The Begining of conversion
The effort to try converting Norway to Christianity began in 1000 AD. The vikings got too know Christianity after the raids on Ireland, Britain and the Frankish kingdoms. Haakon the Good of Norway had grown up in England and tried to introduce Christianity in the tenth century. Unfortunatly for him he met resistance from pagan leaders and had to abandon the idea.
Anglo-Saxon missionaries from England and Germany tried to convert Norway to Christianity, but did not succed. Luckily, they did manage to convert Olaf I of Norway to Christianity. Olaf II of Norway was more persuasive, and did succed in a much larger scale in his effort to convert the norwegian people. And today he is known for being the man who christened the Norwegian population.
Establishment of Christianity
The Christians in Norway often built churches or other holy sites at the same places that had previously been sacred under the Norse religion. Since the pagans were buried with grave goods and christians werent, this is used to measure the spread of the conversion. By the middle of the 11th century Christianity had become well established in Norway. And became more and more popular. By the middle of the 12th century it was the dominant religion. And the Stave churches started to appere.
Fantoft Stave Church Origin
Fantoft stave church history is about 800 years. The church was originally built in the small village Fortun in Sogn in about year 1200. Until the end of the 1800s it worked as a church for the little village at the foot of sognefjellet. There used to be approximately 1000 stave churches in Norway, but as the years passed and christianity grew, they had to give way to larger and more modern church buildings. This was also the faith of the stave church in Fortun. After a while it was replaced with a new church.
Abandonned and Saved
As The old church was no longer in use they could not afford to maintain it. On top of that villagers started to remove parts of the church to use it in there own farms. A Curator in Bergen beacame aware of the situation and gained financial support and started the proccess of moving the Church to Bergen. The manged to make a deal with Consul Gade who was owner of Fantoft farm, and the Church was relocated to this place in 1883. The same place were it lies today.
Burned and Rebuilding
In 1992 Fantoft stave church was damaged by fire. In 1998, 6 years later, the rebulilding of the church was finished. In the rebuilding of the church they used ca. 350-400 years old pine trees form Kaupanger as timber. They rebuilt it to look identical to the way ut was before the fire. And this is the way it is today.
The crucifix on the altar survived the fire and was recovered in the ash in such condition that it be restored. Wishing stone on the wall outside likdøren is also the original and is brought back from Jerusalem by pilgrims. By keeping the one could wish for something not mundane.