Kvernes Stave Church

Among the smalles stave churches ever built


Fv247 34, 6530 Averøy


63.0054207, 7.7219405

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Kvernes Stave Church (Kvernes stavkyrkje) is a former parish church of the Church of Norway in Averøy Municipality in Møre og Romsdal county. The old church is located along the Kvernesfjorden, near the village of Kvernes. This is just 50 meters north of the new Kvernes Church, the present church for the parish.


The earliest existing historical records of the church date back to the year 1400, but the stave church was probably built during the early 14th century. The church is a single-nave church of the “Møre”-type. This is characterized by central posts in the external wall and crossbeams. The church was rebuilt in 1633. During this renovation the front door was moved from the nave’s west side to the south side. Also during this renovation, the old choir was torn down and rebuilt in a timber-framed construction rather than the historic stave construction. In 1648, the tower on the roof was repaired. Later, between 1661 and 1663, a church porch was constructed. A sacristy was built around 1689 as well. In 1776, the church was renovated again, and in 1810, the tower on the roof was once more repaired.

The small nave measures only 16 by 7.5 meters (52 by 25 ft). The choir is only 7 by 7.5 meters (23 by 25 ft), making it one of the smallest stave churches in existence.

Election church in 1814

In 1814, this church served as an election church (valgkirke). This means it was a polling station for elections to the 1814 Norwegian Constituent Assembly which wrote the Constitution of Norway. As were more than 300 other parish churches across Norway. This was Norway’s first national elections. Each church parish was a constituency that elected people called “electors” who later met together in each county to elect the representatives for the assembly that was to meet in Eidsvoll later that year.

Serves as museum today

In 1893, the parish built the new Kvernes Church about 50 meters (160 ft) south of the old stave church. The stave church was closed after the new church was consecrated in 1893. A year later, in 1894, the old building was purchased by a group of individuals who donated it as a gift to Society for the Preservation of Ancient Norwegian Monuments. The society has refurbished the building and it is now a museum.

Source: Wikipedia

When in the area, make sure to visit the Scenic Route Atlantic Road and Grip stave church.

YouTube video by Merete Bratsberg Aae

Other locations in this part of Norway:

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