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We interrupt this college blog to bring you another snippet of our Door County vacation!

One of my favorite tourist sights on very Scandinavian Washington Island is the Stavekirk. Built several years back in cooperation with Trinity Lutheran Church and a brigade of authentic Nordic craftsman from the old country (yes, folks, they could barely speak to each other!), this beautiful church was built using only wood pegs (stave means wooden nail, and kirk means church) in a traditional and time-honored manner. It was built across the road from Trinity in a gorgeous wooded setting with a prayer walk in the forest to the rear of the church. The front is bordered by gardens including native flora, and even in late fall, though not many flowers are left, the dried prairie grasses are stunning.

The building has many traditional Nordic symbols as well as Christian ones, all carved in wood.

The inside of the Stavekirk is built to resemble the hull of a boat turned upside down. Fisherman would weather storms by flipping their dingys upside down and huddling underneath for protection. In the same way, a church shelters the faithful.

This is the altar of the church with its brightly painted altar piece, and, yes, services and weddings are held in the Stavekirk’s intimate setting.

If ever you’re lucky enough to find yourself on Washington Island, be sure to visit the Stavekirk, take a peaceful and contemplative stroll through the prayer walk, and enjoy the beautiful gardens. This is truly God’s country.

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