HOPPERSTAD STAVE CHURCH IN VIK IN SOGN

Hopperstad Stave Church in Vik in Sogn has a similar construction as Borgund Stave Church in Lærdal. It was built around year 1130 AD and is one of our oldest Stave Churches.

Hopperstad Stave Church is situated in Vik, which is a fjord village by the Sognefjord. This is in the same area as Balestrand, but on the opposite side of the fjord and two ferry routes away.

Visit Sognefjord

Visit Sognefjord is the official destination company for Vik in Sogn and the Sognefjord area.

Stave Churches in Western Norway

A Stave Church is a wooden church from the middle age. Most of the Norwegian Stave Churches were built right after the Viking Age around year 1100-1200. The name “Stave Church” comes from the construction of the buildings; large ground beams of wood are placed on a foundation of stone, then internal wooden pillars (staves) are interconnected and also connected to the outer walls.

FJORDS NORWAY - The UNESCO-Protected Urnes Stave Church at Urnes by the Lustrafjord. The idyllic Fjord Village Solvorn on the other side of the fjord.
The UNESCO-Protected Urnes Stave Church at Urnes by the Lustrafjord. The idyllic Fjord Village Solvorn on the other side of the fjord.

Hopperstad Stave Church in Vik

FJORDS NORWAY - Hopperstad Stave Church in Vik in Sogn by the Sognefjord.
Hopperstad Stave Church in Vik in Sogn.

Hopperstad Stave Church is situated on the farm Hopperstad in Vik in Sogn. The stave church was built around year 1130 AD and is one of the oldest stave churches in Norway. Dating that has been carried out in recent times from several samples of the timber shows that the timber in the stave church were cut between the years 1034 and 1116 AD.

Around year 1880 AD the church was reconstructed, and Borgund Stave Church in Lærdal was used as a “model”. It is believed that the church originally was similar to Borgund Stave Church. Most of the interior is preserved as it was originally.

Several external portals on Hopperstad Stave Church are richly decorated. There are wood carvings with, among other motifs, dragon motifs. In summer you can join a guided “tour” in Hopperstad Stave Church.

Season: See Hopperstad Stave Church website for season and opening hours.

Hove Stone Church in Vik

Hove Stone Church was built around year 1170 AD and is one of the oldest Stone Churches in Norway. Hove Stone Church is situated on the farm Hove in Vik in Sogn, only two kilometers distance from Hopperstad Stave Church. Hove Stone Church is open for visit during summer.

Season: See Hove Stone Church website for season and opening hours.

Vik in Sogn

FJORDS NORWAY - Hopperstad Stave Church in Vik in Sogn.
Hopperstad Stave Church in Vik in Sogn.

Vik in Sogn is best known for Hopperstad Stave Church and as the Old Chees’ home village.

The TINE Dairy which is based in the center of Vik, has its own Cheese Bar with a main focus on Old Cheese. The facility in Vik produces more than 65 tonnes of Old Cheese annually. In addition, they produce Mylsa which is a traditional cheese and they also receive large quantities of local raspberries that are turned into juice.

Vik Adventure take you in a RIB-Boat to beautiful and hidden gems in the Sognefjord area, like Arnafjorden and Finnabotn. They also do tours to other branches of the Sognefjord on private tours, such as the UNESCO Protected Nærøyfjord.

Sylvringen arrange Guided Cultural Tours in Vik, like the Historical Tour where you will visit both Hopperstad Stave Church and Hove Stone Church. They also do a tour to Hovsåsen which is a 12 kilometer long hike where you get to see the beautiful view of Vik from “above”. On some of the tours you will get the chance to taste the Old Cheese that is produced in Vik.

Vik is also the gateway to Stølsheimen Protected Landscape area. The protected landscape area represents a beautiful Western mountain- and fjord landscape and covers a total of 373 km². Vikafjellet is the most common approach to Stølsheimen, the Vikafjellsvegen between Vik and Vinje goes over Vikafjellet.

