Gol Stave Church Museum in Minot, North Dakota

Looking up from the bottom of the hill.

Scandinavian Heritage Park is believed to be the only park dedicated to the five Nordic countries. The heritage park is operated by the Scandinavian Heritage Association and the Norsk Høstfest. The Norsk Høstfest is the largest Nordic festival in North America. The centerpiece of the park is the Gol Stave Church Museum. 

A stave church is a medieval wooden Christian church. They were once commonplace across northwestern Europe. Most stave churches are located in Norway. The name derives from the building’s post and lintel construction. 

The museum opened to the public in 2000 and happens to be just one of eight stave churches in the United States. The original church was constructed in Gol, Hallingdal and moved to the Folk Museum in Oslo, Norway nearly a century ago.

After the church was saved by King Oscar II, he then paid for its relocation. The church and museum are both known for their detailed wood carvings.  Philip Odden and Elsa Bigton of Barronet, Wisconsin added more carvings along the front and side portals. They also decorated the doors of the church.


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