Travel

There’s a Medieval Church Tucked Away on This Small Wisconsin Island

In an effort to preserve its Scandinavian heritage a medieval replica of Norway’s stave church sits on Washington Island, Wisc.

Stave churches, also known as “staykirkes,” were commonly seen around Norway during the middle ages. Very few of them still exist today. Their wooden construction made them weak against harsh elements such as fire and rot and couldn’t hold up over time. A piece of history though can still be seen only a short ferry ride from mainland Wisconsin.

The structure for this stave church replica began in 1991 by Wisconsin’s Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church. Construction took three years to complete.

The exterior detail of the replica gives visitors an up close and personal look at what they would’ve looked like back in the medieval era.

 Amy Meredith/Flickr
Amy Meredith/Flickr

Inside the church you’ll also find authentic Scandinavian detail in the décor.

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Amy Meredith/Flickr

Though there were no blueprints for the construction of the staykirke, a Washington Island resident who helped build the church says it was modeled after one particular church in Borgun, Norway.

The church has been known to host a wedding here and there and during the summer months it holds a weekly mass.

It seems the preservation of Norway’s famous stave church is being welcomed with open arms.

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There’s a Medieval Church Tucked Away on This Small Wisconsin Island