a look. Not many stave churches exist in Norway and this is a beautiful example of how they looked. Paid to enter at the gate, there is a fence all round the property. A couple of girls were sitting at a table with a bank card machine to take the fee. 150kr for us both if I remember correctly. We had a good look round, it is a very peaceful location at the top of a hill surrounded by trees. Do go and look.
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