Old Vinje Church - Start Page
From "Land of the Midnight Sun: Summer and Winter Journey through Sweden,Norway, Lapland and Nothern Finland", by Paul DuChaillu, George Nimes Limited,London 1899.
Close to the village Vinje there is special two hundred years old woodenchurch. The ceiling is rounded and covered with stars, the walls are paintedin bright colors. - An iron cross and a wooden cross are all that are lefton the grave yard. Service are no more carried out in this temple of God.
Comments? - Write to: Vossestrand Sogelag
Meta-Description:Vinje old church
Meta-Keywords:Vinje Old Church
Vinje old church Wednesday, 16 June 1869
You will here see that the steeple is slimmer and taller than on the drawing of Eckhoff in 1823.
On a drawing from 1945 of old Vinje and the church the artist, Arne Berg, didn´t know about the cross.
Cross and the cock
What happened to the Steeple, Cross and the Cock? (from "Or gommol tid V" by Knut Bjørgaas)I remember as the steeple fell, when the old church was torn down. First the outer cover was removed and then only the framework was left. Knut Rausst%F2 was the one that cut the frame with a saw. Hecut diagonally and the steeple with cross and cock fell to the ground tothe ground and everything was broken. It was a shame they tore down the old church!
Told to Knut Bjørgaas by Lars Person Egdetveit (1852- ). See also "Ættebok for Vossestrand", Igdetveit 52f, forinformation about Lars.
Meta-Keywords:Old Vinje Church,Winje,Vinje,Vinje Old Church
Vinje old Church, Saturday 29 July 1826
Vingje Anex til Vos 1826" Water-color by M.W.Eckhoff (Mathias Wilhelm
Eckhoff 1791-1891 lieutenant-colonel)Eckhoff was a military illustrator, all details should be correct. The stone ahead of the church is still there and is correctly drawn. A question is the steeple. It´s not quite identical to the photo taken by Knud Knudsen in 1869.
The following may have taken place on Saturday 29 July 1896:
The artists J. C. Dahl and M. W. Eckhoff traveled through Vinje on their way to Sogn.
While Eckhoff was drawing his water-color, J. C. Dahl walked around and looked for a birch that he that he could sketch.
Later that Saturday, about 6 p.m. Eckhoff and Dahl approached Stalheim. There IC Dahl made another sketch for the painting "Stalheim" which can befound in Nasjonalgalleriet (National Gallery) in Oslo.
More than 50 years later the old "lensmann" (sherif) Lars O. Vinje (1815-1885) to the farm "Lilletun" (to the left behind the church). He wantedto chat with old Anders Lillethun (1809-1886). The son of Anders, Lars (1860-1944),prepaired to cut down an old birch. "Please don´t do that, the birchis so wonderfull", said the old "lensmann". The old Anders said presumably,"That birch painted great artist Dahl in the year of my fathers death, Iwas 17 years at that time. The birch is still standing there in year 2000.
Meta-Keywords:Old Vinje Church,Vossestrand,Vinje,Winje,Vinjo
Vinje old church Wednesday, 16 June 1869
From "Land of the Midnight Sun: Summer and Winter Journey through Sweden,Norway, Lapland and Nothern Finland", by Paul DuChaillu,George Nimes Limited, London 1899.
"Close to the village Vinje there is special two hundred years oldwooden church. The ceiling is rounded and covered with stars, the walls arepainted in bright colors. - An iron cross and a wooden cross are all that are left on the grave yard. Service are no more carried out in thistemple of God."
Read the VISITORS BOOK - writeyour openion about old Vinje Church!
or write direct to firstname.lastname@example.org Look also into PerHusdal´s Photoalbum with a lot of photos from old days
Report errors and problems to the Webmaster
Last update December 26, 2002
Meta-Keywords:Vinje Old Church,Vinje,Winje,Vossestrand
Weddinggroup in Vinje Wednesday, 16 Juni 1869
16 June 1869 Orlaug Kolbeinsdtr. Tveite and Anders Eirikson Overland were married. They both came from Myrkdalen and the church wasa long way from Myrkdalen. Therefore, people didn´t put on their church clothing before they arrived at Old Vinje Churchwhere the ceremony took place. The house in foreground of the pictureis still standing in the same place as in 1869.
