Monday, September 08, 2008


The Hjemkomst Center also has a Stave Kirke, or Stave Church, a replica of this church in Norway. Notice the gargoyles on the roof peaks. They were carved and placed there to keep the evil demons away from the church.

This is the interior. No pews. The people stood during the services, which often lasted at least two hours. There is a narrow bench around the wall for the elder folks to sit on.
There was no source of heat either, but I suppose all standing bunched together would keep you pretty warm.
There is very beautiful carving and painting on this small enclosed area which may have been for the wealthy family or for visiting church officials.
The altar is white marble covered with a red hardanger embroidered cloth. Hardanger embroidery came from the Hardangerfjord area of western Norway, and is usually worked on a white even weaved cloth. It is a design that is cut and embroidered on the fabric, counting each stitch on the weave. Hard to explain, check the link. It is very beautiful! My daughter, Kari , has a huge hardanger tablecloth that her mother-in-law made for her and Mike. This is called a ambulatory. It goes all the way around the outside of the church, and was a sheltered place where the sick people could stand, outside of the church so they wouldn't infect others, but close enough to hear and take part in the service. There is a tiny door on the other side of the church where the pastor inside could offer communion to those outside without infecting everyone inside the building.
A tiny door so only one person could enter at a time, and therefore the evil spirits would have a hard time getting in. The door has a high threshold where you would have to step up and over to get inside, hopefully to keep out the blowing snow and the smaller rodents that would be looking to enter to keep warm.

This beautifully rosemaled church bench was in the entryway of the Center. This is another beautiful Norwegian talent. I can't do either rosemaling or hardanger embroidery. The sun came out for about thirty seconds just as I was starting supper.


Michelle said...

Keep it up. I am enjoying "our" trip so far.

Lisa J said...

Oh my gosh, I just can't stand this. I am going to have to let lose and start traveling. I want to catch up with you and go together so you can show me all this neat stuff.

Why do you need a different camera? You are taking AMAZING pictures...AMAZING. ok, got to head off to the next posting you did.