Thursday, December 11, 2008

Vindlausloftet, Norways oldest house - anno 1167

In the year 1167, the Norwegian earl Erling Skakke reigned Norway on behalf of his son Magnus Erlingsson. He and his son have been dead for over 800 years, but a house built by a wealthy farmer in Telemark is still standing. It is now the oldest private house in Norway

Vindlausloftet from Eidsborg in Telemark is a old, rather scruffy building, located in the local museum at Eidsborg. People knew it was old, but not exactly how old. As scientist used the science of dendrochronology, i.e. counting the rings of the trees used to build this house, they were amazed to find that it was built over 800 years ago. The age of this building is surpassed by only a few of the stave churches and some of the oldest Romanesque church buildings in Norway.

It was said to be built as a storage for linen for the wealthy woman Åse Stålekleiv, and was, before this last investigations, believed to be from the 13th or 14th century.

By the door on the upper floor there is a text of 66 runes stating:
«Disse runer risset Vestein. Vær hilset, både den som risset og den som leser runene.» (These runes were carved by Vestein. Be greeted, both he who carved and he who reads them)
This new discovery does not only make this the oldest wooden house in Norway but one of the oldest of its kind in Europe.

You can see a picture of the house here

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