Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Borgund Stave Church. Altarpiece, pulpit, doors, dim interior, Laerdal in Sogn.

Only by manipulating exposure afterwards for this dim interior at Borgund Stave Church can the details of the wood emerge.  The experience is standing here or there and simply clicking, with no idea of what the photograph will show.

The overall impression is of austerity.  

1.  The altarpiece is from the Reformation era, that followed the Catholic era, from its early informal beginnings with missionaries in 900 to kings being converted abroad and bringing in militant theology to back their claims to turf and nationalism, to 1537+, and when Lutheran Protestants and then Pietists took over, see  The Lutheran Church is no longer the state church.

Altar, Borgund Stave Church, 1620-54. Norway

The altar piece is identified as Renaissance at 
I did not note the year 1654 on it in the dark, but it is apparently there, see site. The altar table itself is medieval, and contains spaces for relics.

2.  The pulpit dates from 1550, and is the oldest pre-Reformation pulpit in Norway,  see Coast-Alive. Sites do not always agree on precise dating.

Pulpit, Borgund Stave Church, made in Romsdal, Norway

3.  Many barely visible doors are set in the wooden walls, all with vertical wide boards, and lead to the outside gallery or to side rooms.  The placement of this door, near the altar, looks like it leads to a more private space. When did sacristies or robing rooms come into favor?

People stood.  This is pewless.

Altar area doorway, Borgund Stave Church, leading to gallery outside. Laerdal in Sogn, NO

That door is equally unobtrusive when seen from outside, at the covered gallery.  Is the ironwork original?

Another doorway, open to the outside gallery, shows decorated panels.

5.  The main portal is medieval, and opens through three basic nave areas to the altar. St. Andrew's crosses ring an upper level.  It is not clear whether that upper level was actually used.

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