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 Heddal Stave Church

Heddal Stave Church is the largest of Norway"s surviving stave churches and boasts the most impressive and distinctive exterior. The existing chancel is the oldest part probably dating from 1147, while the rest was built in 1242. The church is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is constructed in the form of a stave basilica with 12 large and 6 smaller support posts. There is a continuous gallery around the whole of the church. An extensive restoration and refurbishment programme was completed in 1952.

Although none of the 29 Stave Churches that now survive belongs to the first generation of Norwegian churches, we now know that those built in the eleventh century - during the early period of conversion to Christianity, were closely related to the stave churches.

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