Martin's Magazine Norwegian Genealogy

Home Stories Music Recipes Dictionary About me Contact

Old Norwegian farm house

The "Stabbur" is an old Norwegian farm house. The Stabbur can be a simple building or a more elaborate building like the one in this picture. It is the stabbur that once stood at the farm "Ytter Eide". It is now rebuildt at the Romsdals museum in Molde, Møre og Romsdal.

The etymology  of the word "stabbur" is disputed. Some say the origin of the word has been "stav bur". Where "stav" is the same as in "Stave church" referring to the structural qualities of the building. Others claim that the name comes from "stabbe" which refer to the stones that the building is set on top of. Usually the wooden structure rested on a flat stone on top of, and protuding out on all sides of the foundation stones. This flat stone was put there to make it impossible for rodents to enter into the food storage area. The stabbur in our picture does not have this feature, but none of the ground level stairs are connected to the building and there is a gap. This is also a measure to keep the rodents out. The reason for this caution was that the stabbur was a house for food storage.  The simpler stabburs were only for food storage. The more elaborate ones often had living space on the second floor. This was usually sleeping quarters for older children and/or servants. When the "stabbur" had two floors like the one in our they were sometimes called a "loft"
Eilert Sundt: Stabbur
Drawing from Eilert Sundt's book "Byggnings-skikken paa landet i Norge" from 1862. (Pub.dom)

Stabbur in Figjan Numedal Norway.jpg
Stabbur in Figjan, Numedal, Norway. Good example of "loft" vernacular architecture of Norway.
Nicolay Nicolaysen (1817-1911): Kunst og Haandverk i Norges Fortid (Pub.dom.)