Orlaug and Anders had three sons. All emigrated to America. Anders died in 1875. Orlaug then married Kjel Olson Nesheim in 1876. Kjel and Orlaug had four children. Orlaug was the grand grandmother of Ingeborg Backer. Ingeborg Backer now works at Voss community administration.
Meta-Description:Wedding of Orlaug Kolbeinsdtr. Tveite and Anders Eirikson Myrland in 1869
Meta-Keywords:Vinjakyrkjo,Gamle Vinje Kyrkje,Orlaug Kolbeinsdtr. Tveite, Orlaug Myrland,Orlaug Nesheim,old vinje Church
Old Vinje - 1870 (drawing from 1948 by Arne Berg)Knud Knudsen´s photo from 1869Note the steeple without a cross -
Arne Berg had not seen Knud Knudsen´s photo from 1869or Eckhoff´s water color from 1826
Meta-Keywords:Old Vinje Farms
An altar painting
A window glass painting (Historical Museum, Bergen)
(1) One Cross only is left Photo: Ivar Husdal
(2) One Cross only is left Photo: Knut Markhus
Meta-Keywords:Vinje Old church
The history of Old Vinje Church, Vossestrand. 1670-1872
Construction agreement with Magne Essem (for the OldVinje Church).
Reference: Roald Lyngvær and Kjell Nese :(Oppheim and Vinje kyrkjer, Voss 1971)
The middle age church had been used for several hundredyears and was no longer suitable for it´s use. Before 1670 the decisionwas taken that new churches should be erected in Vinje and in Oppheim parishes.
>From the church books for 1668-70 following informationis found:
Paid to Magne Essem for timber, panels and much woodfor the new church of Vinje, 70 Rdl (Riksdaler).
Also paid to Magne Essem and his assistants in accordancewith contract for erecting the steeple, choir and arms room (våpenhus)for the new church in Vinje, 70 Rdl.
This Magne Essem was no other than Magne Knutson Eidsheimfrom Hosanger, north of Bergen. He was brother of the "lensmann" (sheriff)and sawmill owner Mogens Knutson Eidsheim. The Eidsheim brothers were betweenthe first farmers that started construction work in larger scale in Bergen.
According to the church books he brought his own materialsfor the church and also brought his own people along with him.
It is reasonable to believe that the contract was madein Bergen by the bishop or his secretary, who is mentioned later in thebooks.
Where did the timber come from?
The timber for the new church was cut in 1669-70. Vinjeparish has always had a strip of wood in Oppheim parish. This strip ofwood was named "Kyrkjeteigen"(the church strip).
Kyrkjeteigen is located east of Brandset. The trees growslow there. The timber is likely from there. A close investigation wouldprobably prove that
Carpenter Ola Botolvson Sundve (1632 - 1711)Ola took part in building the old church in Vinje. A petty soldier from Jämtland in Sweden had taught him to makepure iron out of iron rich peat. He was one of the first to have an ironstove. Ola was a good blacksmith. An axe that he made is still inthe family in Sundve.
He also transported mail on the route between Bergenand Oslo.
The axe he made (Photo Svein Ulvund)
Photo of a log that presumably was over the inner door in the church. (Photo Svein Ulvund)
What happened after 1872?
The church was disassembled in 1872 and the furnishingswere sold by auction.
The timber was used for a new community building in Vinjeparish, which was used until 1964. .
In 1984 the old community building was disassembled byorder of Voss community. At that time, the timber was intended to be usedas fuel wood.
The timber was saved by a few, but very interestedpersons and stored privately until 1995. (Read more below about thesaving of the timber).Since 1995, the Voss Folkemuseum has takencare of the timber.
