Photo: Dagfinn Rasmussen

Nore Stave Church was built around 1167. One would expect to find a church in this part of Numedal earlier, and it is possible that there was a church at Nore before the existing church was built. Some years ago, an archaeological dig under the church floor found graves which were older than the church itself and can belong to a graveyard of an older church in the same site.

The church stands as it did when in use. Both inside and outside it is, however, strongly influenced by the great changes carried out in the period 1650 -1750, when it received its existing chancel, its two transepts, its porch in the west and its sacristy on the chancel’s north side.

The nave is the only part of the building that has preserved its original form. It is constructed as a normal stave building, but it has a couple of unusual features. Nore Stave Church has also been a cruciform church of an unusual type. The chancel and transepts have formed the arms of the cross where the nave is the centre. The mid-post which bears the steeple marks the building’s mid axes. When Nore and a few other churches have a mid-post, the reason has probably been to make the turret strong enough to take bell-ringing.

Most of the medieval inventory has disappeared, except for the baptism font which is preserved. The bowl is of talc-stone, whilst the foot is of a hollowed log. The two carved crucifixes, of which parts are to be found in the church, are presumable from the 13th century: one is defaced and the other has received new arms and is covered in thick layers of secondary paint.
The wall-paintings are from several periods. In 1655 the new nave and chancel were thoroughly decorated with arcading in the lower part, old testamentary scripts in the mid-part, whilst the upper part was painted with garlands of leaves, flowers and fruit. The panels of the north and the south wings under the gallery have rebus paintings which are copied from an illustrated bible printed in Copenhagen in 1710.

Under the pulpit and to the west in the nave, along the outer wall we can still find the remains of the wall-fasten benches from the middle-ages. They were the only seats, meant for the old and sick, the rest of the congregation was standing.

Opening Hours 2024
15th of June – 18th of August

Open from 10:00 to 18:00 every day.
Guided tours available.


Adults: NOK 90,-

Children (1-16 Years old): Free

Groups (min 10 people) 80,-

Jorunn Wiik
+47 90938198


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