Vågå Church

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Vågå Stave Church
Vågå Stave Church

Vågå Church (Norwegian: Vågå kyrkje) is a historic stave church located in Vågå in Oppland county, Norway. [1]


Vågå Stave Church, which was constructed around 1150, is one of the older stave churches in Norway. It was originally dedicated to St. Peter. The prior rectory was formerly called Ullinsyn. The older name of the site may show that even in pagan times, the location had been in use for worship.

The church was converted to a cruciform church in 1626–28. Only the carved portals and decorative wall planks survived from the original stave church. It was a half-timbered building, where the church materials are reused. The basic architectural plan is a Latin cross. Above the crossing is a turret with a high tower helmet and four small side towers, a legacy from the Gothic tower architecture.

The conversion was under the direction of Werner Olsen (ca. 1600–1682), who was also known as Werner Olsen Skurdal after the last of his residence. He was noted as a church and tower builder. He later worked on remodels to Lom Stave Church and Ringebu Stave Church.[2]

The crucifix at Vågå church is early Gothic work, dating from the mid 13th century. The pulpit dates from the completion of the church in the 1630s. The sacristy, constructed of shaped logs, was built later on in the 1660s. The altar piece is from 1674 and the altar rail dates from 1758.[3]

Jo Gjende, who was born in Vågå, was buried in Vågå churchyard. On his grave is a small soapstone monument, which shows a wild reindeer herd in flight, after a painting by Gerhard Munthe.[4]



  1. ^ Sigrid Christie, Ola Storsletten, Anne Marta Hoff. "Vang stavkirke". Norges Kirker. Retrieved December 15, 2016.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  2. ^ Werner Olsen (Store norske leksikon)
  3. ^ Vågå church (Nasjonalparkriket)
  4. ^ Jo Gjende (Store norske leksikon)

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Coordinates: 61°52′34″N 9°5′48″E / 61.87611°N 9.09667°E / 61.87611; 9.09667