Churches in Norway
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Church building in Norway began when Christianity was established there around the year 1000. The first buildings may have been post churches erected in the 10th or 11th century, but the evidence is inconclusive. For instance under Urnes Stave Church and Lom Stave Church there are traces of older post churches. Post churches were later replaced by the more durable stave churches. About 1,300 churches were built during the 12th and 13th centuries in what was Norway's first building boom. A total of about 3,000 churches have been built in Norway, although nearly half of them have perished. From 1620 systematic records and accounts were kept although sources prior to 1620 are fragmented. Evidence about early and medieval churches is partly archaeological. The "long church" is the most common type of church in Norway. There are about 1620 buildings recognized as churches affiliated with the Church of Norway. In addition, there are a number of gospel halls belonging to the lay movement affiliated with the Church of Norway (not regarded as church buildings) as well as churches belonging to other Christian bodies. Until the 20th century, most churches were built from wood. 220 buildings are protected by law, and an additional 765 are listed as valuable cultural heritage.