More about how the timber was saved
1866 The people of Vossestrandbecame two parishes Vinje Parish and Oppheim Parish, with their own vicar.
1867 The decision to builda new church was made
1868 Vossestrand wasseparated from Voss and had it’s own community counsel. Vinje parish electedtheir local councilors, and Oppheim parish did the same. Together theyelected the Council of Aldermen for the Vossestrand community. The firstlarge task for the parish council in Vinje was to construct a new church.
1871 Vinje Church was completed. The oldchurch was thereafter disassembled and the timber was used for the communityhall that was built in the vicinity of the new Vinje church. In Oppheimparish, the same was done.
1936 A new community hall forVossestrand Community was built next to the church in Vinje.
1963 Voss, Vossestrand andEvanger communities were combined into one community named Voss, whichbecame the legal owner of the old community hall.
1984 Voss community decidedthat the old community hall should be disassembled. The athletic club ”Ørnar”was commissioned to disassemble the hall and to make fuel wood out of it.
Ivar K. l,ydvo, Styrkår Hirthand Sigmund Engeland discussed what more could be done. Voss communitywould do nothing and the Voss Folkemuseum could not take care of the timberat that time.
Local volunteers removed the timberand it was stored temporarily in hay barns owned by Sigrnund Engeland.Ivar Sigmund and Styrkår continued in vain to find someone that wasinterested in conserving the old timber.
Lars Kjønnagard wanted to usethe old church timber for a "kulturhus"(culture house) on his land in Oppheim.This was stopped by some formal objections.
1995 In the end, Lars Kjønnagardpersuaded Voss Folkemuseum to accept the care of the old painted timber.
Last update Dec 25, 2002
Meta-Description:The Story of Old Vinje Church
Meta-Keywords:Vinje,Vossestrand,Old Vinje church
Vinje old church - the path onward
Many may ask, what will be done further with the old church timber and other items from the church that has been taken care of?Some person of heart and soul mentioned earlier - and otherstoo wish:
1. To get professionals to register the timber and bring to daylight the old paintings that today are cover by "community" color.
2. To put up an information board by the old graveyard next to"Kongevegen"(the royal mail road). Kongevegen is coming back into use, nowby walkers. The walkers like to get information about places of interest.
3. The final target is to put up a church where the old one stood. This may take time, but these persons hope they will live to see the new/old church erected. -And if they will not "live to see", others following them will certainly experience it.
It may look unrealistic to rebuild the church - is it?
In 1747 Øye stave church in Valdres was taken down. 200years later 57 logs from the old church were discovered. Based om these logs some persons in the parish wanted to put up a new stave church. Impossible, imagination and fantasy said others.
Today you can visit the new old Øye stave church - one of the finest cultural heritage in Valdres.
Meta-Keywords:Vinje Old Church
Newspaper articles about old Vinje Church
CAN THE OLD CHURCH IN VINJE RISE FROM THE DEAD?
By Knut Markhus, Newspaper “Hordaland”, July8, 2000
In 1872 the 200-year old church at Vinje wastorn down and Vossestrand lost an important historic site. But thechurch is never forgotten, and perhaps it is neither lost forever. Muchof the wood and inventory has been preserved, and many feel that this isa cultural treasure for Voss. The possibility is there to have it raisedagain.
In this article will we look at the historyof Vinje old Church. Later will we meet those who engage themselves in thisspecial church case, look at what has been done and brave ideas for the future.
«It was too bad that they tore down the oldchurch. We should have allowed it to stay, it was so beautiful. The interior was painted and it had wonderful leaded glass pictures, angels and all kinds of things. The christening-bowl was a kind of large log with a brass plate.» This is what Knut Bjorgaas wrote in «Or gommol ti’» (From the old times). He describes a building which was anything but simple and sparse, even though that may be the impression fromthe outside.
«The church was painted blue inside. The wallshad pictures of apostles and prophets. The ceiling was filled withpainted stars. A stellar- constellation was there, and one star camefrom the east and had a streak of light spread out behind it.
The church is built.
