The incredible churches built without nails that survived the plague and fire

The incredible churches built without nails that survived the plague and fire

Las iglesias de madera o “stavkirke” están consideradas patrimonio arquitectónico y son admiradas en todo el mundo por la compleja técnica artesanal que se usó para construirlas. Su historia comienza en el siglo XII, y aunque se cree que hubo 2000 distribuidas en el norte de Europa, actualmente solo se mantienen en pie 30 de estos imponentes templos.Las increíbles iglesias construidas sin clavos que sobrevivieron la peste y el fuego

The origin of these "black churches" that includes the Vikings, dates back to the Middle Ages and captures the public's attention for the remarkable contrast between its dark exterior and the carved relics that shine inside through the sun's rays.Norway is the country that has the most: it has 28 Stavkirke, and one more persists in Sweden and another in Poland.

These medieval Christian buildings are unique for being the last of the world built with artisanal wood.The oldest date from more than 800 years, and reveal the ability of the carpenters of the time to raise constructions of up to six floors with a tower in the vertex.

The technique used is called "La Stavverk", and consists of a wooden frame formed with thick angular posts ["Stave" in Norwegian, where his name comes] sustained by spikes and soleras.The work was done on rock foundations, to protect the moisture material, and the wooden framework is done in such a way that it resists climatic conditions, and offers stability and stiffness.

A mixture of cultures and knowledge

Although they have been studied during the last 160 years, there is still a certain mystery around them and experts do not agree on how they arose.There are hardly a few written sources about the planning and design of these churches, and that is why there are more questions than the answers.

Some theologians believe they were built by foreigners who had acquired artisanal knowledge and skills to carry out the work.In this sense, there was a migratory current in the 10th century, in the middle of the viking era to the Middle Ages, just when Norway definitely became Christianity and the stolpekirke was implemented, as this type of church raised with posts with posts is called of wood.

The brilliant use of the materials allowed them to improve the constructions to create works of art where Christian and Vikingo symbolism converge.They were mostly built between 1150 and 1350, the same time when the great Gothic cathedrals in France and Spain began to emerge.

Las increíbles iglesias construidas sin clavos que sobrevivieron la peste y el fuego

By tradition there was a cemetery around the parish churches, with a size that adjusted to the needs of the congregation, and each of them is maintained until this day.In fact, many tourists who make guided tours are surprised to read the registrations of the tombs and discover that some are older than the temples themselves, since when one of these was destroyed, over time another was built in the same place.

To burn in flames to heritage

In 1851 a new ecclesiastical law was promulgated that established that the Norwegian churches had to have a quota for at least a third of the population of the parish.It was at that time that many of these wood churches became inappropriate for their capacity.First they chose to make holes on the walls so that the parishioners could hear the masses from the outside, and when that was not enough they tried to improvise extensions.

The lack of maintenance and the recurring fires made many of those architectural jewels end up burning in flames.After the black plague they disappeared even more: in 1650 there were around 270;In the next century another 135 vanished;until you reach the only thirty that remain today.

Once the experts alerted about the historical and cultural value of these temples, the joint efforts to recover and protect them began to arrive.Several were rescued by society for the preservation of ancient monuments;Some were bought and remained in their original place;And others were transferred, such as the Vang Church, taken to the current Poland.

Within the 28 that remain in Norway it is difficult to highlight only some, but without a doubt there are two that differ from the rest: the Borgund church was bought by the Memory Association Past in 1877, and became one of the most representative of the genre of the genre;While the Urnes church was added to the Unesco World Heritage list in 1979.

Dragons as Guardians

The Urnes church was restored in the twentieth century, but retains the characteristic decoration known as “classic urnes” style, for representations of snakes and lions animals.Some interpret that it symbolizes a struggle between good and evil in a Christian sense, and others see it as the representation of a scene of Nordon Nidhogg Nordic mythology.

As for Borgund's Stavkirke, according to the National Geographic, it was built without using a single nail, and this surprises the architects, since they combined several techniques to join each part, and waterproof with the break and moss they usedIn their ships.It was erected between 1180 and 1250, and has six levels with a roof of carved tiles that narrow up.

The four dragons head.In turn, wood tiles look like the scales of the skin of a dragon, and in the doors are carved heads and tails of the reptile mythological, next to snake symbols and lions.

Runic inscriptions live with Catholic symbols and viking ships.The curious decoration that Amalgama Christianity and Paganism still confuses historians.It is considered one of the greatest representations of human ingenuity, in addition to a great feat, since despite the cold winters and wear that the snow produces, it has been standing for eight centuries.

Originally I had no more than columns to hold the roof, but over the years they added banks, with a heart carved on those on the left side, for women, and a kind of trident on the right side, for men.All its details made the church of Borgund the most visited and photographed of wood churches.

Inspiration for Disney

After the success of the two Frozen deliveries on the big screen, some fans noticed that the film's landscapes are based on places in Norway.This is how they warned certain similarities between Arendelle Castle - which is nothing more and nothing less than the house of the sisters Anna and Elsa in fiction - and the Norwegian wood churches.

With a rapid observation of the chapel that appears in the film, it is evident that the architectural muse to create the animation was the Borgund church: they replied the engravings in the form of a cross, the arrangement of the banks, the shape of the windows and thedome -shaped roof.

On the other hand, the Norwegian city of Arendal may have given the name to the fictional people where the film takes place, although the landscape is more similar to the Bergen region.Other details such as the locals also coincide with traditional clothing in the country, known as "Norwegian Bunad".

The mystique around the stavkirke stopped in time invited to create imaginary worlds in the cinema, while in real life tourists who know these temples are carried away by their history and symbolism.The entrance to these imposing churches costs around 80 Norwegian crowns (7 euros).Some argue that the interior resembles a ship, for the creak of the woods at every step and the aroma of wet pine, and other more dreamers evoke the possibility of being inside a sleeping dragon.

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