Sky Dragons

As I said in yesterday’s post the woods at Fantoft also contain an example of one of Norway’s most prized cultural creations. Several wooden churches can be found at various locations throughout the country.  Known as stave churches many of these were built in Scandinavia‘s early Christian period although almost all the surviving examples are in Norway.

Despite being churches they still contain much iconography from the pre-Christian era, most notably the large dragon heads adorning the roof of this church at Fantoft.

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while will know that I posted on this subject before but the photos from Monday’s visit are far better as was the weather.  Enjoy some unique Norwegian architecture…


Approaching the church from the slopes below.


Coming round the side we can see more of the dragons’ heads.


The dragon heads stand out against the sky.


We can also see the lattice work along the top of the roof.


Fire shoots from the dragons’ mouths.


The whole church seen from the small hill behind.






About Mjollnir
Scottish guy married to a Norwegian and now living in Bergen

36 Responses to Sky Dragons

  1. Fitting designs for a country whose dragon-headed boats of old struck fear and awe into so many.
    I wonder if you might have some interior photos?

    • Mjollnir says:

      Sadly not Maurice. The whole thing was burnt to the ground in 1992 and rebuilt. It’s now fenced off and locked. I’ve no idea what the interior looks like.

  2. Malin H says:

    I have been there :)
    Very special church!

  3. My favourite churches; all wood; not kitschy-overwhelming; and construction, masses and ‘dragons’ in perfect harmony. Too bad that you can’t go in freely. (I also was curious about the interior; must be pretty dark inside). Thanks&cheers, harrie.

  4. Wow, this is such a cool building. It looks like a very old design….makes me think of Viking halls and feasts. I love the dragons on the roof, warding off evil I suppose, like a gargoyle!

    • Mjollnir says:

      Probably. Although I’m pretty sure not everyone gave up their old beliefs overnight and Christians always incorporated older sites and icons into their churches when moving into new areas :-D

  5. Mike Powell says:

    That has to be one of the most unusual-looking churches ever–you did a great job capturing its unique beauty in your shots. The dragons add a really quirky touch, though I guess they are not that much different from the gargoyles at some churches.

  6. May that guy rot in a certain unpleasant place for an unspecified time for burning this thing down.

  7. windhound says:

    These are great views and of course I love the dragons This site shows one interior shot ( pictures change as you view the page) and this site even has a video! The intricate carving is spectacular.

    • Mjollnir says:

      Nice one. Very similar to Fantoft church which was originally built in Sogn as well then moved to Bergen in 1883. :-D

  8. Mark Simms says:

    How cool are they…..😊

  9. philandre says:

    Sublime architecture. It’s interesting how many nation states have wonderful wooden churches (Russia, Poland, Romania, etc.), but the styles are so different. This Norwegian church is top dog! Phil.

  10. Reblogged this on Vector Charley and commented:
    A Scot in Michigan loved this.

  11. Cris says:

    Wow! That’s some church. It looks more like a Chinese pagoda. And with a rooster on top for a weather vane. Nice. And thanks for stopping by and liking my latest post on my f-stop fantasy blog.

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