Urnes Stave Church, the only church on UNESCO's World Heritage List, was built around 1130, but the special carvings on the north portal come from an older church.
History of Urnes Stave Church
The church consists of nave and choir with a raised central space. At the entrance there is an open corridor and on the roof over the nave in the west, sits a square roof rider with an octagonal tower helmet. The supporting posts are called staves, and it is this construction with staves attached to a horizontal beam above and a bottom sleeper below, which is the origin of the stave church. The staves in Urnes have richly decorated cube capitals or column heads. The north portal is particularly unique and comes from the former church on the site. The portal has richly decorated sides, with animal ornament in wooden bark, which has given its name to what is called the Urnes style. (Source Fortdisminneforeningen)
Do you want to see the church from the inside in 3D effect? Click here
How do you get to Urnes Stave Church?
Take the ferry from Solvorn with Lustrabaatane, which runs every day to Ornes. Or you can drive via Gaupne, Skjolden and on past Sørheim and Feigefossen until you reach Ornes. Park the car in the car park just above the ferry quay, and walk up the hills in beautiful countryside to the church.
When is Urnes Stave Church open?
Urnes Stave Church is open for visits in the period 02 May to 30 September between 10:30 – 17:45 every day. All children who come to Urnes are given the booklet "Urnes lion and bat with super protective powers" together with a finger puppet of Fortimus - the Fortidsminneforeinga's children's mascot, which originates from Urnes stave church.