Fantoft Stave Church

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Fantoft stave church
1873 photo of the Fantoft stave church before it was moved to Bergen.

Fantoft Stave Church (Norwegian: Fantoft stavkyrkje) is a reconstructed stave church in the Fana borough of the city of Bergen, Norway.


The church was originally built in Fortun in Sogn, a village near inner or eastern end of Sognefjord around the year 1150. In the 19th century the church was threatened by demolition, as were hundreds of other stave churches in Norway. The church was bought by consul Fredrik Georg Gade and saved by moving it in pieces to Fantoft near (now in) Bergen in 1883. Outside the church stands a stone cross from Tjora in Sola.

On 6 June 1992, the church was destroyed by arson; the first in a string of church burnings by members of the early Norwegian black metal scene. At first, the fire was thought to have been caused by lightning or an electrical failure. In 1994, Varg Vikernes of the one-man band Burzum was found guilty of burning Åsane Church and Storetveit Church in Bergen, the burning of Skjold Church in Vindafjord, and the burning of Holmenkollen Chapel in Oslo. He was also charged with the burning of Fantoft stave church, although the jurors voted not guilty. The judges called this an error but did not overthrow the whole case. A photograph of the church's burnt shell appears on the cover of the 1993 Burzum EP Aske (Norwegian for "ashes").[1] Vikernes, an advocate of white nationalism and Neo-völkisch movements, said that the church was burnt down as retaliation for building a church on pagan grounds.

Reconstruction of the church began soon after the fire and was completed in 1997.



  1. ^ Campion, Chris (2005-02-20). "In the face of death". The Observer. Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2007-10-06. 

Coordinates: 60°20′21″N 5°21′12″E / 60.33917°N 5.35333°E / 60.33917; 5.35333