Røldal stave church

Røldal stave church (Røldal stavkyrkje) is a stave church at Røldal in Odda municipality, Hardanger, Norway.


The estimated age of the Church is generally dated to between 1200-1250. A baptismal font in the church is dated to between 1200 and 1250. A crucifix in the church dates from about 1250. The altarpiece by German painter Gottfried Hendtzchell from Wroclaw in Silesia dates to 1629.

Røldal stave church received generous gifts from many of the pilgrims who visited it, and as a result the little village acquired wealth during the Middle Ages. The Church has a rectangular-shaped nave and chancel. The baptismal font is of soapstone and dated 1200-1300 century. In the 17th century the interior was richly decorated with wall paintings.

Bergen Museum holds a variety of building components and other artifacts from the medieval church. These include alter frontal and wooden sculptures of St. Olaf from about 1250, of the Virgin Mary with child from about 1250, and the Archangel Michael, dated about 1200. In the Middle Ages, Røldal church received large donations from many of pilgrims who flocked to the church. As a result, the small village where the church is located, became quite prosperous. In the 17th century the walls inside the church were richly decorated with paintings.

During reconstruction of the church in 1844, some of the history of the church was uncovered. This led to an investigation to determine how the church was built. The resulting belief is that Røldal stave church was quite different from other stave churches. Some controversy developed about whether this is in fact a stave church or rather an older type of church architecture which is generally assumed to have been replaced by stave churches.

During the period 1913-1918, the church underwent an extensive church renovation and restoration. Paneling from the 19th century were removed and Renaissance interior restored. A new gallery around the church was also built to protect the wall tables. The church reconstruction was led by Norwegian architect Jens Zetlitz Monrad Kielland (1866–1926), while the color restoration was performed by Norwegian painter Domenico Juul Erdmann (1879–1940), who was assisted by Norwegian painter Alfred Obert Hagn (1882–1958), and Danish-Norwegian artist Adolph Ulrik Hendriksen (1891–1960).

Other sources
  • Bugge, Gunnar Stavkirker (Dreyers Forlag. Oslo: 1983) ISBN 82-504-2072-1
  • Hagn, Alfred, Skildrerier (Kristiania: 1916)
  • Rønningen, G. Kirketårn og takryttere fra 1621 til 1802 i Hamar (University of Oslo, 1990)

Building Activity

  • removed a media
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com