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Key Buildings from Prehistory to the Present by Andrew Ballantyne

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Stave Church

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Urnes, Norway; 1130

The Norwegian people did not forsake the old Norse gods until the eleventh century, when King Olaf II (now known as St Olaf) succeeded in establishing Christianity in Norway. The tradition of building in timber goes back much further, and the methods used in church-building were developed in Viking mead-halls. Christianity was imported from England – with which the Vikings had powerful links, since there were numerous Viking settlements in the north of England.

The layout of the Urnes stave church derives from an extremely simple Anglo-Saxon type. There were timber churches in England too, but little trace of these ...

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