The Lom church is one of the largest stave churches in Norway still standing. An analysis of the timber in the oldest part of the church shows that it was probably built around 1160. The top dragon head on the eastern side of the church and the ridge over the chancel are copies, made from the original medieval decorations in 1964. The originals, unique in their kind, can be seen in the Lom Stave Church exhibition.
The rectory was the natural resting place for travellers until the late 1800s, when coaching houses and hotels took over. The Black Death in 1349 put an abrupt end to the busy medieval life. The church was unchanged for almost 300 years with recession and lack of both human and financial resources. The Reformation in 1537 did not lead to great change in the church building, but the altar, the crucifix and other Catholic symbols were removed.
In the 1600s, the church became too small, and in 1608 the first remodelling came. In the chancel, a flat, suspended ceiling was made and decorated by an unknown artist. The chancel screen was also altered to what it is like today, and the barrel arch above the chancel entrance was decorated with flowers and Bible passages. In 1634, a notched annex was built, facing the West. Thirty years later, the church was again too small. A part of each long stave wall was taken out and moved backwards, and new walls were built between then so that the church got cross arms towards both the South and the North. The old, external portals from the Middle Ages were also moved, and today they can be seen on the end walls of the cross arms. Werner Olsen, a well-known church builder from Ringsaker, supervised the remodelling, and he gave the church his trademark; a large central tower with a high spire surrounded by four small towers.
The Lom Church has a large collection of paintings. Most are painted by Eggert Munch, a clergyman’s son from Vågå and a distant relative of the later famous painter Edvard Munch. In 1793, the acanthus carvings reached Lom Stave Church. Jakup Sæterdalen from Lia in Lom carved new acanthus panels which were put on top of the painted panels of the renaissance pulpit from 1669, giving it the rich baroque decorations we see today. He also carved the canopy above the pulpit and a new chancel arch above the entrance to the chancel.
The top dragon.
Treportalen frå middelalderen over døra