Churches on Vestvågøy

🇬🇧 Information in English: the history of some of the churches on Vestvågøy.

In Vestvågøy we have five churces (and 13 cemetaries).

Click on the names for information about the churces in: Borge, Buksnes, Hol, Stamsund and Valberg.




In Borg, there has been a church since the early medieval period. The oldest written source of Borg as a church site is dated in 1335, signed by "priest Arne to Borge". The history tells about several churces, but most of them with a very short lifespan.

  • In 1658/59 a new church was built, likely a wooden, cross shaped building.
  • In 1725 this church is described as irreparable, and by 1730 a new church was set up.
  • Again, in 1797-1801, a new chuch was built, but a great storm in 1798 tore it down, so it was re-built in the same time. This new church burned down in 1896.
  • The previous Borge church was a large wooden building with 800 seats, consecrated in 1898. This one also burned down to the ground, during a winter storm in 1983.
  • Today's church is build in concrete with a roof construction of glued laminated timber, designed by local architect Knut Gjernes, and was consecrated in 1987. With its upward-thrusted character, the building stands in harmony with the surrounding mountain peaks. The church itself is fan-shaped, and holds 350-400 seats.

A place for the organ was incorporated into the planning of the church. The organ's position is central, emphasizing the instrument's important function in the liturgy. The facade of the organ, echoing the church's upward-thrusting character, was styled joinly by the church architect and the organ builder. enbaling the instrument to be at the same time a work of art in its own right and part of the internal design of the building. The 18-stop organ was built by Ryde and Berg in 1989 and is acknowledged as one of the best organs in the region.

The theme of the stained glass is "prais". It was designed by Veslemøy Stoltenberg and executed with help from "Norsk Kunstglass". 

The tapestry's theme is the risen Christ, with one hand pointing upward and the other breaking out of the tapestry, symbolizing that the power from the nail-marked hands are unlimited. The Borge tapestry has 2.100 threads and is the eighteenth altarscreen to be made by Else Marie Jakobsen.




The first written sources that tell about a church on these premisis is from 1589. But history lets us believe there have been churches here since 1100. The former have all been destroyed by storm or by lightening. At the vicarage grounds there are finds from medieval times and several remnants of boathouses dated to the "viking era" (Late Iron Age 550-1030 AD).

Today's church was built in 1905, architect was Karl Norum, and this is the first church on "Korshaugen" (the cross mound). It is a timber-framed church, built in “dragonheadstyle”, which was inspired by the old Norwegian mythologi and the stave churches. The church is listed on the National Heritage Board's list of churches worthy of special protection built after 1850. Today, the church can hold 5-600 seats, depending on the purpose. It was restored in 1967. The pulpit and the altarpiece are from 1905, artist unknown. The organ is from 1998, built by Ryde & Berg. The grand piano is of very good quality, and is used for concerts with world-class pianists, such as norwegian Leif Ove Andsnes. Financing the instrument is done through fundraising, and you can read more about how to contribute here.

Buksnes is one of five lutheran churches in the community. Buksnes Congragation has aproximately 5000 participants, which is almost 50 % of the population of Vestvågøy Municipality.



Hol church is the second oldest church in Lofoten. Written sources tell about Hol church already from 1417. Today's church was built in 1806, as a typical cruciform wooden church. It was restored in 1859.

Hol church was used as a polling place when Norway gained her independence as a free state in 1814, and the Constitution was signed on May 17th (celebrated every year as Norway's national holiday). 

The church builing and the grounds on which it stands are both listed on the National Heritage Board's list of churches kulturhistorisk viktige kirkebygg.

Due to the shallow grounds on the mound of the church, the old cemetary close to the church has not been in use since around 1830. The old graves were moved to Buksnes cemetary. Today, burials from Hol church take place either at Skifjord, Sennesvik or Petvik cemetary.