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Heddal stave church, Notodden

4.7
#1 of 12 in Sightseeing in Telemark
Church Tourist Spot
Heddal stave church is a stave church located at Heddal in Notodden municipality, Norway.The church is a triple nave stave church and is Norway's largest stave church. It was constructed at the beginning of the 13th century. After the reformation, the church was in a very poor condition, and a restoration took place during 1849–1851. However, because the restorers lacked the necessary knowledge and skills, yet another restoration was necessary in the 1950s. The interior is marked by the period after the Lutheran Reformation in 1536–1537 and is for a great part a result of the restoration that took place in the 1950s.LegendThere is a legend telling about the erection of the church and how it was built in three days.Five farmers (Raud Rygi, Stebbe Straand, Kjeik Sem, Grut Grene and Vrang Stivi) from Heddal had made plans for a church, and they decided to have it built. This is how it happened:One day, Raud Rygi (one of the five men) met a stranger who was willing to build the church. However, the stranger, set three conditions for doing the job, one of which must be fulfilled before the church was finished:Raud had three options: fetch the sun and the moon from the sky, forfeit his life-blood, or guess the name of the stranger. Raud thought the last would not prove too difficult, so he agreed to the termsBut time began to run out. All of the building materials had arrived during the first night, and remarkably, the spire was built during the second. It became clear to Raud that the church would be finished on the third day.Down at heart and fearing for his life, Raud took a walk around in the fields trying to figure out what the stranger's name could be. Still wandering about he had unconsciously arrived at Svintruberget (a rocky hill southeast of the church site) when he suddenly heard a strange but most beautiful and clearly audible female song:
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127 reviews
Google
4.7
  • This is a must see in this beautiful central southern area of Norway. All wooden construction and carefully preserved authenticity makes this a delightful stop on your journey through rural Norway. I ...  more »
  • I was on a business trip and found this hidden gem back in the royal and isolated country side. This church was amazing. I spent an hour here looking around, admiring the landscape and workmanship of ...  more »
  • This incredible Stave Church was built in the 1200's and you can't help but be impressed by the crafstmanship that was required, not only because of the intricate piecing together of the all timber bu...  more »
Google
  • A nice preserved ancient masterpiece and a kind interpreter willing to explain to visitors whatever he knows the knowledge about it.
  • Not much to see if you pay the entrance fee to get inside.
  • Fantastic church, knowledgeable guide, friendly employees in the café!
  • A must-see in Norway! Beautiful church on a gorgeous place about 1.5 hours from Oslo. Free.
  • One of the jewel of Norway. For me only comparable with Borgund Stavkirke. I have seen it 5 or 6 times, and always with some emotion even if I am no religious person.