Gol Stave Church Museum
A full-size replica of the Gol Stave Church, which was moved from
Gol, Hallingdal to the Folk Museum in Bygdoy Park in Oslo, Norway about
100 years ago, has a place of honor in the Heritage Park.
A groundbreaking ceremony, which was attended by many dignitaries
from Scandinavia and America, was held on October 12, 1999. The church
was dedicated on October 10, 2000 and the inaugural service was held on
October 9, 2001. Myron D. Peterson, M.D. chaired the
committee dedicated to building this 60-foot by 45-foot at the base by
about 60-foot-high memorial to the pioneer immigrants who uprooted
themselves from Scandinavia to make new homes in North America.
Noted wood carvers Philip Odden and Elsa Bigton of Barronet,
Wisconsin have completed the intricately-carved front and side portals
Some 700-800-year-old stave churches in Norway still stand.
Gol Stave Church Museum, in Scandinavian Heritage Park is a full-size
replica of the original church built in about 1250, now in Bygdoy Park
Inside the church, the corner posts are essential. They are often
accentuated, and are heavier and more richly decorated than the other
structural elements. "They represent the four gospels whose teachings
are the supporting foundation of all Christianity" is the description
given in a sermon in the thirteenth century. This sermon was held
during a church consecration, in which each section of the stave
church's structure was related to spiritual values. The beams upon
which the columns rest "signify God's apostles, the foundation of all
Christianity." The floor boards represent "the humble men who bow in
honour; the more they are exposed to the trampling feet of the
congregation, the more support they provide."
The roof surface which protects the church from snow and inclement
weather "represents the men...whose prayers protect Christianity from
-excerpts above from Norway's Stave Churches by Eva Valebrokk and Thomas Thiis-Evensen.