10th-century missionaries to Norway concerned themselves with establishing chapels, churches and other ecclesiastical centers. Thus far, archaeological exploration has revealed traces of wooden churches with embedded posts. Some of these early wooden churches disappeared due to neglect as well as fire and other natural disasters, but the rest were replaced by new construction. Nevertheless, 28 of the stave churches built after the year 1100 still survive. This website presents information and research materials illuminating the medieval stave church from several perspectives: the architectural, from the carpenter’s point of view; the ecclesiastical, from the fervent Christian bishop’s point of view; and the secular, from the socially oriented patron’s point of view.
Jorgen H. Jensenius, Arch., Dr.ing. specializes in surveying and researching medieval wooden churches. His credentials include a life-long employment with the Central Office of Historic Monuments and Sites, and the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research in Oslo.