This marks the Twenty-sixth year for the Stavkirke Christmas Ornament. The Hedaalen Stav Church has an interesting story associated with it. The original Stav Church was built in 1163 based on recorded history. It served as a small single nave church for the Valdres area. When the Black Death spread through the valley many farms and villages were deserted.
It was "rediscovered"in 1558 by a huntsman in search of game who missed a shot at a grouse with an arrow only to have it glance off the church bell. The woods had crept through the valley in 200 years since that area had been abandoned. The huntsman was startled by the sound of a bell and went to see what he had hit. To his surprise he found the Hedalen Stav Church exactly the way it had been left in the 1300's. Everything was there and intact. It was as if time had stood still inside the Church.
As the huntsman looked around the inside of the small church a bear rose up from in front of the altar and the huntsman fell the bear where he stood. To this date there is a bear skin in the church vestry.
Civilization rapidly retook the valley and soon the church was again the local church. As the number of people grew the Church grew as well first acquiring a cruciform shape in 1695. Later it was reconfigured to what we see today in 1738 when the new steeple was installed.
The Valdres valley has always been a prosperous area. One need to only look at all of the ornamentation and gifts that were given to the Church dating all the way back to 1163. The Church is still used today for services and special occasions.
- Blue silk-screened design on porcelain
- 2.5" disk with ribbon
- Gift boxed with a detailed history of the church
- Manufacturer: Norse Traditions, A/S