Reinli Stave Church

Reinli, Norway

The Reinli Stave Church was built some time during the 14th century. It is the third church at the same location in Reinli. The first references made to a church at this location comes from Olaf Haraldsson who travelled through Valdres in 1023, and also visited Reinli. It is believed that there was a pagan temple at the same location before the first church, some time before 1000.

Through radiocarbon dating, logs in the church have been dated to 1190, which somewhat contradicts previous datings of the church. There are some claims that the church was built after 1326, but this seems to be outside the error envelope of radiocarbon dating. It could be that the church was rebuilt from materials used in an earlier church. There is, however, a written account of the church's existence in 1327.

The Reinli stave church follows a plan set by continental churches in monasteries. Later the church was rebuilt by Sira Thord, who is buried beneath the south-east entrance. The church is generally assumed to be close to its original configuration, although some sources dispute this.

The church underwent interior changes in 1884–1885, and restoration work was done on the exterior in 1976–1977. There is no electric heating or light in the church.

An old pillory stands outside the church, but is no longer in use. On May 17, 1845 its use was formally abandoned when the medieval law was changed.

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Founded: 14th century
Category: Religious sites in Norway

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