World Heritage Photos

Urnes Stave Church

Urnes Stave Church: A stave church has been built three times on the same site at Urnes, a hundred years would pass between the first and the third, the present Urnes Stave Church. Similar churches were built elsewhere in Europe, but only the Norwegian stave churches have survived.  In the Middle Ages, there were probably more than 1000 stave churches in Norway, nowadays only 28 remain. The Undredal Stave Church is the smallest stave church in Norway. The Urnes Stave Church is the oldest and most decorated stave church. The Urnes Stave Church is located in Luster in the magnificent natural setting along the Lustrafjord, a side arm of the Sognefjord. The stave churches are named after their load bearing wooden posts, the so-called staves, in the wall construction. The staves are placed in the corners and are the important connecting points for the vertical wall planks. The Urnes Stave Church gained the status as an UNESCO World Heritage in 1979.

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Urnes Stave Church - The Urnes Stave Church is located in the small village of Ornes in the municipality of Luster in the magnificent natural setting along the...

The Urnes Stave Church is located in the small village of Ornes in the municipality of Luster in the magnificent natural setting along the wonderful green tinted waters of the Lustrafjord, a side arm of the Sognefjord, the longest and deepest fjord in Norway. Urnes Stave Church is the oldest Stave Church in Norway. Stave Churches are a valuable part of the architectural heritage of Norway. Urnes Stave Church was declared an UNESCO World Heritage in 1979.

  1. Urnes Stave Church - The Urnes Stave Church is located in the small village of Ornes in the municipality of Luster in the magnificent natural setting along the...

    The Urnes Stave Church is located in the small village of Ornes in the municipality of Luster in the magnificent natural setting along the wonderful green tinted waters of the Lustrafjord, a side arm of the Sognefjord, the longest and deepest fjord in Norway. Urnes Stave Church is the oldest Stave Church in Norway. Stave Churches are a valuable part of the architectural heritage of Norway. Urnes Stave Church was declared an UNESCO World Heritage in 1979.

  2. Urnes Stave Church - Urnes Stave Church: A stave church has been built three times on the same site in Urnes, a hundred years would pass between the first and...

    Urnes Stave Church: A stave church has been built three times on the same site in Urnes, a hundred years would pass between the first and third, the present Urnes Stave Church. The timber was felled in the period 1129-1130. Similar churches were built elsewhere in Europe, but only the Norwegian stave churches have survived. There were probably more than a thousand stave churches in Norway, nowadays, only twenty-eight remain.

  3. Urnes Stave Church - Urnes Stave Church: Stave churches are named after their load bearing wooden posts, the staves, in the wall construction. The staves are the...

    Urnes Stave Church: Stave churches are named after their load bearing wooden posts, the staves, in the wall construction. The staves are the important connecting points for the vertical wall planks. There are several types of stave churches in Norway, but the common element to all of the churches is that they have the so named 'staves' and the framework of timber with wall planks on sills.

  4. Urnes Stave Church - Urnes Stave Church: A detail of the decorations on the northern outside wall of the church. The unique Urnes style has its name...

    Urnes Stave Church: A detail of the decorations on the northern outside wall of the church. The unique Urnes style has its name from the Urnes Stave Church: stylized animals in battle, the use of enclosures in the compositions, contrasts between broad and narrow lines and the flowing outlines in the motives. The carved decorations often are a combination of Christian motifs and pre-Christian Viking art with animals and dragons.

  5. Urnes Stave Church - Urnes Stave Church: The original decorated sections of an earlier church on the same location consists of the wall planks and an elaborately...

    Urnes Stave Church: The original decorated sections of an earlier church on the same location consists of the wall planks and an elaborately carved gateway. The Urnes Stave Church is the oldest and most decorated of the twenty-eight remaining stave churches in Norway. Most of the remaining stave churches were built between the 12th century and the 14th century. The Urnes Stave Church gained the status as an UNESCO World Heritage in 1979.

  6. Urnes Stave Church - Urnes Stave Church: On the northern wall original decorated sections from an earlier church have been used, probably parts of the portal, wall...

    Urnes Stave Church: On the northern wall original decorated sections from an earlier church have been used, probably parts of the portal, wall planks and a corner post. In the field on the lower left there is a lion with characteristic mane. Over and around the lion there is a network of snakes and ring shaped animals. It is possible that the decorations of the earlier stave church depict scenes from Norse mythology, or the eternal fight between good and evil.

  7. Urnes Stave Church - Urnes Stave Church: The interior of the church is exceptionally richly decorated with motifs, such as doves, centaurs and dragons, this...

    Urnes Stave Church: The interior of the church is exceptionally richly decorated with motifs, such as doves, centaurs and dragons, this decoration has become known as the Urnes style. Stave Churches are major examples of the wooden medieval architecture in Europe and are also a valuable part of the architectural heritage of Norway. The use of cameras is not allowed inside the Urnes Stave Church.

  8. Urnes Stave Church - The Urnes Stave Church is surrounded by the magnificent nature of Norway, situated in the breathtaking natural setting along the...

    The Urnes Stave Church is surrounded by the magnificent nature of Norway, situated in the breathtaking natural setting along the Lustrafjord in Norway. The Urnes Stave Church was once the private church of a powerful high-born family. In the Medieval, Norway had a tradition for using wood in constructions and art work. The Urnes Stave Church is an unique example of this technique. The Urnes Stave Church was declared an UNESCO World Heritage in 1979.