Norway’s Medieval Wooden Churches Look Plucked From a Fairy Tale

When we marvel at a sight and say it "looks like it came from a fairy tale," we have to remember that those fairy tales and their illustrations are based on real places that existed once upon a time. We are just lucky that some of those places survive today. Stone castles? Sure, they can survive war, famine, pestilence, and urban renewal, but the wooden “stave” churches of Norway are a marvel. Build when Christianity was new to the region 900 years ago, some still stand tall today, a testament to how many were erected. They share unique architectural features of the time, and many incorporate Viking symbols along with Christian symbols. See the ten oldest stave churches, plus the largest, at Smithsonian.

(Image credit: Bosc d'Anjou)

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