Garmo stave church is at the top of the hill near the entrance to the Open Air Museum. It is the most striking building at the museum with its pointed tower with dragon heads on the ridges of the roof gazing out to the horizon.
The church was built early in the 1200s, but has been extended several times, most recently in 1730. This is when it was given the current characteristic cross shape. The church stood originally at Garmo in Lom. It was pulled down in 1880, but the materials were kept and the church was reconstructed at Maihaugen in 1921.
It is placed here as the parish church of the village, and shows what a church looked like in Gudbrandsdalen in the 1700s. It carries history from the middle ages up to the present day. The altarpiece and the pulpit are parts of the church’s fittings that carry a message to the congregation through their motifs and symbols.
This is where the children of the village were christened and the font still stands in the chancel of the church today. On an August day in 1859, Nobel prize winner Knut Hamsun was christened there. The church was at the centre of festivities such as christenings and weddings, and this is where Christian life was maintained from one generation to the next by the church services.
The church was also the gathering place for the village, the only one before the arrival of shops and assembly rooms. This is where agreements were made, the meeting place of the young, and perhaps the fire of love was lit here.
The church is in use for services during the summer months and on a Saturday you might find a newly married couple here.
During the summer season you can meet the church guide, who can give you the history of the church.