Flesberg Stave Church

Still in active service after 900 years


Fv40 37, 3620 Flesberg


59.8628886, 9.4330662

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Flesberg Stave Church (Flesberg stavkyrkje) is dating back to approximately 1150-1200. Written sources mention the church the first time in 1359, but it was probably built in the latter half of the 1100s.

The church is known for its interior decorations. Church services are still held in the church in summer, and is also used as a concert venue.

Transformed in the 1700s

The church was originally a single nave church with four free-standing internal posts bearing a raised central roof, surrounded by an ambulatory or aisles on all four sides. It had a narrower chancel, also with a raised central roof, and a semicircular apse. It was surrounded by a gallery loosely connected to the plank walls.

In 1735, the chancel and apse, as well as the east wall of the nave, were removed. The nave was extended eastwards and two transepts were added, making a cruciform plan. The additions were built in horizontal log construction with notched corners. Portal planks are decorated with carved vines and animal ornamentation. Since few parts of the stave church are preserved, there are only scant remnants of its original decor. Of the original stave church, only three outer walls survived, as the internal posts and the raised roof were eliminated.

Slate fence from Haukeli

The churchyard is fenced with slates brought from Haukeli farm on the west bank of the Lågen River. Some slates have iron rings affixed; these rings were used to tether horses during service. Each farmer had a designated ring for his horse (the oldest dated ring from 1661). The idiosyncratic stone fence is shown on a 1701 painting (the oldest existing painting of a stave church).

The interior of the church is characterized by the reconstruction of 1735. There are a few remains of medieval furnishings. There is a decorated lion and a lion head that also originates in the Middle Ages. Underneath the whitewashed walls, decorative paintings from the Middle Ages were uncovered.

Source: Wikipedia

Great road

Flesberg stave church is one of four (!) stave churches you ca admire along Road 40. The road is a fantastic ride through Numedalen and I would easily recommend the road even if the churches was not there! It is less traffic than on Road 7 going the same direction, so why not try something new next time. The other churches on this stretch, is Rollag, Nore and Uvdal stave churces.


Other locations in this part of Norway:

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