Going to Stave church? Get answers from our friendly locals
A Stave Church is a medieval wooden church with a post and beam construction related to timber framing. The wall frames are filled with vertical planks. The load-bearing posts (stafr in Old Norse, stav in Norwegian) have lent their name to the building technique. Related church types are post churches and churches with palisade walls. All of the surviving stave churches except one are in Norway, but related church types were once common all over northwestern Europe. The only remaining medieval stave churches outside Norway are one dating to approximately 1500 located at Hedared in Sweden and one Norwegian stave church that was relocated in 1842 to the outskirts of KrummhA¼bel, Germany, now Karpacz in the Krkonoe mountains of Poland.
One other church, the Anglo-Saxon Greensted Church in England, has many similarities but is not universally regarded as a stave church. Archaeological excavations have shown that stave churches, best represented today by the Borgund stave church, descend from palisade constructions and later churches with earth-bound posts. Similar palisade constructions are known from buildings from the Viking era. Logs were split in two halves, rammed into the ground, and given a roof. This was a simple form of construction but very strong. If set in gravel, the wall could last for decades, even centuries. Remains of buildings of this type are found over much of Europe. An archaeological excavation in Lund uncovered the post holes of several such churches.