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The cross church from 1710

The cross church from 1710 (from: Rothery, C. W. (1855) Notes on a yacht voyage to Hardanger Fjord, and the adjacent estuaries. London, Longman, Brown, Green, and Longman. Section. Owned by Hardanger Folkemuseum (HFU-WA 1373)).


The church standing today at Brakanes is a cross church built in 1857-59 from drawings by architect H.Linstow. This church replaced a cross church from 1710, which again replaced a stave church from the Middle Ages, on the site of the old vicarage. Two carved portal side-pieces and a painted altar front are amongst the finest items we have of medieval church art in Norway. The portal and the altar front are now in Bergen Museum, they are amongst the most precious items in the museum. A copy of the medieval altar front hangs in the present church. Its interior was decorated in 1923 with paintings by Lars B.Osa. The physical remains of the medieval church building, the stave church portal, dates the church to the 1100s; a high point within Norwegian and European wood carving art.

  • The portal from the stave church at Ulvik

The portal from the stave church at Ulvik is today in Bergen Museum. (Svein Skare)

  • Nedre Hakastad is one of the old farms in Ulvik.

Mellomaldergarden på Hakastad

Nedre Hakastad is one of the old farms in Ulvik. This is where the first stave church is believed to have been built, and this is where the vicarage is situated. An old story says that the stave church was to be built at Opheim, but mysteriously the timber was moved to Hakastad during the night. Even stranger is this account when today the experience is the opposite; in one of the large hay-sheds at Opheim we find large staves, finely prepared, which must have come from the stave church at Hakastad. Dendrochronological dating (growth ring dating) shows that the staves probably date as far back as around 1200; from the church that was pulled down in 1710. The new church was built at Brakanes.