Fantoft Stave Church, Bergen, Norway – 06 JUN 2016

This is a reconstructed stave church in Bergen, Norway.
The original was built around 1150 using a post and lintel construction. It was moved from Fortun (Sogn) to this location in 1883 but was burnt down by arson in 1992.
It was rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire. You can see the large load-bearing ore-pine posts (called stav) that were driven into the ground to create the strong vertical supports.
The construction is a work of art, as all columns, planks and supports are joined by dovetailing, pegs and wedges, never using glue or nails.
These early churches reflect the mix of Norse mythology with the Christianization that was taking place at that time in history.
The Viking ships had dragon heads in the bow and stern, believed to keep evil spirits away. Dragon heads on the church would serve the same purpose.
There are also bench end caps with Norse paganism carvings.
There are four Stave Churches in the United States: Chapel in the Hills, Rapid City, SD; Boynton Chapel, Bjorklunden (Door County), WI; St. Swithuns in Warren County, IN; Trinity Lutheran Church, Washington Island (Door County), WI.