A beautiful, muted interior with a rare crucifix

Rødven stave church sits in a beautiful location by the Romsdalsfjord against a backdrop of the peaks of the Romsdalsalpane mountains. This church is a stave church of the Møre type, distinguished by the distinctive diagonal external support posts known as ‘skordene’. From the outside, the stave structure of Rødven stave church is hidden by horizontal boarding. The decoration inside on the ceiling is faded and makes a muted, atmospheric impression.
62,6241849 7,4937755
Stavkyrkjevegen 52, Eidsbygda, 6350

Eidsbygda, Møre og Romsdal

Owned by the National Trust of Norway since 1907.

Distinctive stave church – on the outside and on the inside. The church as it stands today comprises parts from several periods. Originally, the stave church was a simple long church with a rectangular nave and somewhat narrower chancel. The remains of the south portal, which features twisted stalks ending in folded leaves, is unique among surviving stave church portals and can probably be dated to the first half of the 12th century. The south portal has probably been reused from an older church on this site built around 1100. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the church was substantially altered and renovated several times, including after a storm in 1689. The church probably once had an external gallery that was removed around 1600, when the chancel was also pulled down and replaced by a new one of about the same width as the nave. A porch was also added. The outside of the church is covered in horizontal boarding, which is mentioned in the church accounts from the mid-17th century. The interior has painted decoration dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. On the northern side of the church we find a triumphal cross, dated to between 1250 and 1275, with a life-sized crucified Christ. This is one of Norway's finest examples of early Gothic style.

Things to do in the area: In Romsdalen valley you will find tourist attractions such as the Rauma railway line, National Tourist Route Trollstigen, and the magnificent mountains Trollveggen and Romsdalseggen. Rødven stave church is 34 kilometres from Åndalsnes. The Norwegian Mountaineering Centre in Åndalsnes is a visitor centre that focuses on Norwegian mountaineering history and steep outdoor pursuits. Romsdalen provides many opportunities for an active holiday. Romsdalsstigen Via Ferrata offers lofty and spectacular experiences on its two amazing climbing trails, Introveggen and Vestveggen. Visit Norway 

Sources: En reise gjennom norsk byggekunst, ed. Terje Forseth. National Trust of Norway 1994 / Anker, Leif: De norske stavkirkene, Oslo 2005