The area in and around Vik is also a popular starting point for many great mountain hikes. Most of them have fantastic fjord view over the Sognefjord, the King of the Fjords.

FJORDS NORWAY - View from Vikafjellsvegen Road towards Vik in Sogn. The Sognefjord, the King of the Fjords, in the background.
View from Vikafjellsvegen Road towards Vik in Sogn. The Sognefjord, the King of the Fjords, in the background.

Fjordsafari on the Sognefjord to Arnafjorden and Finnabotn in a RIB Boat

Finnabotn by the Sognefjord.
Finnabotn by the Sognefjord.

Balestrand Fjord Adventures offers fjord sightseeing in a RIB-boat. A tour to Finnabotn on the other side of the Sognefjord is an adventure you´ll never forget.

The boat trips to Finnabotn start and end in Balestrand. On the tours you will see the mighty Sognefjord and the beautiful nature that surrounds the fjord. The highlight is the Finnafjord, one of the Sognefjord’s most spectacular side fjords.

Here we guarantee that you will get a kink in your neck. The Finnafjord is narrow, the mountains are precipitous and the countless waterfalls plunge down the steep mountain sides.

Balestrand Fjord Adventures also offers private RIB-tours.

Finnabotnen – A Fjord Lodge in the untouched Finnafjord

Finnabotn, beautiful and wild. The Finnafjord is a branch of the Sognefjord.
Finnabotn, beautiful and wild. The Finnafjord is a branch of the Sognefjord.

Finnabotnen Fjord Lodge is located in Finnabotnen, deep inside the Finnafjord, which is an arm of the Sognefjord.

There you can stay in wonderful surroundings. If the Sognefjord is mighty, the roadless Finnafjord is even more mighty.

The mountains that surround the Finnafjord are precipitous, and the countless waterfalls are a great sight as they plunge down towards the fjord.

Finnabotn is part of the Stølsheimen Protected Landscape area, which consists of a beautiful Western mountain- and fjord landscape.

The statue of Fridtjof den Frøkne at Vangsnes

The statue of Fridtjof den Frøkne at Vangsnes by the Sognefjord.
The statue of Fridtjof den Frøkne at Vangsnes by the Sognefjord.

Due to the beautiful nature, the wild mountains and the location down by the fjord, Balestrand became a favorite place to visit among artists and the Norwegian and foreign society from the end of the 19th century until the beginning of World War I.

Germany´s Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany visited Balestrand several times, and it was an impressive sight when he entered the Sognefjord with his warships to spend his holidays there. Emperor Wilhelm II was a great enthusiast of Norway and especially the fjords in Western Norway. He vacationed in Balestrand over a period of more than 20 years, and he travelled there with his imperial ship Hohenzollern, which was followed by several other ships from the German navy.

The statue of Fridtjof den Frøkne that is placed at Vangsnes, 11 kilometers from Vik in Sogn, was a gift from the Emperor to the Norwegian people. The statue is 12 meters high, it is placed on a plinth which is 10 meters high. The enormous statue was unveiled on 31 July 1913.

FJORDS NORWAY - The statue of Fridtjof den Frøkne at Vangsnes by the Sognefjord. Balestrand on the other side of the fjord.
The statue of Fridtjof den Frøkne at Vangsnes by the Sognefjord. Balestrand on the other side of the fjord.

Balestrand by the Sognefjord

FJORDS NORWAY - Balestrand by the SognefjordIn the middle of the Sognefjord, where the fjord is at its widest and the mountains begin to rise, you will find Balestrand, an idyllic village down by the fjord.

Balestrand is one of the first places visited by foreign tourists when they discovered Norway in the middle of the 19th century.

