Gol Stave Church – Oslo, Norway - Atlas Obscura

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Gol Stave Church

The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

This handsomely carved wooden church is more than 800 years old.  


One of the highlights of Oslo’s Norsk Folkemuseum, or Norwegian Museum of Cultural, is a collection of 160 historic buildings relocated from around the country. The crown jewel is the collection of King Oscar II, considered by many to be the world’s first open-air museum. First set up at the monarch’s summer residence in 1881, the original five buildings included a 16th-century farmhouse and a 12th-century storehouse.

Most impressive of all is the Stave Church from Gol, a magnificent wooden cathedral first built around 1200 and partially rebuilt and restored in 1880. Intricate carvings cover the richly detailed interior.

Although the church was once filled with brightly painted statues of Catholic saints, today all that remains are the places where the figures once stood and occasional cryptic runes. The nave of the church still reads “Kiss me, because I struggle,” possibly in reference to one of the lost sculptures.


Know Before You Go

A ticket to them museum is required for entrance. 

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August 3, 2023

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