All About Kaupanger Stave Church in Norway

Kaupanger Stave Church

blog authorBy Johanna Hansen shield verificationVerified Expert

    Historic construction and beautiful architecture makes Kaupanger Stave Church an unmissable sight to see during your time in Norway. Considered a cathedral among stave churches due to its height, Kaupanger Stave Church is a magnificent surviving example of medieval Norwegian church architecture.

    Learn all you need to know about Kaupanger Stave Church in our complete guide, including where exactly it is, how to get there, its history and important information for your visit.

    Kaupanger Stave Church

    One of many beautiful and historic stave churches in Norway, Kaupanger Stave Church is the largest stave church in Vestland county in South Norway. A parish church of the Church of Norway, this wooden church was built in the mid-12th century around 1140 and is now a Norwegian Cultural Heritage Site.

    The existing building at the site of Kaupanger Stave Church is actually the third church to stand here, with the first being built in the early 11th century shortly after the Christianization of Norway. A bigger church around twice its size soon replaced this first church, but it only lasted until around 1140 as it was destroyed by a fire.

    Construction then began on the church that stands at the site today. First built in the 1140s, the current Kaupanger Stave Church was extended soon after it was finished to make room for around 165 seats. The beautiful interior, towering height and number of posts makes Kaupanger Stave Church unique among stave churches, with a total area of 102 square meters and 22 posts.

    Many stave churches feature heavy carving, especially in the interior, but Kaupanger Stave Church breaks this trend with very few carvings to be found on the interior posts and walls. Instead, you can view the wooden beams and walls in all their natural glory, as well as the interior decorative features and striking exterior, just as many generations of local Norwegians have done for centuries.

    Kaupanger Stave Church in Norway

    Where is Kaupanger Stave Church?

    Located in the southwest of Norway, Kaupanger Stave Church sits just under the stunning Jostedalsbreen National Park. On the banks of Sognefjord, the largest and deepest fjord in Norway, Kaupanger Stave Church is situated in the village of Kaupanger in Vestland county.

    How to Get to Kaupanger Stave Church

    Reaching Kaupanger Stave Church from Bergen, the third-largest city in Norway, requires a 3 hour and 45 minute drive via the E16 along a route with tolls and a ferry crossing.

    If you’d like to reach Kaupanger Stave Church from the Norwegian capital of Oslo, you’ll need to take a 5 hour road trip along the E16, Rv7 and Rv52. This route also has tolls and a ferry crossing.

    Important Information for Visiting Kaupanger Stave Church

    Here’s all the important information you need to know when planning your visit to Kaupanger Stave Church:

    • Opening times for visits to Kaupanger Stave Church are between 15th June to 15th August from 10:00 to 17:00.
    • Construction work means that the church will be closed for visits between 15th June 2024 and 15th June 2025.
    • Group visits need to be booked in advance.
    • Admission prices to visit Kaupanger Stave Church are as follows: 110 NOK (~$10 USD) for adults, 80 NOK (~$7 USD) for concessions (children, students and seniors), 270 NOK (~$25 USD) for families, 100 NOK (~$9 USD) for groups (minimum of 15 people).
    • Contact information for Kaupanger Stave Church: 40155971 and

    Kaupanger Stave Church near Sognefjord

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