Værnes Church, the oldest building in Stjørdal, was built around 1085-1100. It was nearly started at the same time as the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. Under the high roofs the centuries have written their autographs. Pictures of gods and devil´s masks fight ruthlessly about the hegemony in the human soul. The dramaturgy of the Middle Age comes alive in the life- or death battle that unfolds before our eyes on the church walls.
If you lift your eyes even further, towards the roof-truss, you can see the last millennium face to face. Nowhere else in the country you will have such an opportunity to admire the art of carpentry as it was displayed nearly 900 years ago. This is one of the reasons why the Church of Værnes is a familiar name in antiquarian circles on the whole continent. The wooden ceiling is the original from the 12th century, and the only one still in existence. It has a span of more than 11 meters and has been the inspiration for reconstructions of roofs in other medieval buildings in Norway (the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim and Håkonshallen in Bergen).
The Church of Værnes is a cultural treasure, perhaps because the majestic church building gives us a close contact with the mysticism and sentiment of the past. Many people come here to contemplate about the mysteries of life - great and small. The thoughts wander among the beams under the roof, casting curious glances at the 'Værnes Chair', made in 1685 as the private pew for the squire of Værnes (General Schultz and his wife). This chair shows us a mastery in wood carving that amazes everyone with its perfectionism and richness in details. Fine wall paintings, stone figures and runic inscriptions are also found in the church.References:
The Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of the oldest churches of Rome. The basic floor plan and wall structure of the church date back to the 340s, and much of the structure to 1140-43. The first sanctuary was built in 221 and 227 by Pope Callixtus I and later completed by Pope Julius I.
The inscription on the episcopal throne states that this is the first church in Rome dedicated to Mary, mother of Jesus, although some claim that privilege belongs to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. A Christian house-church was founded here about 220 by Pope Saint Callixtus I (217-222) on the site of the Taberna meritoria, a refuge for retired soldiers. The area was made available for Christian use by Emperor Alexander Severus when he settled a dispute between the Christians and tavern-keepers.
The church underwent two restorations in the fifth and eighth centuries and in 1140-43 it was re-erected on its old foundations under Pope Innocent II.