The stone cross in Krossteigen and “Olavskjelda”

You are now standing in the place where the Gulating assembled for 500 years. The Anglican stone cross you can see in the mound behind the municipal council building (“Krossteigen”) was probably raised in about 950, possibly by one of the Norwegian missionary kings in connection with the Christianisation of Norway. The placing of the cross, which is not accidental, is such that the sun just manages to light up the entire cross when the sun “turns” at the winter solstice on 21 December.

There are about 40 such standing stone crosses in western Norway, from Sunnmøre right up to Rogaland. They are not found anywhere else in Norway. This cross has been carved from kyanite-garnet-muscovite-schist, probably from the quernstone quarries in Hyllestad. There also stands a Celtic cross outside the church in Eivindvik (which was unfortunately damaged in 2012). It was in the area between these two crosses that the oldest assembly site of the Gulating is believed to have been.

Just below the cross is the “Olavskjelda” (King Olav’s spring). Legend has it that King Olav the Holy drank here when he was at the Gulating assembly.


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