January 2013
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Poland – Vang stave church in Central Europe

Poland is a country located in Central Europe. It has a long Baltic Sea coastline. It is bordered by:
• Belarus
• Czech Republic
• Germany
• Lithuania
• Russia
• Slovakia
• Ukraine

Vang stave church is a stave church that was bought by the Prussian King.

Overview of Vang Stave Church

• It was transferred from Vang in Norway.
• It was re-erected in 1842 in Bruckenberg near Krummhubel in Germany.
• At present, Karpacz in the Karkonosze mountains of Poland.
• The church is a four-post single-nave stave church.
• It was originally built around 1200 in the parish of Vang.
• This was built in the Valdres region of Norway.

History of Vang Stave Church

• In 1832, the local council decided to pull down the stave church because it was too small.
• It had become structurally unsafe over the years.
• There was also an attempt to have it re-erected at Heensasen.
• This was supposed to be built in the same parish as an annex church.
• Knut Nordsveen, a local farmer, offered to donate the building site to the community.
• In 1932, a monument was erected in memory of him.

• While traveling in Norway in 1839, J. C. Dahl again visited Vang.
• He found the stave church still standing.
• It was a newly built larger log-built church that seated 230 parishioners.
• Demolition of the old one was important.
• Dahl considered that the stave church must be preserved as a cultural monument.
• He died before the plan could be carried out.
• The solution came from Crown Prince, later King Frederick William IV of Prussia, whom Dahl knew in person.
• After the exchange of several letters, he persuaded the prince.
• He took over responsibility for the Vang stave church and covered the costs of re-erecting it in Potsdam.

• The foundation stone was laid on August 2, 1842.
• This was done in the presence of King Friedrich Wilhelm himself.
• It was a demanding task for carpenters.
• Only the main construction, consisting of sills, posts and wall plates, were made use of.
• There were carved door frames in addition.
• The entire external gallery was built with new materials.
• Every wall plank was replaced.
• The long lost apse was reconstructed, albeit with a very strange baroque roof.
• The gallery and the fleche were reconstructed.
• The doorways were turned inside out.
• The carvings were facing inward.
• The decorated ceiling above the choir was not restored.
• This was as it seemed too Catholic in a Protestant church.
• All the original roof trusses were renewed.
• The work took two years.
• The total cost amounted to more than 75 000 marks.
• On the King’s birthday, October 15, 1843, the fleche with the date 1200 was raised.
• On July 27, 1844 Prince Frederick of the Netherlands together with huge crowds witnessed the consecration of “Die Bergkirche unseres Erlösers zu Wang”.
• Wang church has become a major tourist attraction and a serving counter for Polish.
• This is considered the world’s most visited stave church with about 200 000 visitors each year.

Original Building
• The layout which is equipped with four internal posts or staves is common to several stave churches in the Valdres region.
• But in the stave churches of Hore and Lomen, they are incorporated into a construction that has a raised roof above the central part of the nave.
• The churches of Vang and Oye have ordinary saddle roofs.
• There is no structural connection between the roof and the interior posts.
• According to tradition, the church had been relocated once before at an earlier date.
• The Norwegian architect Arne Berg has after thorough examination of the rebuilt church concluded that the remaining original materials belonged to a stave church of the Sogn type.
• This has a raised roof above the central part of the nave.
• He estimates it to have been built around 1200.
• It may have been rebuilt already in the medieval period in somewhere late as 1600.

Best time to visit / climate

• The climate is mostly temperate throughout the country.
• The climate is oceanic in the north and west.
• It becomes gradually warmer and continental towards the south and east.
• Summers are generally warm.
• It is with average temperatures between 18 °C (64 °F) and 30 °C (86.0 °F).
• Winters are rather cold.
• There are with average temperatures around 3 °C (37.4 °F) in the northwest and 6 °C (21 °F) in the northeast.
• Precipitation falls throughout the year.
• The warmest region in Poland is Lower Silesian that is located in south-western Poland.

Location on Google Maps

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How to get to Poland?

1. By plane
• Most of Europe’s major airlines fly to and from Poland.
• Poland’s national carriers are LOT Polish Airlines.
• There are also a number of low cost airlines that fly to Poland. These include:
– WizzAir
– EasyJet
– Germanwings
– Norwegian
– Ryanair
There are also direct flights from United States and Canada. LOT operates direct flights from:
– Toronto
– New York
– Chicago
– Non-direct flights from other cities
International airlines fly mainly to Warsaw (WAW). Other major airports in Poland are:
– Krakow
– Katowice
– Gdask
– Pozna
– Wrocaw
– Szczecin
– Rzeszow
– Bydgoszcz
A new terminal has been opened at the Warsaw Chopin airport which will significantly increase the airport’s capacity.

2. By Train
Direct connections with:
• Berlin
• Amsterdam, via Koeln, Hannover
• Kiev via Lviv
• Vienna
• Prague
• Moscow

3. By Car
You can enter Poland by one of many roads linking Poland with the neighboring countries.

4. By Bus
There are many international bus lines that connect major Polish cities.
• Voyager
• Eurolines
• Ecolines
• PolskiBus.com
• Simple Express

5. By Boat
• From Sweden
– Ystad by Unity Line
– Karlskrona by Stena Line
– Nynashamn
– Visby
– Ystad by Polferries

• From Denmark
– Copenhagen
– Bornholm

• From Finland
– Helsinki by Finnlines

• From Germany
– Rostock by Finnlines

6. By Yacht
There are more and more ports along Polish coast. Bigger marinas are located in:
– Szczecin
– Eba
– Hel
– Gdynia
– Gdask

7. By plane
– Polish national carrier LOT has daily connections.
– These are between the biggest cities with a hub in Warsaw.

8. By train
– In Poland, the national railway carriers are PKP InterCity and Przewozy Regionalne.
– There are few local carriers that belong to voivod ships or major cities.
– Train tickets are quite economical.
There are new InterCity routes such as:
• Warsaw – Katowice
• Warsaw – Krakow
• Warsaw – Pozna
• Pozna – Szczecin
Train types
• E-IC (ExpressInterCity) / EC (EuroCity) / Ex (Express)
• TLK (Twoje Linie Kolejowe)
• RE (RegioEkspress)
• IR (InterRegio)
• REGIO / Osobowy
• Podmiejski
• Narrow gauge

Some Travel Books on Poland

Poland Lonely Planet Poland Poland: A Unique Country & Its People

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers)

Hotels at tripadvisor.in
Hotels at staypoland.com
Hotels at travelpoland.com

Blogs / Sites about Poland

Blogs at wikipedia.org
Blogs at mappedtravel.com
Blogs and reviews at travelblog.org

Images and photos of Poland

Images at google.com
Images at wikipedia.org
Images at worldcam.eu

Videos of Poland

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