Borgund Stave Church, Norway

The Borgund Stave Church is one of Europe’s oldest well-preserved constructions of its kind. When initially built in 1180 by Vikings, the church was one of many of its kind to be erected throughout medieval Europe, but through time, most the continent’s churches have been destroyed. To this day, only a brief number of roughly 20 churches remain, with most of them found in Norway.

Altar within the Apse

Borgund Stave Church Interior

Night view of Borgund Stave Church

Established in the small village of Borgund, Laerdal, the church was constructed in honor of Saint Andrew the apostle. Its architectural design was based on the concept of a basilica and had a stone base for its foundation with erected staves for its structure. Found on the top roof of the church, the Christian eyes in the shape of four dragonheads overlook at the village to protect its residents from evil forces.

Panoromic view of Borgund Stave Church

Analysis of Borgund Stave Church

Symmetry & Balance Front Cross-Section Side Cross-Section


Unit to whole


Front Elevation

Side Elevation

Orthographic Drawings

Floor Plan

Natural Light




Journey of Senses in Borgund Stave Church

Upon arriving at the church, this place gives people the creep of their lives by surrounding itself with tombstone and by the eerie look of the church gives people the fear of entering it. Inside, the highest ceiling is situated in the middle just before the altar and the space within the church Is quite small gives the users a sense of claustrophobia.

The carved wood is placed on every entrance of the church. The wood is carved based on the serpent because it is to believe that serpent and dragons scares evil away from the holy ground.

The high ceilings create the sense of greatness. In the past, churches were built high up because they are believed to be closer to God. This also evokes a sense of bring small compare to God who is high up above us.