Sverreborg, Trøndelag Folkemuseum
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Haltdalen Stave Church ( Haltdalen stavkyrkje) is a stave church with an interesting story. It was originally built in the 1170s in the village of Haltdalen. This is in mid Norway in the municipality of Holtålen in Trøndelag county. The church is now on display at the Sverresborg, Trøndelag Open Air Museum in the city of Trondheim, but has been moved three (!) times. It is a single-nave stave church of the east Scandinavian-style. This style is considered the “original Norwegian stave church” – hence two replicas are made. But still this is the only original that is preserved…
The original church
The church originated in Haltdalen, where it served as the parish The church was moved to the Science Museum in Trondheim during the 1880s. The church was relocated to the Sverresborg Trøndelag Folkemuseum in 1937. Finally it was moved one last time within the Sverreborg Museum in the end of the 1949s. Due to its multiple disassembles, it has been subject to repeated repairs over the years. Significant portions of the existing building are original parts that have been preserved for over 800 years. Smaller sections of the building have been rebuilt using newer materials.
The majority of the building comes from the old Haltdalen Church in Haltdalen. That church had been expanded over its history and when the old church was moved to Trondheim. The “new” additions was not kept and the building was restored to its medieval look. This meant that the entire western wall of the building and the western portal needed to be replaced because they were taken down during one of the church additions. Rather than rebuilding from new on that part of the church, the western wall and the portal from the old Ålen stave church were used. That church was torn down around the same time and they were both similar in age and design.
Replica on Iceland – and in Haltdalen
The church has two replicas; one in Haltdalen at its original location, and one on Island.
In commemoration of the one thousandth anniversary of the conversion of Iceland to Christianity, the Norwegian state presented Iceland with a replica of the Haltdalen church, which was erected by the harbour of Vestmannaeyjabær in the Vestmannaeyjar. The church was constructed at Lom from materials deliberately drawn widely from around Norway. This included timber from Røros, shingles from Odalen, tar from Skjåk, wrought iron from Vågå, and a doorstep from Holtålen.