Archaeological examination of Viking ships and stave churches suggest a substantial mastery of woodworking and engineering in Viking culture. Steeped in Viking history, these churches derive their name from its post (stav in Norwegian) and lintel construction. The stave churches were built as symbols of a new religion’s initial influence in Scandinavia during the end of the Viking era when Christianity melded with symbols of ancient gods. Architecturally the stave churches are quite impressive. Made only of wood, some of them have survived for as many as 800 years. All of them had door frames richly decorated with carvings, and this tradition appears to go back to icons of the Viking age, especially dragons. You may see one of these UNESCO World Heritage sites on Far Horizons tour of Scandinavia in June 2016!