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A microscopic mushroom from Hardangervidda has been like a “golden hen” for the Swiss company Novartis. Everywhere in the world, companies are looking for genetic material from nature that can be used for developing new medicines. Occasionally they succeed.
Ullensvang church, situated beside the vicarage, in idyllic surroundings on the headland just inside Lofthus municipality, is mentioned for the first time in written sources in 1309. At that time the present Gothic stone church must have been new. Judging by the style in the western portal and the eastern chancel windows, the church must have been built around 1300 or just before, probably by builders from Bergen influenced by the English Gothic style.
The old stone church at Eidfjord has an open position on the terrace at Lægreid. In a diploma from 1310 it transpires that Torgeir on Sponheim donated a gift for the erection of the church in Eidfjord. Thus we can assume that the church was under construction at the time. The elements in the style confirm such a dating.
By all accounts the church in Kinsarvik must have been one of the four main churches in the old Horda County. The stone church standing today was restored by cathedral architect Chr. Christie in 1880, and again by Peter Helland-Hansen in 1960-61. At that time an archaeological investigation was undertaken, which has unearthed new knowledge about the church.