After the Vikings, but long before anyone thought to ask “What does the fox say?”, Norway gave us stave churches.
This is the Borgund stave church, in the west-central Norwegian county of Sogn og Fjordane. It is a medieval wooden church built sometime between 1180 and 1250 AD, with later additions and restorations. Its walls are formed by vertical wooden boards, or staves, hence the name “stave church”. The four corner posts were connected to one another by ground sills, resting on a stone foundation. This is one of the best preserved of Norway’s 28 remaining stave churches. Of these, I have visited six so far. The craftsmanship, beauty, and durability of these structures is remarkable, especially considering that they are made of wood, and that they are upwards of 800 years old.