The stave church that was resurrected using Borgund as a model

The stave church sits in a beautiful location on top of a hill in the fertile farm landscape of Vik in Sogn. The church as it stands today is the result of a very special rescue effort in the 1880s and 1890s. Architect Peter Andreas Blix (1831–1901) led and partly funded the work of restoring the church. The story of Hopperstad stave church is thus also a story about the efforts made by enthusiasts to protect our cultural heritage.
61,0774797 6,5690437
Hopperstadvegen 61, Vik, 6893

Vik i Sogn, Sogn og Fjordane (Vestland)

Owned by the National Trust of Norway since 1880.

A classic stave church with Borgund as its model. Hopperstad is held to be one of Norway’s oldest stave churches, and it was probably built sometime around 1130. The original exterior is unknown, and the church as it stands today is the result of restoration work carried out in the late 19th century. The National Trust of Norway bought the church to save it, and the purchase only covered the medieval parts of the church. More recent additions and furnishings were removed. Architect Blix took traces left in the building as his point of departure, and where he lacked a basis for determining what it had once looked like, he mostly used Borgund stave church as a model. This is most evident in the ridge turrets and the dragon head roof ridges. The church has the appearance of a classic stave church, and the western portal that frames the main entrance is one of the finest examples of medieval Norwegian wood carving. Hopperstad is the only one of the preserved stave churches whose original chancel screen is still intact. The wooden canopy over the side altar on the northern side of the church is unique in Norway. Scenes from Jesus’ childhood are painted inside the canopy, and the paintings are believed to date from the end of the 13th century. The canopy gable is elaborately carved. Little survives of the post-Reformation decoration and furnishing, but there are remnants of an 18th-century landscape painting on one of the walls.

Things to do in the area. Mountains, fjord, salmon fishing, cultural heritage sites and culinary experiences. The magnificent fjord landscape boasts a wealth of possibilities. There are medieval churches at Hopperstad and Hove, old houses at Vikøyri, and you can enjoy amazing views of the Sognefjord from Fridtjovparken park with the 22-metre statue of Fridtjov the Bold, which was a gift from Wilhelm II in 1913. Or you can visit Ostebaren cheese bar in the dairy where the Tine dairy group used to produce the Norwegian specialty gamalost (‘old cheese’). Visit  Norway

Sources: En reise gjennom norsk byggekunst, ed. Terje Forseth. National Trust of Norway, 1994.