Stavkirke, Rapid City

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Come because you love vintage architecture.  Or wood carvings.  Or for religious reasons or because you want to celebrate your Norwegian roots.  Whatever your reason, come and marvel at the Stavkirke, an exact, full-size replica of Norway's 850 year-old Borgund Church.  The majestic yet intimate structure, also known as the Chapel in the Hills, is all wood and held together by pegs.  Carvings include dragons and apostle heads.  Although the Stavkirke feels like it is and ocean away, it sits in an alpine, park-like setting on Rapid City's west side.  Follow Chapel Lane off Jackson Boulevard (highway 44).  You'll pass through a pleasant residential neighborhood, feeling like you must have missed a turn, and suddenly the Stavkirke spire comes into view.  This is a popular setting for summertime weddings, but visitors usually have the place mostly to themselves.  It's a quiet respite from a schedule packed tight with vacation craziness.

Photos by Allison Syman

Address: 3788 Chapel Lane, Rapid City, SD 57702

Website: chapel-in-the-hills.org

Follow Paul Higbee:

Paul writes about the Black Hills for in-flight airline publications, academic magazines, South Dakota Magazine, public TV, newspapers and websites. He is the author of five books, all Black Hills themed. He lives in the Black Hills. He's obviously no Renaissance Man with varied interests, but if the Black Hills are your thing, he's your guy.

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