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Hylestad stave church

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Hylestad stave church

Five Romanesque stave churches in Norway have carvings showing scenes from the Sigurd legend. The most famous of these is the church from Hylestad with its superb carved portal.

The Hylestad stave church was built in the late 12th or early 13th century. It was located in Hylestad Setesdal district of Norway, but was demolished in the 17th century.

Some of the Urnes style wood carvings from the church doorway were rescxued and incorporated into other buildings. These carvings are now on display at the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo.

The carvings show seven scenes from the legend of Sigurd Fåvnesbane.


Regin forging a sword


Sigurd testing the sword


Sigurd killing Fafnir the dragon


Sigurd roasting the dragon's heart


Sigurd killing the treacherous Regin


Sigurd's horse Grani loaded with treasure


Gunnar in the snake-pit