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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Those Places Thursday: Bø Old Church

Bø Old Church. Photo: Roar Johansen. [CC BY-SA 2.5 (]. Available from Wikimedia Commons.

The Old Church in  Bø, Telemark, Norway was built about 1180 in the Romanesque style. It is made of stone and has 200 seats. The church was dedicated to St. Olaf and was originally a Catholic church, but it became Lutheran after the Protestant Reformation. An iron chandelier, a carved wooden altar, and a cross in the chancel date back to the Middle Ages. After the Reformation, windows were widened to let in more light, and a door was partially walled up to create a window. Paintings in the chancel date back to the 1650s. The altar table was painted in 1685-1687; the images depict Christ on the cross, the Eye of Providence, and the tetragrammaton YHWH ("Yahweh"). Bible verses are inscribed on the pulpit and the portal.

Many of my Norwegian ancestors on the Boe side of the family attended the Bø Old Church. Family baptisms, marriages, and burials took place there.

Bø Old Church
The Divine Name in Norway: Bø (district of Telemark)
Norske kirkebygg: Bø gamle og nye kirke

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