Norway: Borgund Stave Church

Borgund Stave Church is one of 28 stunning stave churches scattered in the Norwegian Fjordland and is the best preserved and most famous. Borgund Stave Church was built between 1180-1250. The name “stav” comes from the vertical wooden boards that form the walls, hence the name “stave church.” Each stav interlocks with its neighbors, forming a sturdy structure. The inner structure is independent from the outside one, forming a sort of cube within a cube – a true architectural marvel. The church has multiple levels of overhanging roofs, topped with a tower – altogether resembling a ship. It’s no longer an active church, but rather an expensive museum, with an additional modern building hosting exhibitions. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage site.