Lomen Stave Church is believed to date back to around 1192. The oldest coin found is from King Sverre’s era, 1177-1202. Investigations of the timber in the church shows that it was felled in the year 1179.The church is very similar to Høre Stave Church. In 1750, the church was converted and extended as it had become too small to meet the needs of an increasing population. When the new Lomen Church was completed in 1914, regular use of the stave church ended. Today, it is only used for weddings and church services during the summer season. Wooden sections dating back to the Middle Ages have been stripped down to the woodwork, but post-reformatory parts are still painted. The church, belfry and graveyard are protected. In the bell tower hangs two clocks from the 1200s and 1300s. Especially the youngest has a lovely silver tone. Several medieval portals featuring wood carvings and animal decorations can be found in the church. Of the soapstone font from 1150-1200, only the base remains. A mediaeval chest leans towards the wall in the choir. It features a magic runic inscription that has almost been rubbed off. The Madonna-head on the altar is a plaster copy of the beautiful original from the 1200s. It was probably once part of a whole figure. Mary has wavy hair and a crown with four points. The original can be found at Valdres folk Museum in Fagernes.
Getting there by car: From Fagernes run E16 westwards to Lomen to county road 293. A few meters after the crossroads you will find parking. From here you go a few hundred meters up the old road to the church.
The stave churches in Valdres
In Norway, the period most often referred to as medieval times is the era from the christening of the country, starting with the battle at Stiklestad in 1030, to the Reformation in 1537. During this period, Norway was a Catholic country. The first churches that were built had no foundation, and poles and boards were dug directly into the ground. After a while, the woodwork would start to rot from underneath, and the churches had to be replaced. The building technique, which was common in Northern Europe and Russia, was developed further and improved until the style we today consider as typical Norwegian was achieved. In Norway, one of the most important improvements was to raise the walls from the ground and place them on waterproof foundation logs known as "syllstokkar". The churches became more resilient, and due the combination of this new technique, the climate and excellent building materials, many of them are still standing today. It was during the period from 1150 to the Black Death in 1350, the new building technique was developed. Historically, we know that there have been 18 stave churches in Valdres. Still we have 6 of Norways 28 stave churches.
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.