Stave Church: Borgund, Norway
Borgund Stave Church in Norway, built in the late 1100's. When the Vikings became Christians, they built Churches like this one, over 1,000 of them.The majority of existing stave churches are found in Norway, but related church types were once common all over northwestern Europe.
Borgund stave church (Borgund stavkyrkje) is a stave church located inBorgund, Laerdal, Sogn, Norway. It is classified as a triple nave stave church of the so-called Sogn-type. This is the best preserved of Norway's28 extant stave churches. It was probably built in the end of the 12th century, and has not changed structure or had a major reconstruction since that date.
Most striking and odd to modern Christian eyes are the four dragon's heads, like those used on the prows of the old Viking ships (these were placed on the highest roof-peaks to serve the same function as the gargoyles on medieval Cathedrals) to ward off evil spirits. It should be noted that many more Christian crosses than dragon's heads adorn the peaks of the church roof.