Museumsvegen 9, 3891 Høydalsmo, Norge
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Eidsborg Stave Church (Eidsborg stavkyrkje) is a parish church in Tokke Municipality in Vestfold og Telemark county. It is located in the village of Eidsborg. The brown, wooden stave church was built in a long church design around the year 1250 using plans drawn up by an unknown architect. The church seats about 70 people.
Eidsborg Stave Church is one of the best preserved Norwegian stave churches. The church is located next to the Vest-Telemark Museum. The church is still in use as a parish church, but it is a popular tourist site as well.
The earliest existing historical records of the church date back to the year 1354, but the church was not built that year. The wooden church is estimated to have been built between 1250 and 1300, but it has been remodeled a number of times over the years. To begin with, it was a relatively simple long church with a narrower choir. Charred remains of wood under the existing church indicate that there was a building on the site earlier, but nothing is known about that.
In the 1600s, the inner walls of the church were decorated with murals. Later, in the 1700s, a tower was built on top of the roof over the nave. In 1826, the old choir was torn down and the church was extended to the east with a new choir. In 1845, a new timber-framed choir was built to the east of the newly extended church and the choir area from 1826 was incorporated into the nave.
At the same time, the church was paneled on the inside and got new interior furniture. In the 1920s, there was a restoration where the interior paneling and the relatively new false ceiling were removed. Also, the 17th century wall murals were uncovered and restored in color and some of the ornaments from the Renaissance were uncovered. In the 2000s, the roof structure was repaired.
The church is dedicated to the traveler’s patron, St. Nicholas of Bari. In the church there was a painted sculpture of St. Nicholas from the middle of the 12th century. According to a legend, every midsummer night she was carried to a nearby pond and immersed there. Today this sculpture is in the collection of the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo. A copy of the sculpture is on display in the stave church.
What else to see?
If you are in the area, make sure to ride down the hairpin road towards Dalen. Dalen is the end-station for the Telemark Canal and you should take a selfie of yourself and the bike in front of the old, wooden Dalen Hotel.EIDSBORG WEATHER