Flesberg stave church

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The Flesberg Church

The Stave Church Flesberg is a cruciform church reconstructed stave church in the village Flesberg . It is located in the municipality of the same name in the Norwegian province of Viken , on the northern side of the Numedalslågen river in Numedal . The rectory, which gave the church and the place its name, is about 200 meters to the southeast. The church belongs to the Flesberg prestegjeld together with the Svene Church and the Lyngdal Church . The Prestegjeld is subordinate to a diocese of the Norwegian Church and corresponds roughly to a German church game . In this Prestgjeld the Flesberg stave church is the main church .


The origin of the church cannot be precisely determined. It is reported that the church originally stood in the country courtyard , which is about three kilometers east of the current location. The church in Flesberg is mentioned for the first time in a document in 1359. But based on the style of the portal and a painting of the old stave church, it is assumed that it was made around 1200 or later.

With the Reformation in Norway in 1537, the Evangelical Lutheran Church was introduced as the state religion . In the notes of Bishop Jens Nilssøn it can be read that the choir mass continued to be held in the stave church , an annual festival for the consecration of the church from Catholic times. He was angry about it and got rid of these "papal bad habits" . The parishes in Numedal did not pay a church tithe and the building of churches was only possible through donations and the community itself. Furthermore, the Prestgjeld had no church property from which it could draw rental income and so no maintenance work was carried out on the churches. Over time, the stave church fell into disrepair and became too small as the main church of Prestegjeld. In 1735, the stave church was converted into a cruciform church under the direction of superintendent Berthelsen. The arcade , all inner masts including the inner support system and the roof truss were removed so that only the outer walls of the walkway are preserved. In the east, the outer wall was also torn down to allow an opening for the extension. The stave church now forms the western cross arm of the cruciform church.


The stave church

Flesberg stave church, painting by Alshelmi Dag, 1701

Very little of the original stave church has survived and its appearance has also changed significantly. However, the picture by Anselmi Dag from 1701 gives an impression of the former church. The picture shows the northern view of a fully developed mast church. It has a raised central nave with a turret , a choir and an apse with a round apse tower . There is an arcade around the church and an armory to the west . The roofs, walls and visible masts are completely covered with a wooden shingle facade. At approximately 6.00 mx 7.70 m, the stave church has a similar footprint to other stave churches with a raised central nave. If the choir and apse followed the same pattern, the choir would have been approximately square with about three by three meters and a slightly narrower apse with a diameter of about three meters. Parts of the basic frame of the stave church are still preserved under the floor and in the current foundation wall. The horizontal beams of the base frame have round mortises at the overlap points in which the four masts were embedded. These stood on a foundation made of stones. No further holes can be seen on the short sides of the frame and the long sides are cut off, so that possible intermediate masts cannot be detected. It could therefore have been a four- or eight-masted church. The corner masts, also called bars, have a diameter of 40 to 45 centimeters. They have a bell-shaped base at the foot, which ends with two ring-shaped beads. There are rectangular recesses in the base in which sleepers are clamped. The sleepers are also held between the corner poles by the two cantilevered beams of the base, where they are embedded in a wide flat recess. The trapezoidal sleepers are 50 to 60 cm high and 20 cm wide at the top and 30 cm wide at the bottom. Sleepers are also clamped to the capitals of the corner masts. Together with the corner poles, the sleepers form a frame in which the walls made of standing planks are clamped. The planks are connected to one another by the tongue and groove principle , with the groove on the broad side of the asymmetrical cross section. The planks reached a height between 3.97 and 4.06 meters. During a restoration in 1955, 20 wall planks from the demolition of the stave church were found under the floor. Two of these planks may have come from the east wall and flanked the opening from the choir to the apse. The outside of the planks have an additional groove, presumably the apse wall was fitted into it. At the top there is a recess for a horizontal beam that was stretched across the 2.20 meter wide apse opening. A trace on the sides to the apis opening of the planks indicates the support of the beam by an arched knee, a rectangular disc with an arched cutout. Furthermore, four upper thresholds of the arcade were found. Its top is beveled and it has recesses for rafters. Nail holes indicate attached roof planks. At the bottom there is a groove in which the wall planks were clamped. They are 40 to 47 inches high and 7.5 inches thick. Small, rectangular planing profiles sit inside and outside on the thresholds of the gallery. One of the thresholds found also has such a profile. This can mean that these are the original thresholds of the arcade. The recovered planks and sleepers are now in the Universitetets Oldsaksamling in Oslo . The painting shows a windowless arcade, sometimes also called Söller , and the usual light holes in the raised central nave are also missing. However, there are three windows in the nave and one in the choir. These are small, almost square, four-part lattice windows . In the west there is an armory, the roof of which is divided into two levels. The lower roof is a monopitch roof at the same height as the arcade. The upper one, a gable roof , is level with the gallery. Nothing is known about the construction of the roof structure of the stave church. It probably had a rafter roof with collar beams in the upper middle part and a simple rafter roof over the arcade. According to the painting, there was a two-tier cylindrical structure with a domed roof above the apse . The wooden shingles attached to the outside were fastened with wooden nails and tarred. The attached ridge may have existed since the Middle Ages . Two bells in the tower are mentioned in 1577 , but nothing is reported about their appearance or construction. In 1621 the church got a new roof turret. This was octagonal, high and had a forged pole with a ball and flag on top. Each of the eight wall panels had a light hole in the form of an arched window. Presumably it is the roof turret on the painting.

