Notes on the Geography of Norway: Urnes and Borgund Stave Churches: Photo 15
The church does have the stave church's characteristic tiered roofs. The form is said to have evolved from wooden churches in the British Isles, which may have shared the same floor plan and reliance on stave columns but which were thatched. You can't thatch a roof this steep. The implication is that the Norwegian form was a locally evolved adaptation to the deep snow of Norwegian winters. That, at any rate, is the thesis advanced in an appendix to Thomas Benjamin Wilson's History of the Church and State in Norway , 1903. See also Lorentz Dietrichson's Die Norske Stavkirker, 1892.
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