Gol Stave Church

Moved to King Oscar II's private museum


Norsk Folkemuseum, Oslo


59.9080351, 10.6833794

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You can admire the medieval Gol Stave Church at Norsk Folkemuseum (Norwegian Museum of Cultural History) at Bygdøy in Oslo.

The church, originally built in Gol, dates to the 2nd half of the 12th century. In 1880, six hundred years later, plans for a new church implied that the old one had to go…

Nearly demolished

Shockingly, the plan was to demolish it, but the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Norwegian Monuments, bought the materials. Original murals and medieval artefacts survived. Most of the main construction remained intact and in original form. However, practically all the exterior dates from the 1884–1885 restoration.

King Oscar II relocated Gol stave church

The King paid for its re-erection at Bygdøy in 1884. In line with the general enthusiasm for the Middle Ages, the church from Gol should get back its original look. King Oscar II relocated the church as the central building in his private open-air museum near Oslo. The king’s open-air museum was the first of its kind in the world.

In 1907, the early open-air museum, was merged with the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, which now manages the stave church. The church, however, is still the property of the reigning monarch.
To see the church, you need to visit the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History at Bygdøy in Oslo.

In the 1980s, a modern replica has been erected in Gol as a tourist attraction in a theme park in central Gol. This replica is located some distance from the original site of the medieval church. There is also a replica in the Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot, North Dakota and at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World in Florida.


Other locations in this part of Norway:

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