Photo: Ragnar Utne, © Riksantikvaren

Røldal Stave Church was built in the 13th century but has been extended several times since. The original church consisted of the rectangular ship and choir, both built in stave technique. After an extensive restauration between 1913-1917 the original church walls were protected with new outer walls and with a gallery on the outside of the old walls.

The decorations are mainly from the 17th century. During the restoration the beautiful colourful wall paintings were rediscovered. The altar, pews and pulpit are all in baroque style. The altar, which is decorated with biblical motives and texts, was crafted by Gottfried Hendtzschel. He decorated several churches in the Rogaland county.

The font is made of soapstone and is as old as the church. The magnificent crucifix, which is located above the entrance to the choir, is dated to 1250. This crucifix was believed to have healing powers and every ‘’Jonsok’’ (6th July after the Julian calendar) the crucifix would sweat, and it was this sweat which could heal. Røldal was one of the most important sites for pilgrimage in Norway and this continued until 1835 when it was eventually stopped by a visiting dean. Many of the ornaments and statues from the Middle Ages are now in Bergen museum.

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