Today there are only 28 stave churches and about 150 medieval stone churches in Norway. They are a vanishingly small number when we know that up to the Black Death (1349-1350) over 1,000 stave churches and just over 300 stone churches were built in Norway. Although the stave churches share some characteristics, with the stave construction being the most visible, there is also great variation in the design of the following stave churches. A variation that shows both differences in craftsmanship and adaptations to local traditions and building customs. In the stave churches we can also see the contours of centuries-long traditions in the use of wood, which have contained strong ritual ties in material use, meaning, belief and decoration. Today it can be difficult to interpret or understand the meaning in its entirety, but at the time of construction, art was based on widely known representations. The animal ornamentation we find at Urnes stave church in the so-called urnes style is an example of this. This is world-class craftsmanship, further developed in the transition between pre-Christian art in the Viking Age and Christian stave church architecture.