Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Borgund Stave Church, Norway

Another official, but this one is much older, back from 2008. It's from Joey who used to be the most active postcrosser in Norway, but he's since left Postcrossing, which is a shame as he was such a nice guy. I've received a few cards from him and they are all great.


Borgund Stave Church is a stave church located in Borgund, Lærdal, Norway. It is classified as a triple nave stave church of the so-called Sogn-type. This is also the best preserved of Norway's 28 extant stave churches.

Borgund was built sometime between AD 1180 and 1250 with later additions and restorations. Its walls are formed by vertical wooden boards, or staves, hence the name stave church. The 4 corner posts were connected to one another by ground sills, resting atop a stone foundation. The rest of the staves then rise from the ground sills, each stave notched and grooved along the sides so that they lock into one another, forming a sturdy wall.

Borgund has tiered, overhanging roofs, topped with a tower. On the gables of the roof, there are four carved dragon heads, swooping from the carved roof ridge crests, recalling the carved dragon heads found on the prows of Norse ships. Similar gable heads also appear on small bronze house shaped reliquaries common in Norway in this period. Borgund’s current dragon heads possibly date from the 18th century, however original dragon heads remaining on earlier structures, such as the stave church at Lom stave church and nearby Urnes stave church, the oldest still extant stave church, also in the Sogn district, suggest that there probably would have been similar dragon heads there at one time. Borgund is one of the only churches to still have preserved its ridge crests, carved with openwork vine and vegetal repeating designs.

The stamp on the right is from a set of 4 stamps issued in 2008, with the theme 'Transport'. The other one I couldn't find any info of.

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