Lom Stave Church

Lom, Norway

Lom Stave Church is a triple nave stave church that uses free standing inner columns to support a raised section in the ceiling of the main nave. This type of church is amongst the oldest stave churches. The church was first situated in a sub valley to the valley Gudbrandsdal in Oppland County, some 60 kilometers west of Otta.

The church dates to approximately second part of 12th century, but was rebuilt into a cruciform church during the 17th century. The chancel was decorated in 1608, and the nave was enlarged towards west in 1634. The cross section was added in 1663, but this was made in stave like frame work. A complete restoration also took place in 1933, and a smaller one in 1973. This stave church is actually one of just a very few stave churches of which the original medieval crest with a dragon head still survives.

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Address

Riksveg 15 1860, Lom, Norway
See all sites in Lom

Details

Founded: 1158
Category: Religious sites in Norway

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

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User Reviews

AMA Generali (3 years ago)
Extraordinary witness of past centuries, or better, millenium, both elegant and lovely, reaching for the sky to conquer the mountains. The interior manages to be respectfully magnificent as well as domestically resembling a warm getaway from the world. The stave church is typical for the country and one of the most beautiful. Take a breath inside and enjoy the art. Entrance fees on my photo.
Matt Smith (3 years ago)
What an amazing church! It’s beautiful inside and out! Buy the entrance fee. It is well worth being able to go inside. We went on the off season so there weren’t any crowds to contend with.
Richard Carter (3 years ago)
What an interesting church! I loved it. It's hard to believe it' been around since the 12th. Century. The guide at the church was very very funny & gave lots of very interesting facts & details - over 2000 old coins found that had slipped through the cracks in the old wood floor boards. OK, OK so it takes less than an hour. Lom is a very nice village. Turn around from the church. See a bridge, underneath is an amazing water fall. Keep going, on your right & down some stairs is an amazing pastry shop. WONDERFUL STUFF!!
Tormod Ellingsen (3 years ago)
Beautiful church and very much a sight to behold when you arrive into Lom. Remember to check opening hours, though. This closes earlier in September than in August. And, remember, no smoking.
Michael Haynes (3 years ago)
I really enjoyed taking picture at this church, it is truly unique in design and material. If you ever find yourself close to Lom please make the effort to at least take a glance. Random fact the exterior wood smells like Sauna
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Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

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Quimper Cathedral

From 1239, Raynaud, the Bishop of Quimper, decided on the building of a new chancel destined to replace that of the Romanesque era. He therefore started, in the far west, the construction of a great Gothic cathedral which would inspire cathedral reconstructions in the Ile de France and would in turn become a place of experimentation from where would later appear ideas adopted by the whole of lower Brittany. The date of 1239 marks the Bishop’s decision and does not imply an immediate start to construction. Observation of the pillar profiles, their bases, the canopies, the fitting of the ribbed vaults of the ambulatory or the alignment of the bays leads us to believe, however, that the construction was spread out over time.

The four circular pillars mark the start of the building site, but the four following adopt a lozenge-shaped layout which could indicate a change of project manager. The clumsiness of the vaulted archways of the north ambulatory, the start of the ribbed vaults at the height of the south ambulatory or the choice of the vaults descending in spoke-form from the semi-circle which allows the connection of the axis chapel to the choir – despite the manifest problems of alignment – conveys the hesitancy and diverse influences in the first phase of works which spread out until the start of the 14th century.

At the same time as this facade was built (to which were added the north and south gates) the building of the nave started in the east and would finish by 1460. The nave is made up of six bays with one at the level of the facade towers and flanked by double aisles – one wide and one narrow (split into side chapels) – in an extension of the choir arrangements.

The choir presents four right-hand bays with ambulatory and side chapels. It is extended towards the east of 3-sided chevet which opens onto a semi-circle composed of five chapels and an apsidal chapel of two bays and a flat chevet consecrated to Our Lady.

The three-level elevation with arches, triforium and galleries seems more uniform and expresses anglo-Norman influence in the thickness of the walls (Norman passageway at the gallery level) or the decorative style (heavy mouldings, decorative frieze under the triforium). This building site would have to have been overseen in one shot. Undoubtedly interrupted by the war of Succession (1341-1364) it draws to a close with the building of the lierne vaults (1410) and the fitting of stained-glass windows. Bishop Bertrand de Rosmadec and Duke Jean V, whose coat of arms would decorate these vaults, finished the chancel before starting on the building of the facade and the nave.

Isolated from its environment in the 19th century, the cathedral was – on the contrary – originally very linked to its surroundings. Its site and the orientation of the facade determined traffic flow in the town. Its positioning close to the south walls resulted in particuliarities such as the transfer of the side gates on to the north and south facades of the towers: the southern portal of Saint Catherine served the bishop’s gate and the hospital located on the left bank (the current Préfecture) and the north gate was the baptismal porch – a true parish porch with its benches and alcoves for the Apostles’ statues turned towards the town, completed by an ossuary (1514).

The west porch finds its natural place between the two towers. The entire aesthetic of these three gates springs from the Flamboyant era: trefoil, curly kale, finials, large gables which cut into the mouldings and balustrades. Pinnacles and recesses embellish the buttresses whilst an entire bestiary appears: monsters, dogs, mysterious figures, gargoyles, and with them a whole imaginary world promoting a religious and political programme. Even though most of the saints statues have disappeared an armorial survives which makes the doors of the cathedral one of the most beautiful heraldic pages imaginable: ducal ermine, the Montfort lion, Duchess Jeanne of France’s coat of arms side by side with the arms of the Cornouaille barons with their helmets and crests. One can imagine the impact of this sculpted decor with the colour and gilding which originally completed it.

At the start of the 16th century the construction of the spires was being prepared when building was interrupted, undoubtedly for financial reasons. Small conical roofs were therefore placed on top of the towers. The following centuries were essentially devoted to putting furnishings in place (funeral monuments, altars, statues, organs, pulpit). Note the fire which destroyed the spire of the transept cross in 1620 as well as the ransacking of the cathedral in 1793 when nearly all the furnishings disappeared in a « bonfire of the saints ».

The 19th century would therefore inherit an almost finished but mutilated building and would devote itself to its renovation according to the tastes and theories of the day.