Like stepping into a paintbox

The little stave church by the Norefjord occupies a special position in the history of Norwegian architecture. Unlike other stave churches, Nore was probably built with a transept in the north-south direction. When you enter the portal with Frederick IV’s monogram below the gable, you enter a paintbox of an interior with elaborate decoration from the 17th and 18th centuries.
60,1358601 9,01775
Fjordevegen 90 , Nore, 3629

Nore, Numedal, Buskerud 

Owned by the National Trust of Norway since 1890.

A one-of-a-kind stave church. The church was built around 1167. It had galleries, a chancel and transepts with apses. This sets Nore stave church apart from its contemporaries, and no other churches in Norway or Europe are known that could have served as a model for this design. The church was partly altered in the 17th and 18th centuries. The western portal of the nave is elaborately carved with vines and animal ornamentation. The animal figures are dragons and lions, and the portals bear a resemblance to similar portals in Telemark.

No surface left undecorated. The interior of Nore stave church is characterised by the painters' joy of painting, and not a single surface has been left untouched by their brushes. The interior decoration was carried out in two different rounds, during the years around 1650 and 1730. The first round was funded by the farmers in the village, possibly on the instructions of the minister. In the 1730s, both transepts were decorated with rebuses on Biblical texts surrounded by leaves and flowers. There is a canopy over the altar, and the last supper scene on the altarpiece was probably painted in 1704 using the altarpiece in Lyngdal church, also in Numedal, as a model. Little of the medieval interior and inventory have survived other than a crucifix, the baptismal font and sparse remains of medieval decoration. Under the pulpit, there are remains of the old pews that were attached to the wall. Two runic inscriptions are also found in the church. One of them is a prayer: ‘Grant me all that is good’.

Things to do in the area. Numedalen valley is known as the medieval valley with its stave churches and medieval log buildings. The National Trust of Norway also owns Uvdal stave church.Visit Uvdal 

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

Kirker i Norge volume 4 Leif Anker ARFO 2005/ Norges kirker Sigrid and Håkon Christie. Gyldendal 1981/ Kildegjennomgang middelalderske kirkesteder i Buskerud fylke. Directorate for Cultural Heritage, 2015.