World heritage

Urnes stave Church

Urnes Stave Church is unique among the 28 stave churches that still remain in Norway both architecturally, in terms of art history and as a source of knowledge.

Urnes Stave Church in a beautiful winter landscape by Lustrafjorden in Sogn og Fjordane. Photo: Jiri Havran, the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage
Urnes Stave church in a beautiful winter landscape by Lustrafjorden in Sogn og Fjordane. Foto: Jiri Havran, the Norwegian Directorate for Cultural Heritage

The stave church

The stave church was built using the most advanced wood construction techniques to be found in northern Europe in the period ranging from the Stone Age and the Middle Ages. It is believed that some 1,300 stave churches were built in total. Only a few remain, most of which can be found in Norway.

The Urnes church was built in the second half of the 1100s and is one of the oldest and best-preserved stave churches. The church also bears traces of an even older church that once stood in the same spot.

It is an example of outstanding craftsmanship and the décor features particularly remarkable wood carvings. The interior of the church is also richly decorated. Both the decorations and the woodwork in general are characterised by Celtic, Norse and Roman art traditions. The church is situated in a magnificent fjord landscape in Lustrafjorden, a branch of Sognefjorden.

The Urnes Stave Church was historically the private church of a powerful Urnes family.

World Heritage

The Urnes Stave Church was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1979.

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See photos of Urnes Stave Church

Picture of Urnes Stave Church in Luster in Sogn and Fjordane. Photo: Håkon Christie, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage
Urnes Stave Church: in Luster in Sogn and Fjordane.
Foto: Håkon Christie, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage
Aerial photo of Urnes Stave Church and its surroundings. Photo: Birger Lindstad, the Directoaret for Cultural Heritage
Aerial photo: of Urnes Stave Church and its surroundings
Foto: Birger Lindstad, the Directoaret for Cultural Heritage
Photo of Urnes Stave Church. Photo by Håkon Christie, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage
Urnes Stave Church:
Foto: Håkon Christie, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage
Photo of Urnes Stave Church, a cultural heritage site with World Heritage status. Photo by Jiri Havran, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage
Urnes Stave Church.: Cultural heritage site with World Heritage status.
Foto: Jiri Havran, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage
Picture of wood carvings in Urnes Stave Church. Illustration made by Eilert Christian Brodtkorb Christie (1832–1906) from 1859.
Wood carvings: in Urnes Stave Church.
Foto: Illustration by Eilert Christian Brodtkorb Christie (1832–1906) from 1859.
Picture of the interior of Urnes Stave Church. Photo by Jiri Havran, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage
Interior: of Urnes Stave Church.
Foto: Jiri Havran, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage
Picture of the doorway of Urnes Stave Church. Photo by Ragnar Utne, the Dircetorate for Cultural Heritage
Doorway of Urnes Stave Church:
Foto: Ragnar Utne, the Dircetorate for Cultural Heritage
Picture of the doorway of Urnes Stave Church. Photo by Arve Kjersheim, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage
Doorway of Urnes Stave Church:
Foto: Arve Kjersheim, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage
Picture of Urnes Stave Church. Photo by Werner Harstad, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration -Norwegian Scenic Routes
Urnes Stave Church:
Foto: Werner Harstad, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration -Norwegian Scenic Routes

Publisert: 12. February 2020 | Endret: 8. December 2020