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 Gol Stave Church

Gol Stave Church is a stave church originally from Gol in the traditional region of Hallingdal in Buskerud. The reconstructed church is now a museum and is now located in the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History at Bygdøy in Oslo, Norway.

The church has been dendrochronologically dated to from 1157 to 1216. When the city built a new church around 1880, it was decided to demolish the old stave church. It was saved from destruction by the Society for the Preservation of Ancient Norwegian Monuments (Fortidsminneforeningen), which bought the materials in order to re-erect the church elsewhere. The remains of the original medieval construction were documented before transport. Original murals and medieval artifacts survived. Most of the main construction remained intact and in original form, although practically all of the exterior dates from the 1884-1885 restoration.

It was acquired by King Oscar II, who financed its relocation and restoration as the central building of his private open-air museum near Oslo. Architect Waldemar Hansteen assessed the condition of the conserved parts and made a plan for restoration. The restoration was overseen by Waldemar Hansteen and was completed in 1885. In 1907, the early open-air museum, the world´s first, was merged with the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, which now manages the stave church. The church, however, is still nominally the property of the reigning monarch.

In the 1980s, a modern replica has been erected in Gol as a tourist attraction in a theme park in central Gol. This replica is located some distance from the original site of the medieval church. There is also a replica in the Scandinavian Heritage Park in Minot, North Dakota and at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World in Florida.

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