The Kreuzkirche

Church from the southeast
Church from the northeast, with sacristy

A major renovation took place in 1735. Except for the outer walls of the gallery and the base frame, the stave church was almost completely demolished. In an easterly direction it was expanded to form a cruciform church with six meters long and wide cross arms. The stave church forms the western wing. The eastern cross arm of the church is the same height as the western one, but the transept is a little lower. The attached walls are made of log construction and iron bolts in the walls connect the stave church to the new building. The stacked pieces of wood of the log structure are round and the visible, toothed ends are carved upright to form hexagons. The outer walls have probably been stripped of the wooden shingles and have been exposed to the weather. In 1776 the walls were covered with vertical boards and sealed. Two years later the facade was tarred. In 1829 this process was repeated with mixed red-brown paint. In 1870 the church got a new exterior cladding and seven years later it was also paneled inside. During the restoration work in the 1950s and 60s, these claddings were removed and the church was given a new, tarred exterior facade.

Since the raised central nave of the stave church was removed, the entire church got a new gable roof. Inside, a false ceiling above the joist clad the roof structure of the purlin roof . After the renovation, the roof was clad again with tarred wooden shingles. It was not until 1864 that 5,000 roof tiles were purchased, which have covered the roof ever since. The roof turret from the former roof of the stave church was removed during the renovation and was probably given its original place on the new roof above the stave church. Before 1793 there is no entry in the church registers about the new roof turret. In 1819 and 1835 the roof turret was repaired and painted and has been preserved to this day. It is also octagonal, but has only four light hatches that face north, east, south and west. They are set off from the red walls with a four-inch-wide, gray-white stripe. In addition, each has a red shutter. The walls of the tower consist of lying, beveled planks, which are covered at the corners with white-gray strips. The roof is covered with zinc plates and a small rod decorated with ornaments is emblazoned on the top.

The floor of the stave church consists of wide planks and was largely preserved during the renovation. It is attached to the base frame with wooden nails and has an east-west orientation. The floor of the walkway is rotated 90 degrees. In 1760 and 1811 the floor was repaired again and in 1868 a new floor was installed. The planks were laid on the old floor. During a renovation in the 20th century, the floor of the choir in the east wing was raised a little above the usual level.

At the request of the superintendent, the sacristy was added between the eastern and northern wings. The walls in the log bond were probably clad with wooden shingles until the 19th century. Like the rest of the roof, the pent roof with a slope to the north was covered with tiles. It has a door to the choir in the east wing in the south and a door to the churchyard in the north. A lattice window is in the east wall.

See also


  • Sigrid Christie ( Contributor: Riksantikvaren ): Norges kirker. 1: Buskerud . Land og kirke, Oslo 1981, ISBN 82-05-13123-6 , p. 267-288 .
  • Peter Anker: Stavkirkene: deres egenhet og historie . Cappelen, Oslo 1997, ISBN 82-02-15978-4 , pp. 156-158 .

Individual evidence

  1. Sigrid Christie ( contributor: Riksantikvaren ): Norges kirker. 1: Buskerud . Land og kirke, Oslo 1981, ISBN 82-05-13123-6 , p. 268 .
  2. Flatin I, pp. 48-49, II, p. 271
  3. Nielsen 1885, p. 358, Dietrichson 1892 p. 348 and S. Christie 1981 b. 1 pp. 268-278
  4. Peter Anker: Stavkirkene: deres egenhet og historie . Cappelen, Oslo 1997, ISBN 82-02-15978-4 , pp. 158 .
  5. ^ L. Dietrichson: De norske stavkirker. Study about this system, oprindelse and historiske udvikling . Kristianina and Kjøbenhavn 1892.
  6. ^ Gunnar Bugge: Stave Churches in Norway: Introduction and Overview . Dreyer, Oslo 1984, ISBN 82-991121-0-9 , pp. 74-75 .
  7. Peter Anker: Stavkirkene: deres egenhet og historie . Cappelen, Oslo 1997, ISBN 82-02-15978-4 , pp. 156, 158 .
  8. Sigrid Christie (contributor: Riksantikvaren): Norges kirker. 1: Buskerud . Land og kirke, Oslo 1981, ISBN 82-05-13123-6 , p. 270-272, 276 .
  9. Sigrid Christie (contributor: Riksantikvaren): Norges kirker. 1: Buskerud . Land og kirke, Oslo 1981, ISBN 82-05-13123-6 , p. 273-274, 278 .
  10. Sigrid Christie (contributor: Riksantikvaren): Norges kirker. 1: Buskerud . Land og kirke, Oslo 1981, ISBN 82-05-13123-6 , p. 276 .
  11. Sigrid Christie (contributor: Riksantikvaren): Norges kirker. 1: Buskerud . Land og kirke, Oslo 1981, ISBN 82-05-13123-6 , p. 275 .

Web links

Commons : Flesberg Stave Church  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Coordinates: 59 ° 51 ′ 30 ″  N , 9 ° 25 ′ 30 ″  E