Borgund Stave Church (Bokmål: Borgund stavkirke, Nynorsk: Borgund stavkyrkje) is a stave church located in Borgund, Lærdal,Norway. It is classified as a triple nave stave church of the so-called Sogn-type. This is also the best preserved of Norway’s 28 extant stave churches.
Borgund was built sometime between AD 1180 and 1250 with later additions and restorations. Its walls are formed by vertical wooden boards, or staves, hence the name stave church. The 4 corner posts were connected to one another by ground sills, resting atop a stone foundation.1 The rest of the staves then rise from the ground sills, each stave notched and grooved along the sides so that they lock into one another, forming a sturdy wall.2
Roof detail of stave church
Door detail from Hededalen stave church, Valdres, Norway
The church was originally built in Fortun in Sogn, a village near inner or eastern end of Sognefjord around the year 1150. In the 19th century the church was threatened by demolition, as were hundreds of other stave churches in Norway. The church was bought by consul Fredrik Georg Gade and saved by moving it in pieces to Fantoft near (now in) Bergen in 1883.
The church is a triple nave stave church and is Norway’s largest stave church. It was constructed at the beginning of the 13th century. After the reformation the church was in a very poor condition, and a restoration took place during 1849 – 1851. However, because those who did it didn’t have the necessary knowledge and skills, yet another restoration was necessary in the 1950’s. The interior is marked by the period after the Lutheran Reformation in 1536/1537 and is for a great part a result of the restoration that took place in the 1950’s.
What is known is that five peasants together with Sira Eilif built the church