Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Oppland. Sor-Fron Church, Hundorp. Octagonal. Fron Parish.

An Influence Mix from 1792
Shall we wish the old stave church back?

What had the stave church looked like, that this replaced?  A medieval stave church at a nearby farm, Listad, had served this parish until its replacement here, by this flossy, masonry and very large structure, in 1792. Listad is not listed on the farms list now, see http://www.satelliteviews.net/cgi-bin/w.cgi?c=no&DG=FRMS&a=L

1.  Style.  The new church here follows a style that is unexpectedly Baroque inside, or Louis XVI style; and German or Swiss Protestant outside.  The sides of the octagon are not equal, so it looks elongated, known as a "broad church."  Master builder:  Svend Aspas; spellings include Svend Halvorsen Aspaas. How many seats?  750.  Louis XIV style preceded the Napoleonic era's Empire style, and recurs in Norway.  Norwegian royalty looked to other parts of Europe, including the Swedish Gustavian, seet http://www.countryswedish.com/index.php/72-about-country-swedish/about-us/518-history-of-swedish-gustavian-style

Sor-Fron Church, Hundorp, Oppland, Norway

Masonry churches like this were more expensive than wood, so indicate local affluence. Why this ornate, French-looking style? German? Swiss?  Nearby Gudbrandsdalen housed a garrison with Danes and Germans, so perhaps this style was to associate the more rural Norwegians with those cultures. Norwegian troops also had served recently at Schleswig-Holstein.

2.  Doors.  Ironwoek. The Fron Church doors at, the side and rear  are the most imaginative. Find ironwork.

The front door looks pompous.

3.  Lock-up.  The church is locked against us. To the windows.  Too high to look in.

Hoist the camera high, press lens to glass, and click. 

Surreal results, award-winners for sure, so all are included here, since this is near Halloween. Fear not, that is just Dan wondering what the driver is doing.

These get better.  Lens to glass technique produces pews, and sky.  Changing vistas.  

4.  Lutheran Church of Norway, the national church, as been formally abolished. There are too few believers.  Is this multi-faceted perspective apporpriate since the Norwegian Parliament abolished the Lutheran Church of Norway as the national church in 2012, and renamed the Lutheran Church of Norway as The People's Church.  See http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2012/05/22/norway-abolishes-national-church/

Best of all of the famous lens-t0-glass photographs of Sor-Fron.  A delineated interior structure set in the great outdoors, again with pews.

Old church registers are listed at http://www.borgos.nndata.no/register.htm/. These registers usually start much later than the parish activity itself, and as a result of laws.  The Norwegians did not take well to Christianity as the institutional Christians changed it. Only three or so Roman Catholic churches remain.  King Christian III in 1536 ordered that the country adopt the Lutheran Reformation; Roman Catholic monasteries were disbanded, property confiscated.  The new church became effectively an extension of the Church of Denmark -- the Norwegians had no university, and the Danes were more literate at the time.  The Danish Royalty took control.  The Norwegians do not take kindly to absolutism, but yoke-freeing took time. See http://www.zum.de/whkmla/period/reformation/norref.html.  By then, however, the indigenous, vital culture had been decimated. Does Christianity decimate cultures, and to what end.

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