Røldal Stave Church

Odda, Norway

Røldal Stave Church was probably built between 1200-1250. The church has a rectangular-shaped nave and chancel. The crucifix dates from about 1250. The altarpiece by German painter Gottfried Hendtzchell from Wroclaw in Silesia dates from 1629. The baptismal font is made of soapstone between 1200-1250. Bergen Museum holds a variety of building components and other artifacts from the medieval church. These include alter frontal and wooden sculptures of St. Olaf from about 1250, of the Virgin Mary with child from about 1250, and the Archangel Michael, dated about 1200. In the Middle Ages, Røldal church received large donations from many of pilgrims who flocked to the church. As a result, the small village where the church is located, became quite prosperous. In the 17th century the walls inside the church were richly decorated with paintings.

During reconstruction of the church in 1844, some of the history of the church was uncovered. This led to an investigation to determine how the church was built. The resulting belief is that Røldal stave church was quite different from other stave churches. Some controversy developed about whether this is in fact a stave church or rather an example of the assumed predecessor type, a post church.

During the period 1913-1918, the church underwent an extensive church renovation and restoration. Paneling from the 19th century were removed and Renaissance interior restored. A new gallery around the church was also built to protect the wall tables. The church reconstruction was led by Norwegian architect Jens Zetlitz Monrad Kielland (1866–1926), while the color restoration was performed by Norwegian painter Domenico Juul Erdmann (1879–1940), who was assisted by Norwegian painter Alfred Obert Hagn (1882–1958), and Danish-Norwegian artist Adolph Ulrik Hendriksen (1891–1960).

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Address

Kyrkjevegen 36, Odda, Norway
See all sites in Odda

Details

Founded: 1200-1250
Category: Religious sites in Norway

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

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User Reviews

Vladislav Ashurov (4 years ago)
One of the oldest stave churches
Stig Andersson (4 years ago)
Fantastic church. A "must-see" of you pass Röldal
Madi G (4 years ago)
Charge you 10$ upon intrance.
John Van Der Westen (4 years ago)
Nice old church, typical for the Norway
Vegard Aasen (5 years ago)
Beautiful old church. A bit odd closing/opening hours though.
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