Ringebu Stave Church

Situated along Gudbrandsdalsleden
Gudbrandsdalsmusea AS
The spectacular Stave Church in Ringebu is among the largest in the country



Summer 2023 9-17


On the trail

In the years following the christianization of Norway, from the year 1000 and onwards, approximately 1000 stave churches were built in Norway. These were built throughout the Middle Ages until 1537.

Ringebu Stave Church was built around 1220 and is one of 28 remaining stave churches in Norway. In 1630, after the Lutheran Reformation, the church was rebuilt. The characteristic red tower was completed in 1631. During the rebuilding the old transept, the gallery and apse was removed. The ceiling was also lowered. The church was painted for the first time in 1717 and was at one point completely white. In 1921 the church was renovated and the original colors were brought back.

During archeaological excavations in the period 1980-81 many remnants were found, especially many Norwegian and English coins from the Middle Ages. The excavations also showed that the stave church was built upon the same land as another church stood during the 12th century. Remnants of coffins also showed that several people were buried beneath the church, among others Baroness Sophie Amalie Rosenkrantz from the Barony of Rosendal and the German Lieutenant Colonel Poul Friedrich Von Dresky from Opland Regiment.

Photo: Sean Hayford O'Leary / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.0

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