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 is the official destination company for the Sognefjord area.
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.
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.
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.
Kaupanger is one of two ports where the iconic ferry trip on 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. You can take your car on this ferry trip. Season: Summer, see link for more information about season and scedule.
The Sognefjord, the king of the fjords, is the longest fjord adventure in Norway. The Sognefjord is 204 kilometers long and 1308 meters deep at its deepest. Join a guided glacier walk on the Nigardsbreen glacier, see the beautiful stave churches. Join a fjord safari or a fjord cruise on the Aurlandsfjord and Nærøyfjord. Experience the view from Stegastein viewpoint above the Aurlandsfjord. Take a short hike to Mt Molden in Luster and you will see the fantastic view down to the Lustrafjord. Balestrand is one of the first places the foreign tourists visited when they discovered Norway in the mid-19th century. 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.
Accommodation in Sogndal and Kaupanger
- Hoflsund Fjordhotell in Sogndal
- Sogndal Hotell in Sogndal
- Lægreid Hotell in Sogndal
- Kjørnes Camping – at Kjørnes in Sogndal
- Sogndal Fjordpanorama between Kaupanger and Sogndal
- Vesterland Feriepark at Kaupanger
- Amlasanden Fjordcamping at Kaupanger
Eat and Drink in Sogndal – some recommendations
- Dampskipskaien down by the fjord – Short-travelled food and drinks in a great atmosphere.
- La Pergola på Sogndal Hotell – Italian, great food and drinks. In the summer you can sit outside.
- Brasa Restaurant og Bar – Restaurant in Sogndalsfjøra with the best from Latin America.
- Fjøra Gastropub – Gastropub/Pizza in the first floor, Pub and football in the basement.
- In the summer, it’s nice to sit in the garden at Hofslund Fjord Hotel and enjoy something good to drink.
How to travel to Sogndal
It is easy to travel to Sogndal and the Sognefjord, you can travel there by a combination of car, bus, train or plane.
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.