94 Route 13. CHURCH OF BORGUND. From Christiania
17 Kil. f Hseg(1482 ft.; ^Station, good, and more comfortable
than the three last), where the grandest scenery of the *Lserdal, one
of the most superb valleys in Norway, begins. The road follows
the valley the whole way to Lserdalseren. The finest parts of this
most picturesque route are the ravine between the Church of Bor-
gund and Husum, and the rock and river scenery between Husum
and Gaard Sseltun. Between Haeg and Borgund the road is nearly
level, traversing a basin which was once filled with a lake. At
the S. end of this basin, about 12 Kil. from Hseg, rises the Vind-
helle, a huge rocky barrier, through which the Lsera has forced a
passage. The new road, completed in 1872, leads through this
ravine, at a considerable height above the wild and foaming river,
while at various periods no fewer than four different old roads,
still traceable, once traversed the Vindhelle itself.
On the right, just before the road descends into the ravine, stands
the extremely interesting *Church of Borgund, with its old Klock-
stapel or belfry. (The Skydsgut will procure the key from the neigh¬
bouring farm of Kirkvold; fee 40 0., for each member of a party
10 0.) This extraordinary, fantastic looking 'Stavekirke', the
best-preserved church of the kind in Norway, is believed to date
from the 12th cent., but is now disused, service being held in the
New Church adjoining. It is now the property of the Antiquarian
Society of Christiania. Every part of it is curious and interesting :
the external passages, the numerous gables, the shingle-covered
roofs and walls, surmounted with dragons' heads, the lofty portal,
the elaborate ornamentation consisting of two entwined snakes,
and the almost quite dark and windowless interior. On the W.
door are the Runic inscriptions —
Thorir raist runar thissar than Olau misso.
(Thorer wrote these lines on St. Olaf's fair.)
Thittai kirkia a kirkiuvelli.
(This church in the church-ground.)
The church is described in the ' Turistbref fran en Resa i Norge'
by Finn (Stockholm, 1876; pp. 93 et seq.), in 'Fahrten durch
Norwegen' by Hartung <$r Dulk (Stuttgart, 1877; pp. 232 et seq.),
and in several English works on Norway. Comp. the description of
the similar church of Hitterdal, given at pp. 21, 22.
The traveller is recommended to follow the old road from Bor¬
gund Church to Husum, a walk of y2 hr., while his carriole takes
fully as long to descend the ravine by the circuitous new road; but
before doing so, he should visit the entrance to the ravine, where
the wild and imposing scenery is enhanced by a fine waterfall
(Svartegelfos). The high-road descends thence in windings through
the picturesque ravine. Immediately above Husum is another
picturesque waterfall of the Lasrdalselv (Holgruten). — The route
now enters the district contained in the Map at p. 96.
12 Kil. f Husum (*Station), being the central point of the finest