Haltdalen Stave Church
History and museums
Haltdalen Stave Church (Norwegian: Haltdalen stavkirke) is a stave church originally from Haltdalen in the municipality of Holtålen in Sør-Trøndelag county, Norway. It is now on display at the Sverresborg museum in Trondheim. The church was probably built in the 1170s.
The church on display is a rebuilt version of two churches from Ålen and Haltdalen. The western wall and the portal is from the old Ålen church. This is a single-nave stave church of the east Scandinavian-style, and it is the only one that is preserved.
In commemoration of the thousandth anniversary of the conversion of Iceland to Christianity, developing a suggestion by the Icelandic government, the Norwegian state presented Iceland with a replica of the Haltdalen church, which was erected by the harbour of Vestmannaeyjabær in the Vestmannaeyjar, in an area formed by the lava of the 1973 eruption of Eldfell. The replica was undertaken by the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research as a three-year research and reconstruction project from 1998 to 2000 under the leadership of Elisabeth Seip. The church was constructed at Lom from materials deliberately drawn widely from around Norway, including timber from Røros, shingles from Odalen, tar from Skjåk, wrought iron from Vågå, and a doorstep from Holtålen. A gallery was added around the outside of the building, inspired by other stave churches, to provide the building with extra strength against the stormy weather of the Vestmannaeyjar. The church was built and consecrated in summer 2000. The project was supported by a Norwegian government grant of 5.5m Norwegian kroner; Icelandic government funding for the redevelopment of the Skansinn area of Vestmannaeyjarbær as a heritage area; and some private sponsorship was also involved, most importantly that the Icelandic company Eimskip shipped the church to Iceland for free.
The replica also includes an altar decorated with a replica of the St Olav frontal, one of the finest surviving medieval Norwegian works of art, undertaken under the leadership of Terje Nordsted.