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 Valjok kapell

Valjok kapell ( Valjok Chapel)
Address: Valjok
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Architect: Arkitekt Harald Sund
Client: Det nordlandske kirke- og skolefond (Nordland Church & School Foundation)
Construction System /
Wood; cog-jointed timbers, half-timbering
Building Type: Assembly house, church
Keywords: chapel, woodwork, cog joint, half-timbering, ridge turret, slate roof,
Year of Construction: 1931-1932
Valjok is a small farming community in the River Tana valley, which defines the border with Finland. The hamlet gained its own chapel at the beginning of the 1930s; earlier, the inhabitants had had to travel a long way to attend a Norwegian church and the nearest church was at Utsjok in Finland.

Valjok Chapel is situated on a river terrace about 20 metres above the Tana, and has seating for only 60 people. The building’s main form is simple and restrained, and the sacristy, which can easily be perceived as a narrow choir addition, is constructed as a separate space at the end of the building. It is cog jointed and clad externally with unplaned, red-painted carpentered panelling; it also has a half-timbered ridge turret situated at the front over the entrance gable out towards the river. The roof is tiled with slates. Its small windows, set deep into the wall, lend the aspect of a building practice from the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. The church clock has a Sami inscription that translates as “Repentance – Salvation – Peace”, as well as an inscription in Norwegian that reads “Valjok Chapel 1932 – for Christ and Norway”. This was during the period when church art in many places throughout the land incorporated church history themes, not just themes linked to biblical texts or to central tenets of faith, which generally characterize the Lutheran pictorial tradition.

The main forms of Valjok Chapel may be reminiscent of standard, old Norwegian village churches, particularly those in North Norway.
Literature: Hage, Ingebjørg, Elin Haugdal, Bodil Ruud & Sveinulf Hegstad (eds.): Arkitektur i Nord-Norge, Bergen 2008.
Publisher: The University of Tromsø, 12.03.2008
Author: J.C.E
Photographer: J.C.E 2007

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