The magnificent villas from the 18th and 19th centuries, which were built in Dragestil and Swiss style, among them Villa Strandheim, Villa Lorne and Villa Normann, the St. Olaf’s Church and Hotel Kviknes, are reasons enough to visit Balestrand. St. Olaf’s Church was the inspiration for the chapel where Elsa was crowned in Disney’s film Frozen I.

Due to the beautiful nature, the wild mountains and the location down by the fjord, Balestrand became a favorite place among artists and the Norwegian and foreign society from the end of the 19th century until the beginning of the First World War.

FJORDS NORWAY - View from Orrabenken at 370 masl, a viewpoint by the trail between Balestrand and Mt Raudmelen.
View from Orrabenken at 370 masl towards Balestrand. This is a viewpoint by the trail between Balestrand and Mt Raudmelen.

Sognefjord – What to See and Do

Sognefjord.
Sognefjord.

The Sognefjord, the king of the fjords, is the longest fjord adventure in Norway. The Sognefjord is 204 kilometres long and 1308 metres deep at its deepest.

Join a guided glacier walk on the Nigardsbreen glacier. Take a short hike to Mt Molden in Luster and you will get a fantastic view down towards the Lustrafjord. See the beautiful stave churches around the Sognefjord. Urnes Stave Church is one of them, it is located at Ornes by the Lustrafjord and is part of our common world heritage.

Join a fjord safari or a fjord cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. Experience the view from Stegastein viewpoint above the Aurlandsfjord. Flåm Railway has been named one of the ten most beautiful railways in the world. This is the train journey from fjord to mountain, and many people take the train ride both ways.

In the middle of the Sognefjord, where the fjord is at its widest and the mountains starts to rise, you’ll find Balestrand, an idyllic village down by the fjord. The fjord village of Fjærland is located deep in the Fjærlandsfjord. It is so beautiful there that it is almost unreal. Fjærland is also called The Norwegian Book Town because of all the book sales in the tiny village.

Borgund Stave Church was built around year 1181 AD. and is the most visited stave church in Norway. Close by is the old Vindhellavegen Road that runs between Borgund and Husum in the Lærdalen valley in Lærdal. The old Vindhellavegen Road is part of the old King´s Road between east and west in Norway.

The Fjærlandsfjord, Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, the Årdalsfjord and the Lustrafjord are all branches of the Sognefjord. These side fjords are perhaps even more famous than the Sognefjord itself, which is located in the middle of Western Norway. The Sognefjord is so long that it almost divides Norway in two.

References

Stavechurch.com
Fortidsminneforeningen
Visit Sognefjord
Wikipedia

Hotels and Accommodation in Vik in Sogn

Blix Hotell
Vik Camping
Finnabotn Fjord Lodge

Vik in Sogn – Useful Links

Vikjavev – About Vik in Sogn.
Vik Adventure – RIB Boat to hidden gems on the Sognefjord.
Hopperstad Stave Church from 1130 AD.
Hove Stone Church from from 1170 AD.
Sylvringen – Guided cultural tours in Vik in Sogn.
The TINE Dairy and Cheese Bar in the center of Vik.
Amazing Fjords – Tailormade Norwegian Fjord Adventure, based at Vangsnes.

 

HOTELS - LINKS - FAQ

Here you will find an overview of recommended HOTELS in addition to SPA & BATH HOTELS and OTHER ACCOMMODATION PLACES in Western Norway. The combination of beautiful nature, activities that you can do in all four seasons and a stay at a great accommodation is unique. A stay in one of these places will do you good, both for body and mind.

There are ten restaurants that have awarded Michelin stars and Michelin awards in Western Norway. Eight of the Michelin restaurants are in Stavanger and two in Bergen. Here you will find FJORDS MICHELIN, where you will also find a list of recommended hotels in Western Norway, recommended by Michelin.

USEFUL LINKS is a list of websites with great information on Norway and the Fjords. FAQ is an overview of articles that answer the most common questions you have when planning to visit the fjords in Western Norway.

Hopperstad Stave Church and Vik in Sogn – Map Overview