St Olaf's Stave Church Balestrand, Norway

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This is the "Stave Church", St Olaf's Church, in Balestrand, Norway where I recorded Bjørg Bjøberg performing the wedding song that you can listen to on the Family History main page. She perfoms this song for traditional Norwegian weddings in this very church. St Olaf's church was built in 1897 after the style of a medieval Norwegian stave-church. It was the idea of Margaret Sophia Green Kvikne, wife of Knut Kvikne and the daughter of an English clergyman. She began raising money to build a church for English-speaking visitors, but died before her dream came true. Clergy from England conduct services in this church every Sunday during the summer. St Olaf's is now the responsibility of the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe whose hearquarters are in London and which cares for the Church of England chaplaincies in mainland Europe.

St Olaf's church is not a true Stave Church. True Stave Churches were built after the end of the 'Viking period' which was between 789AD - 1100AD. Christian missionaries came to Scandinavia roughly from 1050AD to 1350AD (1350AD was the time of the Plauge in Europe & Norway) to convert the non-christian folks who at that time had 290 Norse Gods and Dieties. Post Churches then Stave Churches were built during this time.

Last updated: June 11, 2007
Copyright © 2007 Ron Madson
El Granada, California
email: Ron Madson