Borgund Stave Church is Norway's most visited stave church. Built around 1180 and dedicated to the Apostle Andrew. The church is exceptionally well preserved and is the most distinctive stave church in Norway. Some of its finest features are the lavishly carved portals and the crosses and carvings of dragon’s heads on the roofs.
Adjacent you'll find a modern visitor centre with exhibits on the stave church’s influence on everyday medieval life in Norway, along with other stave churches and Viking artefacts. Several interesting walks also start near the church.
The architecture of the stave church
Borgund is built on a basilica plan, with reduced side aisles, and an added chancel and apse. The medieval belfry close by is the only one of its kind left in Norway.
The eye-catching exterior architecture is known throughout the world. It has tiered, overhanging roofs, topped with a tower. The steep roof is boarded horizontally and clad with shingles, although originally it would have just been weatherproofed with boards.
The building is very interesting architecturally and has been described as a “cube within a cube”, with each being independent of one another. The inner structure supports the roof by way of continuous columns that rise from ground level.
The roof is notable for its four dragon heads, reminiscent of those from old Viking longships. These heads are believed to be only around 250 years old and although its not known if the original church had these features, several other stave churches did so there is a good possibility.
Borgund stave church interior
Following on from that point, one of the reasons this is known as one of Norway's most intriguing stave churches is because of the number of runic inscriptions that show pagan beliefs were very much alive.
According to lifeinnorway.net