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Few villages in the west of Norway have so many rich pre-historic burial mounds as the municipality of Etne. Contours of one of the largest burial grounds in the area are visible beside Stødle Church.
In Stødle, as at Grindheim, we are able to observe the connection between the church, cemetery and a pre-Christian burial ground. The long church was the Viking chieftain Erling Skakke's private chapel from about 1160. The stone section was built in Romanesque style, and the timbered nave was extended around 1650. An altarpiece and a crucifix from 1636 can also be found here. The baroque pulpit dates from about 1600 and the two church bells from the Middle Ages. In front of the church is a burial mound and stone monument. On the edge of the large Stødle terrace, with its magnificent view over Etne parish and the fjord, about 15 burial mounds remain today. These were erected for the people of Stødle farm, and excavated finds bear witness to continuous habitation from the Bronze Age to the Viking Age, a period lasting some 2000 years. Helgaberget (Holy Rock) at Stødle is covered with rock carvings. Information board. Ample parking. Open Sundays: 19.00-13.00.
For guided tours, please contact Church office, tel. 53 77 11 70.