Heddal stave church

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My first card from Norway (as well as the 2nd and the 3rd one which I’ll post later :D) came from Trond. This beauty is now one of my favorite cards. ❤

Heddal stave church (Heddal stavkirke) is Norway’s largest stave church. It was constructed at the beginning of the 13th century. After the reformation, the church was in a very poor condition, and a restoration took place during 1849 – 1851. However, because the restorers lacked the necessary knowledge and skills, yet another restoration was necessary in the 1950s.

The church itself is mired in Norwegian folklore. According to the legend, five farmers of Heddal decided to build a church. One day, one of them, Raud Rygi, was approached by a stranger who was willing to do the work if Raud could meet one of his three conditions: either bring him the sun and moon from the sky, forfeit his life’s blood, or guess the stranger’s name. Raud thought that the last condition should not prove too difficult, and so he agreed to the stranger’s terms. But Raud got but little time in which to find the answer, for during the first night all the building material arrived, the spire was built during the second, and it was clear that the church would be finished on the third day. Down at heart and fearing for his life, Raud walked over the fields, trying to think of the unknown carpenter’s name. When he had come to Svintråberget (a hill south-east of the church) he heard a strangely beautiful song, clearly audible:

Hush, hush, little child,
Tomorrow Finn will bring you the moon.
He will bring you the sun and the Christian heart,
Pretty toys for my little child to play with.

And so the riddle was solved. The builder was called Finn, and he lived inside Svintråberget. Finn, known as Finn with the Fair Hair, could not stand the sound of the church bells, and so he later moved to Himing (in Lifjell).

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  1. Pingback: Norway’s best | The world in my mailbox...

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