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.
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.
- Bugge Gunnar. Stavkirker, Stave Churches in Norway (Dreyers Forlag. Oslo: 1983) ISBN 82-504-2072-1
- Dietrichson, Lorentz. De Norske Stavkirker: Studier Over Deres System, Oprindelse Og Historiske Udvikling (Kristiania: 1892) New edition: (Gregg Publishing; September 1971) ISBN 0-576-19100-0
- Rønningen, G. Kirketårn og takryttere fra 1621 til 1802 i Hamar (University of Oslo, 1990)
- Vågå stave church in Stavkirke.org Norwegian