Grip Stave Church

Smøla, Norway

Grip Stave Church is one of Norway's smallest churches (it is only 12m long and 6,5m wide). The church was built in about 1470 at the island's highest point. The church is of the Møre type, being structurally similar to the larger Kvernes and Rødven stave churches. Because of the barren nature of the island, there is no cemetery on the church grounds, and bodies had to be buried elsewhere, in the cemetery of Bremsnes Church, over 10 kilometres away over open sea.

It underwent major modifications in 1621 when the walls were replaced, and a flèche was added. Today's windows were installed in the 1870s, and at the same time both a weaponhouse and a sacristy were added. During restoration work in 1933 a new foundation was added, and the exterior walls were panelled. All this rebuilding is why the exterior does not resemble the more typical Norwegian stave churches.

The altar is a triptych from Utrecht in the Netherlands, dated to about 1520, with a central sculpture of the Blessed Virgin Mary, flanked by sculptures of Saint Olaf of Norway and Saint Margaret the Virgin, locally known as St. Maret.According to legend, the triptych is one of five altars donated to Norwegian churches by princess Isabella of Austria after being escorted by Erik Valkendorf, Archbishop of Norway, in terrible weather en route to her wedding in Copenhagen with the Danish king Christian II in 1515. Other altars were donated to the churches of Kinn, Leka, Hadsel and Røst. The five altars are referred to by art historians as the Leka group. Four of the altars have survived intact to this day, but Grip has the only complete altar in the original church.

Despite having sculptures of three saints, the altar survived the protestant reformation of Norway in 1537. The altar was restored in 2002. The church also has a small altar cup from 1320, a 16th-century double-sided painting on canvas, murals from the 1621 modifications, and two votive ships.

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Address

Riksveg 669 30, Smøla, Norway
See all sites in Smøla

Details

Founded: c. 1470
Category: Religious sites in Norway

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Petter Christie (2 years ago)
A unique stave church far out in the ocean gap outside Kristiansund. An hour by boat takes you out to Grip, a wonderful gem, and at the highest point of the island (about 10m) stands Grip Stave Church.
allan haavin (3 years ago)
Fantastic place 45 min with boat from Kristiansund norway
Martin Pedro Bae (3 years ago)
Greit for day trip picnick and swim in the sea
Tuyen Nguyen (3 years ago)
Ok ?
Preben Langaas (4 years ago)
Flott plass med mye historie å ei flott kirke.
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