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Olav`s Church Avaldsnes

Olav`s Church Avaldsnes

It was here that Harald Hårfagre set up his main farm after the decisive battle for the unification of Norway in Hafrsfjord around the year 870. Avaldsnes then retained this position of power right up to 1450. Today, the beautiful Olav`s Church is the most powerful memorial to these former great times.

King Håkon Håkonsson began work on Olav's Church in 1250. Presumably there was already a church on the same site that the Christian king Olav Tryggvason had built around the year 1000. Most likely this was a smaller wooden building, which was demolished in favor of the new church in stone. The church area at Avaldsnes itself is surrounded by burial mounds and large stone gravestones from pre-Christian times, so why was a more "vacant" building site not chosen for such monumental constructions?

The old royal seat of Avaldsnes is compared to Uppsala in Sweden and Jellinge in Denmark. Here, too, you find giant mounds and giant stones at an old cult site where a stone church is being built. What has been concluded here is that the first Christian kings must have thought strategically and sought out areas that were just well established as places of worship when they had to introduce new beliefs, rituals, laws and rules.

Reed more: Olavskirken

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