Rødven Stave Church

Among the finest examples of early Gothic style


6350 Eidsbygda


62.624452732432, 7.4936403278046

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The first church on the site was a wooden stave church that was likely built during the 1100s and it was an annex church that was subordinate to the Old Veøy Church parish. This church stood for nearly 200 years before being torn down and replaced with a new building. The new church was also a wooden stave church. It has a rectangular nave with a rectangular choir on the east end. There is also a small tower on the roof of the nave. It is believed that this new church was built using some of the materials from the old one. The north portal with an ornately carved crucifix was likely reused in the new building from the old 12th century building.

Møre type

Rødven stave church is beautifully located by the Romsdalsfjord among the peaks of the Romsdalsalpane mountains. The church is a stave church of the Møre type, distinguished by the diagonal external supports known as ‘skordene’. From the outside, the stave structure of Rødven stave church is hidden by horizontal boarding. The decoration inside on the ceiling is faded and makes a muted, atmospheric impression.

Early Gothic style

As it stands today, the church comprises parts from several periods. Originally, the stave church was a simple long church with a rectangular nave and somewhat narrower chancel. The remains of the south portal, which features twisted stalks ending in folded leaves, is unique among surviving stave church portals and can probably be dated to the first half of the 12th century.

On the northern side of the church you’ll find a triumphal cross, dated to between 1250 and 1275, with a life-sized crucified Christ. This is one of Norway’s finest examples of early Gothic style.

The church is owned by the National Trust of Norway since 1907.

Source: The National Trust of Norway

In the area

If you are in the area, also make sure to ride the Scenic Route Atlantic Road, and if gravel is your thing, ride Aursjøvegen. You are not too far away from Kvernes Stave Church or the Scenic Route Gairanger – Trollstigen either.

YouTube video by Liv Karin Lange

Other locations in this part of Norway:

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