As promised, here is the next post from guiding in-laws around in Norway. We where in Lillehammer (winter Olympic city in 1994), three hours drive north of Oslo. There are so many great things to explore there. In this post I would like to give you some samples from the rural community, hundreds of years old, in the Gudbrandsdalen Valley. It can be seen at Maihaugen Folk Museum. Here you can find the timber-build farms, the stave-church, the summer-pastures and the lumber-camp.

All pics taken with my Nikon CoolPix cam – please click to enlarge!

Let me start this trip with the proof of that winter has finally found it’s way to the south-eastern part of Norway too. Above is a special kind of a Norwegian Church called a stave church.

Same church from different angels.

A stave church is built in the stave construction, which consists of a timber framework of corner posts filled with planks. The corner posts are called staves. There were no windows in a stave church, except for round peepholes high up on the wall, as there are in the Garmo church, built around 1200.

This Rural collection’s founder was the dentist Anders Sandvig. From the very beginning he was interested in the concept of the Home – homes furnished according to local and traditional custom, timber-built and the interiors created by local carpenters. His dentist’s trips up the Gudbrandsdalen Valley gave Sandvig much knowledge of cultural history. He understood that objects and buildings out of context would not tell people enough. Now he wanted to show complete farm complexes with dwellings and outbuildings, tools and all the objects that belonged there. Since this time is out of the season, we could not get in, but I do hope you’ll get an impression out of these outdoors pics too:

Moving entire farm complexes to a museum was a new and untried thing, and the moving of e.g. Bjørnstad’s was seen as a triumph. Twenty-one buildings were dismantled and then carried on horseback – up to 20 horses – from Lalm to the station at Otta, from where the state railways had promised free transport to Lillehammer. The houses were built from mid 1600 up to the beginning of 1800.

The next post will be about Winter Olympics in 1994, but please be patient as I also have work to look after:-)


  1. Renny, I did not realize “Maihaugen” was so beautiful in winter settings. (have only been there at summertime).
    It was really impressing what the dentist Sandvig did for preserving the old culture and buildings.

    And now I’m eagerly waiting for the next post. Is it like in 1994 (I was in Chile during the Games) or have the sportarenas changed?

  2. I enjoyed reading your explanation of the “stave church” The snowy photos are just gorgeous!
    I remember watching the Olympics from Lillehammer on TV!

  3. Why in the world would you need to work? ;D

    I see you made the change to the New Blogger with no obvious problems.

    The pictures are gorgeous, and I loved the history lesson.

    I remember Lillehammer hosting the winter Olympics back then!

    I am so jealous of your snow. We haven’t even had a dusting so far this “so called” winter.

    Have a great week, Renny and Diane!

  4. As always a very informative post! You know your history !

  5. i did not realize stave churches wer ewindowless. my goodness! how wonderful when someone cherishes thei heritage enough to preserve part of it. good going dr sandvig! and thank you renny for sharing it with us.

  6. Lloyd Irving Bradbury

    thankyou for showing anither part of the world

  7. Mother of Invention

    This looks like our Canadian Pioneer Villages but our history is only a few 100 years old!

  8. Thank you for the lovely photos. And for being over 50. I have a special link for people like you. But first, I’ll have to take a look at what else you write about. I see you lured away an American girl–but maybe you’ll turn out OK.

    I got here from Irish Church Lady.

  9. Truly beautiful places Renny. I hope to visit soon.

  10. wow – what beautiful scenery! I love all of these buildings. And yes lots of snow to me!

  11. Ive never been to Lillehammer and I am just wondering with myself if i will travel there… hmmmm

  12. Oic so you moved to the new blogger now. What is ur pass and username again so I can try to place the categories part

  13. i love snow :)cool pictures,very informative.

  14. @TorAa: It’s even lovelier at winter times I think!
    It’s pretty much the same – stay tuned!

    @Susie: Thanks and then you have seen Lillehammer before then:-9

    @Diane J.: Yea I’m migrated to New Blogger and it works great so far – also with some help from my blog designer Charles:-)
    Hope you’ll get winter soon too!

    @Sidney; Thanks my friend!

    @Lime: I’m so agree – Sandvig has done a great job!

    @Lloyd Irving Bradbury: Your welcome.

    @MotherOfInvention: Well we have history even thousands of year back you know:-9

    @Norma: Your welcome and your link thing sounds very interesting – please get back even if I have lured away my wife from you:-)

    @David: Thanks – you know you are always welcome for a guided tour!

    @ET: Thanks my friend!

    @Chase: You should go there!
    You’ve got what you want and thanks so very much for your help as my blog designer! Go visit his blog evveryone!

    @LWS: Thanks for the nice compliments:-)

  15. Irish Church Lady :)

    Very lovely pictures and story. With the blue sky and snow it looks just like Canada!

    Thanks for visiting me earlier ;)

    I have not switched to new blogger yet but I fear it will be forced on me soon!

  16. It seems lovely even with the snow ;-) I love old buildings and there is always such wonderful churchs!!!

    I guess Norway have as many as Sweden has, practically every where.

  17. your snowy place is really beautiful,Renny!And its so historical,too!I bet your inlaws enjoyed the trip :)

    have a lovely week ahead,Renny!

  18. @IrishChurchLady: A lot of similarity in the nature in our two countries you know.

    @MrsLifecruiser: Even better with snow I think:-)
    Yes, I think Sweden and Norway are even there as well.

    @Ghee: Thanks for the compliments.
    Yes, I think they where very satisfied with their stay:-)

  19. Lots of snow..

  20. Patient I can and will be, dear Renny, because these posts are just packed with wonderful pics and info.

    When we visited Oslo this past summer, we went to the outdoor Norwegian Folk Museum where we saw the grass-roofed houses and the one stave church they had moved. It was spectacular. I wonder how different of a collection it is from where you went?

  21. picture-perfect! ;)

  22. @Grish: Yes – and we just love it!

    @Good question: the difference is that in Oslo Folk Museum, they have different houses from all over the country while as in Lillehammer they show entire farm complexes from the districts around.

    @Racky: Thanks! :-)

  23. Wow! That’s a lot of snow! It’s beautiful!

  24. Hey brother,

    Again, a great post. So beautiful, too. The description of the stave construction sounds like what we call “post-and-beam” in New England. Solid homes. Be well, Bud in Yankeeland

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