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Urnes stave church was inscribed on UNESCO´s World Heritage List in 1979. Urnes stave church was built in the 1130´s A.D. The church has a unique position in architectural and building style history, and is a central piece of Norwegian art and history. It is among the oldest of the preserved stave churches, an example of excellent craftsmanship and well executed wood work. The church has an unusually rich interior decoration. Urnes Stave Church is in a magnificent natural setting: the ideal of the 1880´s natural-romantic Norwegian landscape.

Urnes Stave Church was most likely built as a private church for the rich and powerful Ornes family, which played a leading role on the side of Baglerne during the civil wars. Following the peace with Håkon Håkonson in 1217, they were the King´s trusted men.

The builders of the church were well acquainted with international trends in architecture, and translated these from stone to wood. Both the exceptional quality and wealth displayed in the dècor at Urnes demonstrates the wealth and the power of the builders.


The style of ornamentation of the church is interesting, and is dated to the period between 1050-1100 A.D. This indicates that much of the ornamentation was from an earlier church. It is assumed that the earlier church was demolished around the middle of the 12th century and the material was re-used in the standing church.

The ground under the church indicates that there must have been a building earlier, which most likely was built during the time when Christianity was introduced to Norway.


Europe´s longest fjord, Sognefjorden, stretches deep into the country and meets Jotunheimen and Jostedalsbreen. Luster, which by area is one of the largest municipalities in southern Norway, is a fascinating part of Norway with breathtaking fjords, steep mountains, water-abundant waterfalls, blue glaciers and luxuriant valleys.

We are looking over to Walaker Hotel in Solvorn. The gallery exhibits both local and other works of high quality. Ferry connection between Solvorn and Urnes (Urnes Stave Church).


The best known arms are Nigard glacier, Bergset glacier, Austerdal glacier and Fåbergstøl glacier. A large part of The Jotunheim National Park lies in Luster. The Jotunheim National Park is characterised by majestic mountains, glaciers, lakes and a rich flora.


The World Heritage List includes 812 properties forming part of the cultural and natural heritage which the World Heritage Committee considers as having outstanding universal value. These include 628 cultural, 160 natural and 24 mixed properties in 137 States Parties.