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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