Before and after in Borgund, Sogn og Fjordane, Norway. 2011

I find the old stave churches in Norway fascinating and I was saddened when I read that many were pulled down in the 17th and 18th centuries as communities became financially able to build what they thought was better. As a matter of fact most of the stave churches that are left standing, are in what used to be the poorest areas of Norway.


The stave church in Borgund (built at the end of the 12th century) is one of the most spectacular examples left, but after seeing the dark, cramped and cold interior it’s not hard to understand why the locals, who had to use such churches, didn’t feel so sentimentally attached to keeping them, and  built new churches as soon as they could afford to do so.


Whilst the exteriors of the new churches (such as the one at Borgund built in 1866 right next to the old church) aren’t as fantastically striking as the stave churches, their interiors that may be considered by some to still be a bit Spartan still have their own charm that is much more comfortable to be in.


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