Eidsborg Stave Church


January 23, 2022

Eidsborg stave church, i.e. the stave church in Eidsborg, formerly st. Nicholas of Myra - one of the best preserved stave churches in Norway, from the 13th century. It is located in Eidsborg, in the municipality of Tokke, in the Vestfold og Telemark district. The church was built in the mid-13th century. Legend has it that construction started elsewhere, but the locals disagreed about the location. Once, the carpenter's tools left overnight disappeared and were only found after a long search; this was taken as a sign and the church was erected where the tools were found. The second legend is related to the fact that the new place was a very rocky hill, which would make it impossible to bury the dead around the church. Two girls sentenced to death were punished on the condition that they had brought enough soil in their laps to make it possible to establish a cemetery. They managed to do so and the first dead were buried while these girls were still alive. Originally, the church had a single nave, in the 19th century it was surrounded on three sides (from the north, south and west) by side aisles (Saturdays) with full walls. The central nave is approx. 7 m high and 30 m² in size. In 1826 it was widened, in 1845 a chancel of the same width as the nave was added (a flat ceiling was also added). During the renovation carried out by Georg Eliassen in 1927–1929, the church was restored to its original, medieval appearance. In 1604 and 1609, the interior was decorated with paintings of acanthus leaves. In the 1980s, the widened nave was painted according to the designs of the architect Arnstein Ameberg, modeled on the preserved wall paintings in the church of Lårdal. The original figure of the patron saint of the church, St. Nicholas of Mira, is in the museum in Oslo (there is a copy in the church). Traditionally, on the eve of Midsummer Night, it was carried in a procession to the nearby lake Eidsborgtjønni, solemnly bathed and three times carried around the lake. This was to symbolize the cleansing of sins or to provide the farmers with a saint's blessing.


The church in the photos Decorations in Eidsborg Stavkirke Historical drawings of the church


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