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“Believe it or not!”

Borgund Stave Church
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
231 reviews
88 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 278 helpful votes
“Believe it or not!”
Reviewed 23 October 2013

The Borgund Stave Church is unusual to say the least and is nothing like anything I have seen anywhere else in the world. It is situated in a pleasant picturesque valley off the main road and is certainly an interesting piece of architecture.

It claims to be over 800 years old and one must ask how come it is still standing considering that it is made of wood! The community has certainly come together to preserve this magnificent example of an iconic church from a bygone era.

Not being religious did not detract from the thrill of admiring such a structure and I am extremely glad that I saw it. Wonder what it looks like in winter, covered in snow? Must be absolutely beautiful.

Visited October 2013
1 Thank Arthur V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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238 reviews from our community

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English first
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Only in Norway, 28 still standing. This one is the most original.”
Reviewed 22 October 2013

This is one that make flying halfway around the world all worthwhile. 800 years old and still standing, while similar ones around Europe fell. Talk about extreme craftsmanship and ancient architecture wisdom! Not the most spectacular churches in Europe but certainly the most memorable one.

Visited October 2013
Thank Moet_Andy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jamestown, New York
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“This is a "must-see" when in Norway!”
Reviewed 13 October 2013

We went on a Norwegian cruise in June, and one of the main things we had wanted to see while in the country was the Borgund Stave Church. While our ship was in Flåm, we figured out the bus system and made the scenic trip to Borgund, which included a short stop in Lærdal, a picturesque and historic little village, which was fun to walk around in for an hour.

The main attraction of the trip, however, was definitely Borgund. Built in 1180, it's the best preserved wooden stave church in the world, according to the exhibit at the entrance. A free tour of the church is included in the ticket price. The inside of the church is very small, but having the tour was great because it explained many features of the church, it's history, and pointed out many small and easily overlooked details. The inside of the church is extremely dark, and our guide had a flashlight and was able to point out many interesting points inside the church that would have been difficult to spot in the dark. While the church is easily navigated in a matter of minutes if you want to rush in and out, we ended up staying for more than an hour, taking in the details, taking some great photos outside, and going through the exhibit in the adjacent building.

This is also a great place to pick up a souvenir of your Norwegian trip. We were looking for something from Norway (that wasn't made in China) to bring back for a friend, and they had some great locally made items. Plus, the guy working at the register told us all the proceeds go to helping preserve the church (he was also very helpful in teaching us some Norwegian while we were there!)

Depending on how you are traveling through Norway, it may take you a little extra effort to get there, but it is definitely worth the trip!

Visited June 2013
2 Thank Jade882
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
96 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“One of the Best Examples of Stave Churches”
Reviewed 1 October 2013

The Borgund Stave Church is large and one of the best examples of churches of this kind.
It is situated in a small river valley in an open field, which lends to it's impressive demeanor.
the museum is very informative and has many good displays and information.
The inside of the church is impressive in it symmetry and it's simple execution.
Look under the eaves and around the doors for graffiti from the 1800's and earlier.
The bell tower is worth a peek too.

Visited August 2013
Thank LadyAB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
99 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
“Fascinating church in a beautiful setting”
Reviewed 2 September 2013

I have wanted to visit this church for years - ever since I saw a photo of it in a Norway guidebook. On my first visit to Norway in 2009 I visited the Lofoten Islands and did not have enough time to visit the southern part of the country - so I planned to come back and the Borgund Stave Church was top of the list of things I wanted to see in the south.

Well, it's not easy to get to if you don't have a car - even from Bergen, which is less than 300km away. Unfortunately during our stay the major tunnel connecting Bergen with that part of the fjords was closed and the busses were either not running or taking arduous routes over the mountains or across the water - and we had a very hard time finding out how we could get there without renting our own car. At one point we were even told it wasn't possible and given a few other churches we could visit instead! That was not acceptable and thankfully we managed to get there with the help of a man in Aurland - and it was so worth the extra trouble!

The church is in an isolated location - down some winding, narrow roads and past some spectacular scenery. It's amazing to think that it was built in such a remote spot more than 800 years ago! It has also never been burned, which I find amazing as almost every other church (stone or wood) I have visited in Europe has had a brush with fire at some point. And in an area with so much rainfall, it is remarkable that an entirely wooden structure is so well preserved. Part of that is due to it being built on stone foundations and part of it is due to the wood tar that has, presumably, been regularly and liberally applied throughout it's life - and which seemed to have been recently used as the church was black, rather than the brown I was expecting! The smell is quite evocative and combined with the little, carved doorways and poorly lit, spartan interior, you can imagine all sorts of scenes from the distant past. The mix of Catholic and Norse architecture and imagery is charming and unique - and gives the church an otherworldly air. It's all quite wonderful for photography, of course, even on the rather dim afternoon we had there.

We didn't stay for long, unfortunately, so we only had a short time in the excellent little museum and cafe and we didn't discover the supposedly great hiking trails in the vicinity - but it was well worth the trip from Bergen and is one of the most memorable churches I have ever visited. Magical.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Erica H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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