Vågå Stave Church, which was constructed around 1150, is one of the older stave churches in Norway. It was originally dedicated to St. Peter. The prior rectory was formerly called Ullinsyn. The older name of the site may show that even in pagan times, the location had been in use for worship.
The church was converted to a cruciform church in 1626–28. Only the carved portals and decorative wall planks survived from the original stave church. It was a half-timbered building, where the church materials are reused. The basic architectural plan is a Latin cross. Above the crossing is a turret with a high tower helmet and four small side towers, a legacy from the Gothic tower architecture.
The conversion was under the direction of Werner Olsen (1600–1682), who was also known as Werner Olsen Skurdal after the last of his residence. He was noted as a church and tower builder. He later worked on remodels to Lom Stave Church and Ringebu Stave Church.
The crucifix at Vågå church is early Gothic work, dating from the mid 13th century. The pulpit dates from the completion of the church in the 1630s. The sacristy, constructed of shaped logs, was built later on in the 1660s. The altar piece is from 1674 and the altar rail dates from 1758.
Jo Gjende, was born in Vågå, was buried in Vågå churchyard. On his grave is a small soapstone monument, which shows a wild reindeer herd in flight, after a painting by Gerhard Munthe.References:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.