Ancient Viking “God House” found in Norway

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on reddit

The remains of a 1,200-year-old pagan temple were found in Norway recently. This pagan temple would have been used to worship and offer sacrifices to the Norse gods Thor and Odin. 

According to the archaeologist Søren Diinhoff of the University Museum of Bergen,” This is the first time we’ve found one of these very special, very beautiful buildings…We know them from Sweden and we know them from Denmark. …This shows that they also existed in Norway.” 

This place of worship is a very rare relic from the Viking era and archeologists were surprised to see that these pagan worship sites also existed in Norway. This large wooden building is thought to be built near the end of the eighth century when Christianity was starting to spread into Western Europe. Around this time is when wealthy families from cane to dominate the area. However unlike other “god houses” this one differed. This pagan building would have been standing 40 ft high, 26 feet wide, and 45 feet long. The site included a cooking pit for religious feasts and animal sacrifices as well as high towers above the pitches roof, which is an aspect seen in Christian churches. Around this time Scandinavian societies began to interact more with, “…stratified societies of the Roman Empire and the Germanic tribes of northern Europe.” It is thought that these god houses patterned Christian basilicas seen down south. When Christianity reached the area many “god houses” were burned in order to enforce worship in these new Christian churches. Although there is no evidence that has been found to show that this worship building would’ve been a victim to these destructions.