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Address: Orneset, 6870, Norway
Phone Number:
+47 57 67 88 40

Urnes Stave Church is the only stave church on the UNESCO World Heritage...

Urnes Stave Church is the only stave church on the UNESCO World Heritage List (since 1979), and is an outstanding example of traditional North-Western European wooden architecture. It brings together traces of Celtic art, Viking traditions and Romanesque spatial structures. The wooden church was built in the 12th Century and is surrounded by a medieval cemetary and situated on the Ornes promontory in the dramatic, steep fjord landscape of Western Norway. The stave churches constitute one of the most elaborate and technically advanced types of wooden construction that formerly existed in North-Western Europe. Today they are only found in Norway where 28 of them are preserved. Of these Urnes stave church is the most outstanding and oldest example. The church is unique both as a representative of the highest technical standard in wood construction during the middle ages and as an artistic object. The church expresses in wood the language and spatial structures of Romanesque stone architecture. Some reused outside panels from an earlier 11th Century church have sculpted decor of exquisite quality in the Celitic/Viking tradition known as the Urnes style. The carvings are of an unparalleled quality and depicts different biblical and mythical creatures. The carvings are important both as outstanding artistic artifacts, and as a link between the pre-Christian Nordic culture and the Christianity of the medieval ages. The carvings are also a sign of the cultural and religious connection between Norway and the Celtic people on the British isles.

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Historical gem

Dating back to the 12th century, an amazing site. Catch the ferry from Solvorn and then buy a ticket at the little shop near the church. A guide opens it up and takes you round.

Reviewed 1 week ago
Julie F
London, United Kingdom
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101 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 49: English reviews
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
22 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

Dating back to the 12th century, an amazing site. Catch the ferry from Solvorn and then buy a ticket at the little shop near the church. A guide opens it up and takes you round.

Thank Julie F
Warren, Michigan
Level Contributor
78 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 December 2016

A 20 minute drive north from our hotel in Sogndal through a beautiful, heavily forested area brought us to the small, very pretty town of Solvorn where we would catch the ferry to Urnes. While we waited for the ferry we had a chance to enjoy the scenery, including the nearby docks and the beautiful garden behind the 300 year... More 

1 Thank Walt K
Level Contributor
214 reviews
122 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 97 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 November 2016

The centenary churches of norway are of incredible beauty for those who enjoy working in Madeira. Very well preserved Urnes is a tour not to be missed, not only for the historical part but also for the beauty of the landscape.The ferry that arrives until next of the church leaves of Solvorn, that also deserves a walk. Do not go... More 

1 Thank LanaFerreira
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 August 2016

I deal with them since a while for groups and individuals. The most far away from service-minded and customer care. They simply do not care. I suggest to visit other stave churches. (This one is UNESCO heritage in representation of all).

2 Thank Anna B
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 20 August 2016

Urnes sits in a wonderful position, by the edge of the beautiful Lusterfjord. It's a great journey to this site whether by ferry from Solvorn or by driving along the side of the fjord from Skjolden but either way this is a visit worth making. The stave churches are distinctively Norwegian and to examine up close the workmanship and carvings... More 

1 Thank RonanCunning
Tel Aviv, Israel
Level Contributor
141 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 August 2016 via mobile

Visiting Urnes Stave Church is a combination of a several lovely things: We took the ferry from Solvern (wich is a lovely small village worth visiting), the ferry is 20 minutes long (with nice views), the Church is magnificent (don't miss the guided tour inside - fascinating), and finally the small nice coffee place in front. Perfect.

3 Thank isik s
Shropshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
444 reviews
228 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 162 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 June 2016

Down from around one thousand, there are only about 25 stave churches left in Norway so we were very keen to make the effort to visit one. Docked in Skjolden, we enquired at the tourist information office about visiting Urnes which was to be our only chance. A minibus ride took 30 minutes and cost 430 krone including the entrance... More 

3 Thank laNyonsaise
Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
391 reviews
175 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2015

This little church is well worth a detour. It is easily reached by walking up the hill from the ferry - you don't need to take your car across. The lady at the ticket office will give you an interesting tour of the church and describe it's history. The carvings on the exterior are fantastic and the interior is fascination.... More 

4 Thank Rick61
Level Contributor
88 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 September 2015

We rented bikes from Eplet B&B and took the ferry across to this church. Very good guide to tell you about the church. Interesting carvings. Nice little cafe outside the church and boxes of fresh raspberries for sale too. Can bike along the fjord on this side without much traffic.

2 Thank happyarchitect
Level Contributor
28 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2015

Nice day trip from Kaupanger to Urnes. Ferry ride is lovely and church is definitely worth the visit. Pay for the tour - photography is allowed inside the church now. Nearby cafe not open in Sept. but bought fresh, local raspberries there.

3 Thank UrbanGirl808

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