Røldal Stave Church

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Røldal Stave Church
Røldal stavkyrkje
Staafkerk Røldal.jpg
View of the church
Røldal Stave Church is located in Hordaland
Røldal Stave Church
Røldal Stave Church
Location in Hordaland county
Røldal Stave Church is located in Norway
Røldal Stave Church
Røldal Stave Church
Location in Hordaland county
59°49′51″N 6°49′22″E / 59.8308°N 6.8227°E / 59.8308; 6.8227Coordinates: 59°49′51″N 6°49′22″E / 59.8308°N 6.8227°E / 59.8308; 6.8227
Location Odda, Hordaland
Country Norway
Denomination Church of Norway
Churchmanship Evangelical Lutheran
Status Parish church
Functional status Active
Architect(s) Unknown
Completed c. 1250
Capacity 130
Materials Wood
Parish Røldal
Deanery Hardanger og Voss prosti
Diocese Diocese of Bjørgvin
Røldal Stave Church
Type Church
Status Automatically protected
County Hordaland
Municipality Odda
Year built 13th century
ID 85335

Røldal Stave Church (Norwegian: Røldal stavkyrkje) is a stave church in Odda municipality in Hordaland county, Norway. It is located in the village of Røldal. The church is part of the Røldal parish in the Hardanger og Voss deanery in the Diocese of Bjørgvin. The church is a preserved historic museum, but it is still a regularly-used parish church that holds regularly scheduled worship services twice a month.[1][2][3]


The estimated age of the Church is generally dated to between 1200-1250. A baptismal font in the church is dated to between 1200 and 1250. A crucifix in the church dates from about 1250. The altarpiece by German painter Gottfried Hendtzchell from Wroclaw in Silesia dates to 1629.

The Church has a rectangular-shaped nave and chancel. The baptismal font is of soapstone and dated 1200-1300 century. The Bergen Museum holds a variety of building components and other artifacts from the medieval church. These include altar frontal and wooden sculptures of St. Olaf from about 1250, of the Virgin Mary with child from about 1250, and the Archangel Michael, dated about 1200. In the Middle Ages, Røldal Church received large donations from many of pilgrims who flocked to the church. As a result, the small village where the church is located, became quite prosperous. In the 17th century the walls inside the church were richly decorated with paintings.[4]

During reconstruction of the church in 1844, some of the history of the church was uncovered. This led to an investigation to determine how the church was built. The resulting belief is that Røldal Stave Church was quite different from other stave churches. Some controversy developed about whether this is in fact a stave church or rather an example of the assumed predecessor type, a post church.

From 1913 to 1918, the church underwent an extensive renovation and restoration. Paneling from the 19th century was removed and the Renaissance interior was restored. A new gallery was also built around the church to protect the wall tables. The church reconstruction was led by Norwegian architect Jens Zetlitz Monrad Kielland (1866–1926), and the color restoration was performed by Norwegian painter Domenico Erdmann (1879–1940), who was assisted by Norwegian painter Alfred Obert Hagn (1882–1958), and Danish-Norwegian artist Ulrik Hendriksen (1891–1960).[3][5][6]



  1. ^ "Røldal stavkyrkje". Kirkesøk: Kirkebyggdatabasen. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  2. ^ "Oversikt over Nåværende Kirker" (in Norwegian). KirkeKonsulenten.no. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  3. ^ a b Store norske leksikon. "Røldal stavkirke" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2014-06-06.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "snl" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  4. ^ "Røldal stave church" (in Norwegian). Stavkirke.info. Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  5. ^ Store norske leksikon. "Domenico Juul Erdmann" (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2014-06-06. 
  6. ^ Jensenius, Jørgen H. (1998). "Røldal, Stavkirke Eller...?". Viking. LXI: 131–145. 

Other sources[edit]

  • Bugge, Gunnar (1983). Stavkirker. Oslo: Dreyers Forlag. ISBN 82-504-2072-1. 
  • Hagn, Alfred (1916). Skildrerier. Kristiania. 
  • Rønningen, G (1990). Kirketårn og takryttere fra 1621 til 1802 i Hamar. Oslo: University of Oslo. 

External links[edit]