Norway’s oldest stave church

The ground under the Urnes stave church is sinking, and this national treasure in Sognefjord has begun to sink at its northern end. Researchers from NTNU worked in the summer of 2008 to determine how the church can be lifted and stabilized without being ruined. At the same time, dendrochronologist Terje Thun took tree ring samples from the oldest wood. The samples confirm that the church was erected over a longer period in the 1130s.

At the same time it was shown that a portion of the church – including the north wall, with its spectacular carvings – was actually recycled material from another church that previously stood at the same spot. The youngest of these timbers were felled around 1070. This is the oldest Norwegian church building material that has been dated.