Mo kyrkjeruin

Cultural Heritage

Mo church ruin disappeared and reappeared. Mo church ruin probably date back to around 1215, and this may well be Norway ’s smallest free-standing stone church from medieval times. It is believed that it was originally a privately owned church. However, Mo parish is mentioned in both 1368 and 1400.The oldest coins found are from King Sverre’s reign, 1177-1202, and the most recent ones are from reign of King Hans who died in 1513. These indicate the period during which the church was in use. The church was probably in use until the Reformation, but in 1743 all that remained were tall ruins which slowly became covered in earth and vegetation. During the period 1972-1977, the ruins were dug out and restored. Service is held in the ruins once every summer. The full outline of the church is now clearly visible. Behind the altar, the wall has been rebuilt with a gothic window and main altarpiece. Among the finds were three pieces of medieval gravestones from around 1200,decorative fittings and part of a brass bell from the Middle Ages. North of the church, skeletons of five young women were discovered. This could be a mass-grave from the Black Death period in 1350.

Getting there by car: From Fagernes, follow E16 to Vestre Sliders municipality. Take left the county road 261 over Eingangsundet. After 1 km turn left and head south for a little over 1 km to Mo farms. Turn left along the creek Mosåne down to the lake Slidrefjorden. Parking 100-200 meters from the church. Nice place.

The old pilgrim route from Hedalen Stave Church to the St.Thomas Church at Filefjell has now been reopened and way-marked. Walking the approx.162 km long route will take 7-8 days. The road leads past the stave churches in Hedalen, Reinli, Lomen, Høre and Øye, as well as the stone churches from medieval times in Ulnes, Mo and Slidre. You can join organized tours each summer, or walk by yourself.

Erlend Eggen

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