Thursday’s Special: Traces of the Past. Norway – Værnes Church c 1085

Trondheim Værnes
Værnes Kirke

Where can you find a church that has a building purpose-built to house one’s weapons when attending church?  Where can you find Viking architecture still in regular use and see frescoes from the end of the first millennium? – By making a detour from Værnes Lufthavn,to Størdal, in Norway and here it what awaits you:

Vaernes kirke
Frescoes on the walls of the church in Størdal

Vaernes Church tour at Stjørdal dates back to 1085 AD and is the oldest church in Norway. The residents were not allowed to bring their weapons ( axes etc) into the church when they attended, so a purpose build house was constructed just for their weapons which they would collect on their way home.

Weapon house
Weapon house

Inside the church you will find a fantastic carved wooden altar and “chair” There were faces carved in to the interior of the chair – some think it was Von Schultz the general who had the chair built, but one is not sure. In the pulpit there was red colours mixed with ochre and painted into the carving.  The wall mural  pre-dates the carved pulpit.

Værnes kirke, Stordal, Norway
Værnes kirke, Størdal, Norway

Threatened by the nazis, Værnes Church has survived and is still used for services, so popular in fact that it is booked, for weddings, out many months/years in advance.

Værnes Kirke is a trace of the past and something to ponder about.

This is part of a Thursday Special challenge at Lost in Translation


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