Reinli Stave Church

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The Reinli Stave Church (Norwegian: Reinli stavkyrkje) is a Norwegian stave church built some time during the second half of the 13th century in Reinli, a village in the Sør-Aurdal municipality of Innlandet county, Norway. It is the third church to have been located at the same location in Reinli.


The first references made to a church at this location comes from King Olaf Haraldsson who travelled through Valdres in 1023, and also visited Reinli. It is believed that there was a pagan temple at the same location before the first church was erected. The age of the Reinli stave church is uncertain. Through radiocarbon dating, logs in the church have been dated to 1190, which somewhat contradicts previous datings of the church. There are some claims that the church was built after 1326, but this seems to be outside the error envelope of radiocarbon dating. It could be that the church was rebuilt from materials used in an earlier church. There is, however, a written account of the church's existence in 1327.The Reinli stave church follows a plan set by continental churches in monasteries. Later the church was rebuilt by Sira Thord, who is buried beneath the south-east entrance. The church is generally assumed to be close to its original configuration, although some sources dispute this. The church underwent interior changes in 1884–1885. Restoration work was done on the exterior in 1976–1977. Of medieval fixtures, only the altarpiece and the baptismal font are left in the church. An old pillory stands outside the church, but is no longer in use. On May 17, 1845 its use was formally abandoned when the medieval law was changed. There is no electric heating or light in the church. The church is currently used on special occasions and otherwise functions as a museum..
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