St Olav's Church

Church in Karmøy

This ancient stone church was built under the reign of King Håkon Håkonsson. Work began in 1250, although it's thought that a much earlier wooden chapel here stood here for many years before. Dedicated to St Olav, it's a fascinating relic of Viking architecture – and an important navigation aid for sailors. Guided tours visit the interior in summer.

The church used to be surrounded by several stone obelisks, although now only one – an impressive 7.2m slab known as the Virgin Mary's Needle – still stands. It's leaning perilously towards the church wall, and legend suggests that when it actually touches the wall the Day of Judgement is at hand.

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