Prestestova and the privy that triggered the division of a municipality

Prestestova was built around 1850 as an office and bedsitter for the minister, who lived in Stranda on the other side of the Storfjord. The building contained a sacristy and a room where children about to be baptised and church-goers who had far to travel could rest and where confirmation classes and parish council meetings took place. In 1890, the minister wanted a proper privy, and the mayor at the time, who was from Stordal, approved an allocation of NOK 25 for this purpose. This triggered the division of the municipality into Stordal and Stranda in 1892.
62,3818179 6,9920547
Stordalsveien 628, Stordal, 6250

Eidsbygda, Møre og Romsdal

Owned by the National Trust of Norway since 1983.

A multi-purpose building that was both useful and controversial. Prestestova is built in what is known as rural Norwegian Empire style, and has a simple form with few details, small eaves, simple and carefully made window frames and square slate tiles on the roof. The main part is cog-jointed with panelled walls, a chimney and an entrance from the east to the ‘minister's chamber’ and the meeting room. The external cladding is horizontal boarding that has probably always been painted white, and the windows are made up of two frames with three panes in each. After 1892, Prestestova was also used for local council meetings and other meetings, as a local library and woodwork classroom, and for brass band practice etc. After the new church was built in 1907, the minister did not need the rooms as much, and Prestestova was not used after 1950. The front door was used as a notice board for all kinds of information, and it is still full of staples and nails.

Saved from demolition. In 1978, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration wanted to move Prestestova to make room for a wider road. The local council wanted to tear it down, but the County Curator and the Directorate for Cultural Heritage both wanted to protect the building. After a great deal of conflict, the newly established local branch of the National Trust was allowed to take over Prestestova and moved it to an area that had recently been zoned for an open-air museum. The building is still there and functions as a service building for the open-air museum and the Rose Church.

Things to do in the area. Prestestova is located next to Stordal old church, which is known as the Rose Church, and the open-air museum. The Rose Church is also one of the National Trust of Norway’s properties. Fjord municipality offers a variety of nature activities and outdoor pursuits and is on an important tourist route where you will also find the Trollstigen road, Geiranger and Ålesund

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