Torpo Stave Church

Ål, Norway

Built in 1192, the Torpo stave church is the oldest building within the valley and traditional district of Hallingdal. The church was dedicated to Saint Margareta. The stave church was purchased by the municipality in 1875. It was initially planned to expand it with an annex to the east, but in 1879 it was decided instead to modernize the interior with new ceiling and gallery. Following protest from the Ancient Monuments Society, the municipality decided to build a new church on the adjacent property. The new church was built north of the old one with the two churches standing side by side.

The Torpo stave church is one of two stave churches that are signed by the their craftsmen, the other being the church at Ål. In both churches a runic inscription reads: Torolf built this church. The full runic inscription in the Torpo stave church, which is listed as N 110 in the Rundata catalog, reads: Þórolfr made this church. Ásgrímr, Hákon, Erlingr, Páll, Eindriði, Sjaundi, Þórulfr. Þórir carved. Ólafr.

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Address

Torpovegen 36, Ål, Norway
See all sites in Ål

Details

Founded: 1192
Category: Religious sites in Norway

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jakob De Vries (2 years ago)
Die Kirche ist wunderschön, nur wenn man hinein will soll man bezahlen. Ein Blick durch die Fenster genügt.
Inger Torunn Knutshaug Nygård (2 years ago)
Flott historisk grunn.
anastasia puppis (2 years ago)
Visita guidata incantevole, grazie a due giovani guide molto simpatiche disponibili e competenti. Atmosfera siggestiva. Ingresso 6€ a persona.
J O (2 years ago)
Unique, beautiful, simple. Well worth a visit to this and many of the other Stave churches.
Ching-Fung Lin (3 years ago)
A small, simple, yet unique historical church.
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The Kalozha church of Saints Boris and Gleb is the oldest extant structure in Hrodna. It is the only surviving monument of ancient Black Ruthenian architecture, distinguished from other Orthodox churches by prolific use of polychrome faceted stones of blue, green or red tint which could be arranged to form crosses or other figures on the wall.

The church is a cross-domed building supported by six circular pillars. The outside is articulated with projecting pilasters, which have rounded corners, as does the building itself. The ante-nave contains the choir loft, accessed by a narrow gradatory in the western wall. Two other stairs were discovered in the walls of the side apses; their purpose is not clear. The floor is lined with ceramic tiles forming decorative patterns. The interior was lined with innumerable built-in pitchers, which usually serve in Eastern Orthodox churches as resonators but in this case were scored to produce decorative effects. For this reason, the central nave has never been painted.

The church was built before 1183 and survived intact, depicted in the 1840s by Michał Kulesza, until 1853, when the south wall collapsed, due to its perilous location on the high bank of the Neman. During restoration works, some fragments of 12th-century frescoes were discovered in the apses. Remains of four other churches in the same style, decorated with pitchers and coloured stones instead of frescoes, were discovered in Hrodna and Vaŭkavysk. They all date back to the turn of the 13th century, as do remains of the first stone palace in the Old Hrodna Castle.

In 2004, the church was included in the Tentative List of UNESCO"s World Heritage Sites.