Uvdal Stave Church
|Uvdal Stave Church|
Uvdal Stave Church is situated at Uvdal in Nore and Uvdal municipality, which is in the valley Numedal in Norway. The stave church was originally constructed just after the year 1168, which we know through dendrochronological dating of the pine used in the construction. The logs were not completely dry when the construction took place.
An archeological excavation that took place during 1978 showed that the church was built on the remains of a previous church. It is thought to have been made with the use of imbedded corner column technology at the beginning of the 11th century.
Churches made during the 12th century were usually very small, often no more than 40 square meters, and were therefore often expanded, even during the Middle Ages and certainly just before and after the Reformation, which took place during 1537 in Norway.
The nave of the church was first expanded to the west during the Middle Ages, when the original apse of the chancel was also removed and the chancel itself elongated. Again, during that period, an extra center column was added. The chancel was torn down again in 1684, when a new and wider chancel was made, with the same width as the nave. Then, during the period 1721–1723, the church was made into a cruciform. A new ridge turret had to be made, to fit the new shape. Later, in 1819, a new vestry was added to the north wall of the chancel.
The exterior walls were panelled in 1760.
Benches with ornately decorated sidewalls were added to the nave in 1624. The oldest part of the interior was probably richly ornately decorated by painting during 1656, the expansions during 1684 and 1723. Two scary halfmasks are quite visible on the poles of the chancel, and according to myth they were able to capture demons.
The church survives today as museum piece, owned by Fortidsminneforeningen, which also happens to own several other stave churches that survive. The church was taken out of use in 1893, but services still take place during the summer season. It is forbidden to take pictures or shoot video of the interior, but in the late nineties the local internet site Numedalsnett was allowed to shoot a short interior video with minimum equipment and lightning. The video clip is available on YouTube.
- Uvdal Stave Church (Riksantikvaren)
- Uvdal Stave Church (Fortidsminneforeningen) in Norwegian]
- Uvdal Stave Church - interior shots (video) on Youtube
- Uvdal Stave Church in a video about stave churches in Numedal — in English
- Official dating by Riksantikvaren (Directorate of Cultural Heritage in Norway)
- Riksantikvaren, under the guidance of H. Christie og PhD. J. H. Jensenius