Urnes Stave Church

Published by the Directorate for Cultural Heritage Lag rapport Les på norsk

Urnes stave church is exceptional among the 28 remaining stave churches in Norway as regards architecture and style history. The church was built around year 1130 and is one of our oldest and best-preserved stave churches.

Inscribed on World Heritage List in 1979

Urnes stave church is an example of very skilled craftsmanship and has exceptionally fine wooden carvings. It was once a private church for a powerful high-born family at Urnes. The builders were aware of international trends in architecture, and transferred these trends from stone to wood. The interior of the church is exceptionally richly decorated.

Urnes church has been and still is in use, and the church equipment is also a part of the history. In the church there is a preserved lathe turned chair from the 12th century.

Following the Reformation pews were installed for the congregation, a pulpit in 1695 and a new altar in the choir in 1699. The new choir addition from the 17th century was decorated with hierarchical décor and standing apostles.

Urnes church is protected according to the Cultural Heritage Act.

Urnes stave church was restored and reopened in 2010.