Urnes Stavkyrkje

Urnes Stavkyrkje, Ornes

Urnes Stavkyrkje
4.5
10:30 AM - 5:45 PM
Monday
10:30 AM - 5:45 PM
Tuesday
10:30 AM - 5:45 PM
Wednesday
10:30 AM - 5:45 PM
Thursday
10:30 AM - 5:45 PM
Friday
10:30 AM - 5:45 PM
Saturday
10:30 AM - 5:45 PM
Sunday
10:30 AM - 5:45 PM
About
Norway's oldest stave church (1130) and part of UNESCO's world heritage list since 1979. We are open from 2nd May to 30th September every year (exept 17th May, which is the Norwegian Constitution Day). opening hours is 10:30-17:45
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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The area
Popular mentions

4.5
165 reviews
Excellent
114
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39
Average
8
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1
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3

arst62
Moi25 contributions
Beautiful Stave Church
Jul 2020
Urnes Stave Church (1130)– Norway’s oldest and most highly decorated stave church made of wood. Just beautiful!
Written July 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Tomoko T
Seattle, WA13 contributions
Beautiful Stave Church overlooking Fijord
Aug 2019
This is a must visit if you are staying in Solvorn. It is a short (and lovely) ferry from the tiny pier by historic Walaker Hotel. The church stands on the hill overlooking Fjord, an amazing view, and I will never forget how beautiful that was. The guide at the church is great and tells all interesting stories about the building.
Written September 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

traveltheworld012
Rochester, MN9,845 contributions
Great history and architecture in the oldest stave church.
Aug 2019
Urnes is possibly the oldest and most outstanding representative of the stave churches. The church expresses in wood how structures of Romanesque architecture were designed. By the use of cylindrical columns with cubic capitals and semi-circular arches. The wood carving and sculpted decor of excellent quality on the outside includes strap-work panels and elements of Viking tradition from the 11th century which constitute the origin of the "Urnes style” also found in other parts of Scandinavia and North-Western Europe. The carvings on the northern wall are a decoration of interlaced, fighting animals. Similar carvings cover the western gable triangle of the nave and the eastern gable of the choir. The carvings are important both as outstanding artistic artifacts, and as a link between the pre-Christian Nordic culture and the Christianity of the medieval ages. Many of the Viking styled carvings originated from the the Celts in Ireland.

The Urnes Stave Church has been sort of renovated over the centuries where they cut and repaired portions of the interior. One of the large main columns inside had been cut off to create a private area for the pastor. The result was that the church started to lean a bit. They then had to add squared timbers inside to stabilize the structure but it still leans a bit. It is well worthwhile to take the tour which allows you to go inside as well as learning about the transitions and changes made and the meanings of the carvings.

To get to this church requires greater effort as it is not just on the side of a highway like many other stave churches. One could certainly drive from Skjolden the 30+ km but beware it is a rough road. The alternative is to go to Solvorn and take the ferry across to Ornes, then walk up the hill maybe 3/4 mile to the church. I do not advise taking a car on the ferry if you are just going to visit the church. Parking is limited at Ornes and you will have to walk a portion of it anyway. All vehicles have to be backed onto the ferry and it only holds eight. There is also a visitor center across from the church with a gift shop and more historical exhibits.
Written September 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

kd1289
Chicago, IL36 contributions
Very cool church - worth the trip!
Jul 2019
We were staying in Solvorn so took the ferry across the fjord. Well worth a visit - we did the brief tour and then hiked up a bit past the church for a great view of the fjord. Very informational. Definitely a hike up from the boat, but well worth it. Be careful with timing - not a ton of ferries back and forth across the fjord.
Written August 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Henrik
17 contributions
Nice church but why pay fo entering the yard?
Jul 2019 • Family
We took the ferry at 1300 and arrived around 1315. Then there is a short, nice walk to the church (although very sweaty when it´s 28 degrees) - no need to take the car if you are reasonably fit. The church including the yard is part of the museum, which was not so nice we thought. However, from outside the church yard you can still se most of it.
Walk back and ferry 1430 to the main land.
We had to park at the church in Solvorn due to there was very many cars near the harbour, it took about 10 minutes to walk from the church in Solvorn to the ferry.
Written August 2, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
The church and the church yard are both medieval and is considerd to be a unit. We hope you will take the time to visit the inside of the church next time you come, as it has the most unik carvings of the norwegian stave churches. best regards Ingebjørg
Written August 12, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Ron S
New York City, NY4,659 contributions
Urnes Stave Church
Jul 2019 • Couples
Urnes Stave Church is great and a Unesco site but it's number 3 on my list after the Borgund and Hopperstad churches.

We had to take Fv331 from Skjolden going from Lom. It's a beautiful road but very tough to navigate. It's old and narrow. The parking for the church is located just off Fv331. From there it's a 15 minute walk uphill, not horrible but may be unpleasant on a hot day. There's a small parking lot right across the ticket office. I was told it's only for the staff members but I wonder why they would drive to work with Thule boxes on their roofs.

If you have a car and need to cross the fjord to Solvorn bear in mind that the ferry takes only 8 cars at a time so plan accordingly.
Written July 31, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

ailourophile
Glasgow148 contributions
Important stave church
Jun 2019 • Couples
We were on a trip to specifically see more stave churches and so given its overall importance this was a must. If on foot from ferry be warned that it could take you half an hour uphill and in car you should park only a third of the way up. The church does not disappoint when one gets there, especially the Urnes style panels but also the interior as a whole
Written July 8, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

marita k
London, UK458 contributions
Worth the trip
Jun 2019 • Couples
Drove to Solvorn and left the car in the car park before heading over as door passengers on the local ferry. (Leaves on the hour from Solvorn and returns at half past the hour from Ornes)
From arrival to the stave church is about a 1km was ok the, very very quiet, road. Entry to the church is NOK 90/each and incl a guided tour. The church is beautiful and definitely worth the trip.

There is a local cafe right next to ticket office, which sells home made cakes and toasted sandwiches.
Written June 14, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Joshua G
Bucharest, Romania233 contributions
Enduring exemplar of medieval architecture
May 2019 • Solo
The oldest Stave church (the "Staves" are the massive tree trunks that are used as supporting beams inside the structure, I learned) in Norway, this church dates from the 12th century. As a wooden structure, coated with tar to protect it from the elements, this stands as a minor miracle in my mind. This is one of the most ornate of these churches, with original scroll work and art inside the church dating from the middle ages. The entrance ticket includes a tour, from which I learned a great deal, so it's worth it to go inside! The season doesn't open until May, however, so I barely squeezed this into my springtime visit to Norway. Another word of caution: the road north from Urnes is extremely narrow (one lane) and while beautiful, is a little stressful when facing oncoming traffic! The ferry from Solvorn is easy to use.
Written June 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

JANNETTE E
San Antonio, TX288 contributions
Worth the effort
May 2019 • Couples
We drove to the ferry (leaves on the hour), got across and the church is not that far from there. Absolutely beautiful. Well maintained for over 700 years. They give you a nice guided tour as well which was very informative.
Written May 29, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Urnes Stavkyrkje

Urnes Stavkyrkje is open:
  • Sun - Sat 10:30 AM - 5:45 PM
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