Monday, October 3, 2011

Norwegian Monuments

The Europa theme for 1978 was ‘Monuments’. Accordingly Norway issued these two stamps shown on the First Day Cover on 2.5.1978 to commemorate their monuments. Shown are the two well preserved Stave Churches in Norway. The largest stave church in Norway is Heddal (1.25). It is not only a medieval architectural masterpiece, but also a living church for today's congregation in Notodden in Telemark. On the wall in the exterior passage, you can see runes inscribed, telling that the church was dedicated to the holy Virgin Mary. Inside the church you can see a beautifully carved wooden chair from around 1200. The wall-painting that you see today is dated 1668. Underneath, on the west wall, there are remains of the original painting from about 1300.

However, the most visited and most photographed stave church in Norway is Borgund (1.80) in Lærdal beside the Sognefjord. It is also one of the best preserved stave churches. Several runic inscriptions have been found on the church walls.

Borgund. Built around 1180 and is dedicated to the Apostle Andrew. The church is exceptionally well preserved and is one of the most distinctive stave churches in Norway. Some of the finest features are the lavishly carved portals and the roof carvings of dragons's heads. The stave churches are Norway's most important contribution to world architecture and Norway's oldest preserved. This FDC was sent to me by my dear friend Merja.

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