In Roald Lyngvaer’s history of the churches of Vossestrand, one can read about how Vinje Church was built: A medieval church had faithfully served the community for several hundred years, but at the end of the 1660’s the decision was made to build a new on. Thechurch-accounting for 1668-70 reports_»Paid to Magne Essen according to commission for timber and various wood material for Vinje’s new building 70 Riksdaler.» «Likewise is paid Magne Essen, with his co-workers,for the building of steeple and entranceway for same church, according tocontract 70 Riksdaler»
This Magne Essen is the same as Magne KnutsonEidsheim from Hosanger, brother of sheriff and sawmill-owner Mogens KnutsonEidsheim. The Eidsheim-brothers were among the first farmers who didany building in Bergen on a large scale. When it came to timber andwood there was no need to travel far to get it. Up by Brandset therewas a 200 year old forest ready for cutting.
In 1671 the church was raised The master builderis said to be Ola Botolvson Sundve (1632-1711), a very capable man who wasboth mail-carrier and blacksmith. With utmost care he signed his nameon a beam, which was found again in 1985. It is said that the sameman built the church in Oppheim.
New church-district - new church.
And the years went by. Children werebaptized, hymns sung and tears dried, while people said their prayers underthe blue sky of the Vinje Church.
That’s how the church lived its quiet, secure life until 1866. ThenVossestrand became a separate church-district and the following year thechurch-board made the decision to build a new church.
The French-American tourist, Paul DuChaillu, reports from the years right after 1870. «Right by Vinje community there is a beautiful log-church which was built 200 years ago. The ceiling is arched and decorated with stars, and the walls painted in luxuriantcolors. Two crosses, one of iron and one of wood are the only monumentsin the churchyard. Services are no longer held in the church»
Demolishing and auctioning.
The new church was finished in 1870, and the old churchwas no longer needed, as the tourist confirmed. Therefore there wasno hope for the old building, and in 1872 this house of the Lord lay demolishedon the ground. The church board had decided that the logs from theold church should be used for a congregational hall at Draugsvoll - as biga house as the quantity of wood permitted.
The inventory and the rest of the materials weresold at an auction, and in this way spread throughout various communities. Much of it was handled without any respect for its history, but some families took good care of what they acquired. The church silver and a crucifix were included in the new church, and the beautiful leaded glass is at the Historical Museum in Bergen.
In later years the congregational hall atVinje was used as a community hall for the old Vossestrand community. When Vossestrand became part of Voss Township, the old community hall became a burden and had to be torn down. As it was demolished in 1985, aware workers discovered strange things when they took the paneling off. First anangel with wings emerged, and then they literally saw stars! Because the paintings from the old church were well preserved, both angels and stars.
The work-foreman Ivar L. Loene stopped thework immediately, and with the help of Ivar K. Lydvo the regional conservator was contacted. Volunteers tore down the rest, and the wood stored privatelyfor many years.
Today it is all safely kept by Voss Folkemuseum. But nobody knows exactly the quantity or the value of the stored wood. Nobody knows how many pictures may be hidden behind the yellow paint fromits period as a community hall, and how many parts or objects from the oldchurch may still be found spread around in the district.
This special «church-case» falls betweenall bureaucratic chairs. But locally there is now a strong will to raisethe respect for the old Vinje Church, and perhaps even rebuild it.
THE FATE OF OLD VINJE CHURCH:
By Knut Markhus, Local Newpaper “Hordaland” July 15, 2000
This is the essence of the case: In 1671 theold stave church in Vinje was replaced by the church that today has got newattention - a small, but very distinguished decorated house of God. In 1972this was demolished, and shortly later rebuilt as community hall at Draugsvoll.In 1985 was Also thus demolished, then the workers discovered what materialhad been used for the hall. Today is it stored by Voss Folkemuseum, but notexamined expert on church art and church buildings. Therefore there is agreat suspense connected to the value of the thimber piles.
