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Scale Replica of the Gol Stave Church, Norway Pavilion, Epcot, Disney World
Image by bill barber
I’ve always loved the textural magnificence of Northern European stave and pole churches
A stave church is a medieval wooden church with a post and beam construction related to timber framing. The wall frames are filled with vertical planks. The load-bearing posts (stafr in Old Norse) have lent their name to the building technique. Related church types are post church and churches with palisade walls.
All of the surviving stave churches except one are found in Norway, but related church types were once common all over northwestern Europe.
The building at Epcot is a replica of the Gol Stave church found in the Norwegian Folk Museum in Oslo, Norway.
Gol stave church (Gol stavkirke) is a stave church originally from Gol municipality, Hallingdal, Norway. When the municipality 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 Norwegian Ancient Monuments, which bought the materials in order to re-erect the church elsewhere. 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. The restoration was completed in 1885, overseen by architect Waldemar Hansteen. In 1907 this early open air museum, the world’s first, was merged with the Norsk Folkemuseum, which now manages the stave church, still nominally the property of the reigning monarch.
A modern replica of the stave church has been erected in Gol on a site far from the original one.
The church is dendrochronologically dated to 1212.
Researchers believe there may have been as many as 2000 Stave churches in existence at the end of the 13th century. Today less than 30 original stave churches remain. In recent years there have been a few replicas built in North America. Phillip Odden and Else Bigton were fortunate to have worked on the Stave Church which stands in the Norwegian Pavilion at Epcot in Florida and the Gol replica which stands in Minot, North Dakota.
Whereas the Disney stave church is an 80% scale model and lacks many details, the Minot church is full scale and fully carved. Construction of the building started in 1999 and was finished in 2001.
This was not given an HDR treatment. It was simply sharpened a bit. The actual building has a matte patina.
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