Flam Church, Norway

Church building designs are usually quite distinctive, each country has their own style. I must say I like Norwegian churches or kirks as we say in Scotland. The really old stave churches have incredibly steep roofs that I love, they seem like something out of a fairy tale book and a bit like somewhere a witch might live although I’m sure I’m not meant to think that! This one just has simple pan tiles though.There was some digging going on in the foreground of the photo below, pipes being renewed I think, but it gives you an idea of the surroundings.

Flam church was built in 1667 and the altar piece is dated 1681.

Flam Kirk

Internally it’s quite dark, probably because of the folk art painted decoration, but I really liked it, although as ever I’m not keen on depictions of crucifixion. I think this must have been a Catholic church.
Flam Kirk

Flam Kirk /church

There were trees and animals painted all around the walls, if I had gone to that church I would have spent all my time looking at the decor. It would have cheered up my church going days no end!
Flam Kirk /church in Norway
Although most of the lights were on and the window glass is clear it still seemed dark, compared with outside anyway, but I think that might all add to the cosiness of it on a wintry day.

Flam Kirk /church

It’s all made out of wood but there seems to be more than one layer of cladding on the walls so hopefullly that insulates it a bit.
Flam Kirk /church

Prior to Flam church I had only visited the Fantoft Stave Church in Bergen before and I recall that as being pitch black inside. I see from the link to it that it was burnt down in 1992 and has been rebuilt exactly as it was, it certainly looks as I remember it from way back in 1970. Do you see what I mean about looking witchy?! Mind you in Scotland we used to add fancy pointed clay or metal points to rooftop edges – to stop witches from settling on them – I’m not kidding you.

Fantoft church

4 thoughts on “Flam Church, Norway

  1. What an amazing mix of Christianity and paganism / animism. I didn’t know about the pointy parts to keep witches from settling! The art in that church is fascinating and I’d have trouble paying attention to the sermon, too.

    • Joan,
      It was a nice surprise to see the folk art, very unusual in a church I think. Actually I’m not sure now that it is a Catholic church, I don’t remember seeing any confessionals, it’s a strange combination – but it works.

  2. What a beautiful church – it looks so “right” in its setting in the steep-sided valley.

    Interesting to learn about the witch deterrents – I was put in mind of a town here where clay finials on tiled roof gable-ends are a conspicuous and frequent design feature in the suburbs.
    It was originally a mostly Scots settlement but I imagine that ~120 years ago when those homes were built, the finials had become a mere decorative flourish.

    • Valerie,
      Those roof decorations just became part of Scottish traditional house designs and were very popular in Victorian times, it’s nice to think that the Scots who went to New Zealand kept up the tradition. I always plant a rowan tree (mountain ash) in any garden I’ve had – just to keep the witches away too!

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