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Photographer's Note

In the middle ages there were over 1200 Stave Churches in Norway; today there are just 28. Everyone who sees the construction of a Stave Church will be fascinated by its beauty and sacredness, a temple in wood. Ringebu Stave Church is the only Stave Church in Gudbrandsdalen still standing on its original site. Its design places it in the Borgund group of Stave Churches and is one of the few really large Stave Churches remaining.
The church has been in constant use since the beginning of the 13th century. During an archaeological excavation in 1980-81, it was found that the churchs history was even older than first thought.
Ringebu Stave Church was built about 1220; a period of wealth and a society with a strong religious base. These are most probably the reasons for the size of the church. After the Black Death in 1349-50 there was a long period of depression on a national, religious and human level.
The first 10 years of the 17th Century were a period of accelerating development. One of the areas of development was the improvements in the churches. Ringebu Stave Church, having survived from the Middle Ages was in need of large scale improvement.
By 1660 the population had fully recovered to its previous levels, and it was at this time that Werner Olsen legendary church & tower builder left his mark on Gudbrandsdalen. The expansion of the church in 1630 gave us evidence that a new style of building had arrived in Norway.

This stave church is in original site so is surrounded by the cemetery. It is still in use, in fact we could not visit the church inside because of the funeral. Nice place for eternal rest.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13514 W: 141 N: 35072] (158204)
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