ENGAGEMENT IN THE FLOWER MEADOW:-- The fate of old Vinje Church occupies the mind of many persons, thereforeit’s important to bring forward information about the church , sazs the brothers Ivar and Per Husdal. Here thez stand by the gate in to the Old grave yard in Upper Vinje. Photo: Knut Markhus
WHAT IS LEFT ON THE FARMS?:Many objects from the old church are likely in private possession aroundin communities. Most of the furniture was sold auction as the church wasdemolished in 1872. Here we see Odd Vinje and Olav Vinje holding somethingthat could be the end of a church bench. Private photo.
ON THE VINJE FARM: Ivar andPer Husdal together with Bjørn Løne and Arnhild on the old Vinje farm. Bjørn Løne is the owner of the farm on which theold grave yard is located. Photo: Knut Markhus
A case for the full Voss Area
It can work!
Wide support needed.
Where to go from here.
ANGELS WITHOUT HEADS
It would be nice to have anotherchurch, but%85..
We know too little.
Translated from articles in the newspaper «Hordaland»July 2000, by Kari Bye (grand-daughter of Knut Bjorgaas, who collected andpublished stories about the old church), Carole Sass and Per Husdal
Meta-Keywords:Old Vinje Church
Vandregudstjeneste til ”Jakobskyrkja” på Vossestrand 2001
I "Pilgrimen" nr 1-2 2000 var det ein artikkel om ”Jakobskyrkja” på Vossestrand. Den er ei berghole som ligg ovanfor Vinje på 800 m høgd. Avstanden i luftlinje til Vinje kyrkje er ca 2 km, og same avstand til Oppheim kyrkje. Nemnde artikkel i Pilegrimen fortel om kva plass ”Jakobskyrkja” har i folkeminne og tradisjon.
Jakùps-kjyrkjo. (Frå "Or gommol ti" av Knut Bjørgaas)
Til berghola ”Jakobskyrkja” vart det i 1990 og 1995 organisert turar i etterkant av friluftsgudstenester på den gamle kyrkjetufta på Vinje. No når det er vakse fram ei større forståing av pilgrimvandringar, fann soknepresten i Vossestrand, John Ove Thaule, det naturleg å gjennomføra ei eiga vandregudsteneste med ”Jakobskyrkja”som mål.
Det vart året si lengste og mest opplevingsrike gudsteneste ! Vi gjekk i 4 timar med 600 m stigning. Det var innlagt 15 stopp med tekstar og salmesong. I tillegg var det ei matøkt m/ ”kyrkjekaffe” midt i gudstenesta.
Gudstenesta byrja i Vinje kyrkje med orientering om pilegrimsvandring.Kyrkjerommets ”Via sacra” vart understreka ved at ein starta ved døypefontennede ved døra, gjekk så mot alteret, ut sakristidørabak altertavla og ut i Guds store katedral, naturen. Der møtte vimange visualiseringar som på ein god måte komplettertedet som vart lest, talt og sunge. Vi gjekk opp Kongevegen, hovudvegBergen - Oslo 1780 - 1884, mot den gamle kyrkjestaden på Vinje.
På den gamle kyrkjegarden tok vi ein kort pause og minnest den gamle kyrkja, som vart riven i 1872 med salmen "Kyrkja ho er eit gamalt hus, stend om enn tårna mun falla" - "endå kan klokkene kalla". Kyrkjeklokkene er no i den nye kyrkja.
På andre kanten av Vinjetunet ligg K%F2rtufta og tufta til Prestestova. Her stod truleg det fyrste gudshuset på Vinje. Tufta har vore verna om og minnet har vore levande. Det er truleg meir enn 600 år sidandet sto nokon k%F2r her. (Ein av prestane som budde her var Sira Erlingpå Vinje, han er nemnt i fleire mellomalderbrev frå åra1342 til 1347. )
Den tradisjonelle vegen til Jakobskyrkja gjekk rett opp K%F2rbakken. Den vegen er skildra i Pilegrimen 1-2, 2000. No er den ikkje rydda og den er elles tung å gå. Vi gjekk ein omveg og fylgde den gamle kyrkjevegen til folk frå Myrkdalen, brukt i åra 1100 -1800.
