KAUPANGER STAVE CHURCH AT KAUPANGER BY THE SOGNEFJORD

Kaupanger Stave Church has been in continous use since it was built around year 1140 AD. The stave church is beautifully situated with view over Kaupangerbukta bay by the mighty Sognefjord.

Kaupanger Stave Church is one of the largest stave churches in Norway, and is built with wood from the forest around Kaupanger.

Visit Sognefjord

Visit Sognefjord is the official destination company for 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 AD. 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 - Urnes Stave Church at Ornes by the Lustrafjord. The idyllic Fjord Village Solvorn on the other side of the fjord.
The UNESCO-Protected Urnes Stave Church at Ornes by the Lustrafjord. The idyllic Fjord Village Solvorn on the other side of the fjord.

Kaupanger Stave Church at Kaupanger by the Sognefjord

FJORDS NORWAY - Kaupanger Stave Church is idyllically situated with view of Kaupangerbukti bay by the Sognefjord.
Kaupanger Stave Church is idyllically situated with view of Kaupangerbukti bay by the Sognefjord.

Kaupanger Stave Church has been in continous use since it was built around year 1140 AD. It is one of the largest stave churches in Norway, and is built with wood from the forest around Kaupanger.

The church is situated on the hillside above the Kaupanger bay by the mighty Sognefjord. Kaupanger is originally an old Viking trading town. The name Kaupanger origins from the two norse words “Kaup” (to buy) and “angr” (bay).

There was originally another stave church at Kaupanger, but it burned down in 1130 AD. Several objects from Kaupanger Stave Church are today on display at the University Museum in Bergen. Among the objects that have been transferred to the museum is, among other things, a decorated wooden plate that is dated to the 13th century.

Kaupanger Stave Church is still in use as a parish church and is used both for services, baptisms and weddings. Apart from Kaupanger, Sogndal is the closest town to the church, it is about 12 kilometers to drive from Sogndal to Kaupanger Stave Church.

Season: Kaupanger Stave Church is open for visit during summer. See the official website of Kaupanger Stave Church for information about season and opening hours.

Sogn Outdoor Museum – The Heiberg Collection

FJORDS NORWAY - A cuddly pig pokes its snout out between the fence posts.
A cuddly pig pokes its snout out between the fence posts.

The outdoor museum The Heiberg Collection at Kaupanger is a beautiful oasis where you are brought back in time, to different eras where you can see and experience what life in the Sognefjord area was like before.

It is a great experience to walk around the outdoor museum and look at the old buildings and to see the animals grazing, and to enjoy the silence and the beautiful view towards the Sognefjord and the mountains in the distance. Here you can get the feeling of what life was like in the old days.

Sogn Outdoor Museum (The Heiberg Collection) was established as early as in 1909 on parts of landowner Gert Falch Heiberg’s property in Amla at Kaupanger. Heiberg had collected more than 3,000 objects from Sogn in addition to a house, and in 1909 he donated the collection to Historielaget i Sogn, which then established the Sogn Outdoor Museum.

The museum was Heiberg’s great passion, and he managed the museum until his death in 1949. By then he had more than 20,000 cataloged objects in the collection.

Ferry trip on the Sognefjord between Kaupanger and Gudvangen

Ferry on the Nærøyfjord.
Ferry on the Nærøyfjord.

Kaupanger is one of two ports where the iconic ferry trip along the inner part of the Sognefjord departs and arrives.

This is a two and a half hour long fjord cruise on the Sognefjord and the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord, between Kaupanger and Gudvangen.

On this ferry trip you will see the mighty Sognefjord, where the fjord is at its widest. The outermost part of the Aurlandsfjord is narrower than the Sognefjord, but still quite wide. The Nærøyfjord is narrow and the precipitous mountains rise high above the fjord.

Countless rivers and waterfalls cascade down the steep mountain sides. On this ferry trip you can see and experience the stark contrasts and the beautiful and wild nature of this wonderful piece of Norway.

You can take your car on this ferry trip.

Season: Summer, see link for more information about season and scedule.

FJORDS NORWAY - The Sognefjord
The Sognefjord and Lærdalsfjord seen from Haukåsen near Kaupanger. The ferry that runs between Kaupanger and Gudvangen is small compared to the gigantic Sognefjord.

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.

Referances

Stavechurch.com – Kaupanger Stave Church
Wikipedia

Hotels and Accommodation in Sogndal and Kaupanger

Eat and Drink in Sogndal – some recommendations

How to travel to Sogndal

Many roads lead to the Sognefjord area. This is a road above the Aurlandsfjord.
Many roads lead to the Sognefjord area. This is a road above the Aurlandsfjord.

It is easy to travel to Sogndal and the Sognefjord, you can travel there by a combination of car, bus, train or plane.

There are several daily bus departures between Sogndal and Oslo and Sogndal and Bergen.

The nearest airport is Sogndal Airport at Haukåsen near Kaupanger. Most flights that go to and from Sogndal Airport come from and go to Oslo and Bergen. The driving distance from the airport to Sogndal is 19 kilometers, there is a bus connection between Sogndal and Sogndal Airport.

You can travel by train from Oslo or Bergen to Myrdal station. Then you get to experience the Bergen Railway between Oslo and Bergen and Flåm Railway, one of Norway’s most spectacular railway lines, from Myrdal station to Flåm, which is located down by the Aurlandsfjord. If you take Flåm Railway, you get to experience the beautiful Flåmsdalen valley at the same time. The driving distance between Flåm and Sogndal is approximately 72 kilometres, including a ferry crossing over the Sognefjord.

 

HOTELS - ACCOMMODATION - LINKS

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.

Kaupanger Stave Church – Map Overview