Hem Church

Larvik, Norway

The earliest existing historical records of the church date back to the year 1392, but the church was not necessarily built that year. The original part of the building was possibly built sometime around the year 1200, although the church presently uses 1392 as the year of its founding (celebrating its 600th anniversary in 1992). In 1992, dendrochronological dating was carried out to determine the age of the church, but it was inconclusive. The stone church was initially built with a rectangular nave and a smaller, rectangular chancel with a lower roofline. It was built in a Romanesque style, typically seen in churches built in the 12th and early 13th centuries in Norway. The building is constructed of stone, with the walls measuring about 120 centimetres (47 in) thick. Later, a wooden church porch was built at the main entrance. Extensive repairs were carried out in 1686 (a wall and a new tower on top of the nave, and second floor seating galleries in the nave). In 1932, a sacristy was built on the south side of the chancel. In 1951, the sacristy was taken down and rebuilt on the east end of the chancel.

The church was owned by the county of Jarlsberg from 1673 to 1766, when it was bought by some farmers in the village of Hem. In 1913, ownership of the church was transferred to the parish.



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Hem, Larvik, Norway
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Founded: 1392
Category: Religious sites in Norway

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