Neste stopp, med kvilepause, var på Kvinnestigen. Sokneprest Thaule fortalde der om apostelen Jakob og las frå Pilegrimen legendenom St. Jakob si gravferd fram til Santiago de Compostela
På 600 m høgd gjekk vi bortom ”Tonæ” for kvile og matpause. Det er ei grasslette med utsikt til begge kyrkjesokna på Vossestrand. Det var ein gamal skikk på Vinje at ein på Jonsokaftan skulle brenna bål på Tonæ. Vår vandringsdag var Jonsokdag, Døyparen Johanes sin fødelsedag, og vi tende opp bål. Og medan kyrkjelyden var samla rundt bålet, held soknepresten ein kortmeditasjon over sundagsteksten om Døyparen Johannes og hans Kristus-vitnesbyrd.
Etter Tonæ kom tyngste stigninga under Helgaberget, eit avlandemerka på Vossestrand. Namnet kjem frå heilag, og er eitkjent namn fleire stader i landet. Frå Island kjenner ein %F2gnamnet. Der heiter det. "Du skal ikkje sjå på det fjellet meduvaska andlet om morgonen" Her veit vi berre det at på høgresida av Helgaberget ligg Jakobskyrkja.
Opp under det mektige Helgaberget las presten frå Salme 121: "Eglyfter mine augo mot fjellet og spør kvar skal mi hjelpkome ifrå ", og i Trygve Bjerkrheims attdikting kunne me syngja samesalme (NoS 317) der orda i vers 2 vart aktuelle og nære :”Han styrkjerstegi mine / og fast på fot eg gjeng%85”.
Meta-Keywords:Old Vinje Church
The persons behind this web page
Ivar Husdal He had the idea for this page and has collected a lot of the information and photos that have been used to create this site.
Carole Sass She has helped a lot with the translation into English, and she has also helped to make the English pages easier to read.
Kari Bye She has also helped a lot withtranslations into English.
Solveig Greve She works with PhotoCollection at the University of Bergen and has helped to find old photosof interest for the web site.
Knut Markhus He has written several articlesabout the old church in the local newspaper "Hordaland" and in this way madethe story known in the Voss area.
Per Husdal Webmaster. He has prepared this page so that those, who may wish, can visit the Internet and always findthe latest news about the church. Last but not least we should remember the very dedicated personsthat saved the old church timbers and continued working with this cause for many years.
They are: Ivar L. Løne, Ivar Lydvo, Styrkår Hirth, SigmundEngeland, Ivar B. Løne and many others
Meta-Description:Ivar Husdal. Han kom med ideen til denne sida og har samla mykje informasjonar og foto som eg har brukt.
Meta-Keywords:Ivar Husdal,Ivar Lydvo,Ivar Løne, Ivar B. Løne, Ivar B Løne,Sigmund Engeland,Styrkår Hirth,Carole Sass,Solveig Greve,Knut Markhus,Gamle Vinje Kyrkje,Vossestrand,Kari Bye
How to find Vinje?
Vinje is situated at the main road E16, 120 km (75 miles) east of Bergen, 20 km (13 miles) north of Voss, 25 km (15 miles) west of Gudvangen (Map) Direction to the location of the Vinje old church yard
PARKING: You can park by Vinje Church - eventually by Vinje Turisthotel (ask the management for permission).
You will start by Vinje Turisthotel. Wear comfortable shoes as you will be walking (600 yards, ascending 200 feet). Follow the road behind the hotel and barn. On the road cross above the barn you will find a sign "Kongevegen" (Royal mail road). Walking along the road you will pass several old houses. Then you will come up to "Old Vinje" where many oldhouses are located. The road will travel slightly downhill for about 70 yards.There you find an old grave yard with a stone wall around. Old Vinje Churchwas situated there.
Meta-Description:Vinje is situated by E16, 120 km east of Bergen, 20 km north of Voss, 25 km west of Gudvangen
Meta-Keywords:Vinje Kyrkje,Gamle Vinje Kyrkje,Vossestrand