Kaupang

The Coast

Kaupanger stave church (Kaupanger stavkyrkje) is the largest stave church in the Sogn og Fjordane, and is situated in the town of Kaupanger, Norway. The nave is supported by 22 staves, 8 on each of the longer sides and 3 on each of the shorter. The elevated chancel is carried by 4 free standing staves. The church has the largest number of staves to be found in any one stave church. It is still in use as a parish church, having been in use continuously since its erection.

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Kaupang, 5km east of Larvik, was a former Viking town built around AD 800 and occupied until 960. It is believed that up to 1000 people once lived here. Although most of the original artefacts are now in Oslo, the custodians of the site make the most of what they have with a small exhibition, four Viking tents and knowledgeable guides dressed as Vikings who can show you nearby Viking graves and explain Kaupang's past.

On Wednesday (family day) and weekends, they cook Viking soup and bread, and fire up the forge. The guides can also tell you where to find other Viking cemeteries in the Larvik area.