Stave churches in Norway – Kvernes stave church (Kvernes Stavkirke)
The Kvernes Stave Church (Kvernes Stavkirke) is one of the youngest stave churches in Norway. It is located on the Averøya peninsula in the province of Møre og Romsdalen in the Vestland region. Kristiansund is located just 15 kilometers north. And so the detour for us, especially coming from Atlanterhavsveien (Atlantic Road), is short and worthwhile. And so we drive the narrow road along the Bremsnesfjorden, which the ships choose as a weather-protected alternative route to the very dangerous stretch of coast.
We can see the Kristiansund archipelago, but here the landscape is quite lonely and isolated. Kvernes is a small village on a hill on the Averøya peninsula with a wonderful view over the Bremsnesfjord. The stave church (Stavkirke) seems almost oversized.
It is spring at the end of May and so the lush green grass and the birch trees shape the landscape against the backdrop of the surrounding mountains. The most beautiful place in the area is the bright red and picturesque Kvernes stave church (Stavkirke).
The history of the Kvernes stave church (Stavkirke)
The Kvernes stave church was built around 1300. However, it was first mentioned in 1432. Experience has shown that there used to be a sacrificial site here, because such places were preferred locations for the places of worship in the early period of Christianization in Norway.
First, the Kvernes stave church ((Stavkirke) was built as a single-nave hall church and immediately put a choir that was as wide as the nave itself.
In 1633 there was a rather complex renovation; a sacristy block plank construction, and the choir was rebuilt. In addition, a baptistery was added on the west side and covered with wood from the outside. This extension was created from existing material.
At some point the stave church (Stavkirke) was supported laterally, when exactly is unknown. The church roof is supported by a mast, invisible from the outside. In the years 1630 and 1650 the interior of the Kvernes stave church (Stavkirke) was designed with an artful tendril decoration.
The altar with its elaborately carved shrine is also artistically designed. Here you can find the pictures of Maria and her son Jesus, but also the mother of Maria.
The church bells of the stave church (Stavkirke) are quite young. Because they come from the north German tower clock factory and bell foundry J.F. Weule. This company existed between 1836 and 1966. At the moment it is not known whether there was already a church bell in the stave church (Stavkirke). Because the church tower would probably only have been built at a later date.
In 1893 the neighboring new church, the Kvernes Kirke, with 420 seats was handed over to the community. Henceforth the services were celebrated here. Today the stave church belongs to the Norwegian Antiquities Association, Fortidsminneforeningen.