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© The municipal coat of arms for Gulen. The formal description (blazon) is: ".. on a blue shield two silver crosses bent outwards .." Gulen got its coat of arms in 1990.
© The elegant forms of the Anglian cross at Eivindvik makes it unique in Norway. The forms are partly the reason why the cross expert Fridtjof Birkeli thinks that it is Haakon the Good who has erected the cross. According to him, Haakon's bishop came from Somerset in England, where the famous Glastonbury monastery was located. Birkeli is of the opinion that the clergymen who followed Haakon also came from Somerset, and he believes that the foreign character of the Anglian cross may be influenced by these foreign missionaries.
© This picture was taken at winter solstice on 22 December 1962 at 11.25am by the vicar at Gulen, requested by the historian Anders Skaasheim from Balestrand. The cross was then in the lower part of the area lit by sunshine, and was only lit for a short while. According to Skaasheim, the Gulating site was located at Eivindvik, and he thought it was a good sign that the sun shone all the year at the court site.
© The Celtic cross stands at the churchyard gate. It has straight lines compared with the more curved forms of the Anglian cross.

Trykk her for å sjå kartet i eit nytt vindauge

© Eivindvik about 1916. The Anglian cross stands in the field of Krossteigen, in the slope up from the white house to the left in the picture. The Celtic cross stands at the main entrance of the churchyard, just to the left of the church in the picture. The two crosses are not located far from each other. Dean Niels Griis Alstrup Dahl took a keen interest in the two crosses and he found big oak logs when he cultivated the field between them. Whether the logs have anything to do with the crosses or the court site, or what function they might have had, remains unknown.

The Anglian stone cross at Eivindvik

Two ancient stone crosses at Eivindvik have probably experienced the "Gulating" (a judicial and legislative assembly) and the introduction of Christianity. One of these has elegant, arched arms and stands in the field called Krossteigen on the slope up from the municipal house.

Inspiration from the west

The cross is 2.65 metres high, 1.3 metres wide, 8 - 10 centimetres thick, and is made of Hyllestad stone, a mica schist interspersed with garnet. The stone is shaped in such a way that the cross arms are arched, which have given the stone the term "Anglian". At the front, facing the other cross only a few hundred metres away, is a 63-centimetre-high and 55-centimetre-wide Latin cross, carved in a one-two-centimetre-deep relief. With its Anglian form, the cross is unique among the 60 stone crosses in Norway. This may indicate that it was made by foreign sculptors. The tradition of erecting stone crosses probably comes from the British Isles.

Olaf or Haakon

Just below the Anglian cross there is a water source that is said to have been a pagan sacrificial source. According to one legend, Saint Olaf erected the cross in the field of Krossteigen to destroy the pagan rites linked to the source. Another legend has it that Olaf shot three arrows in different directions at the court site and then erected a cross where each arrow fell to the ground. Bishop Fridtjov Birkeli (1906-1983) who has studied these ancient crosses, thinks that it is more likely that it was Haakon the Good (brought up at the court of the English king Athelstan) who raised the cross with Bishop Sigfried of Glastonbury in the south west of England. The flat area below the cross is highly suitable as a court site and resembles other court sites, such as Thingvellir on Iceland. King Haakon is said to have erected the cross to mark the christening of the court site. In such a context both stone crosses at Eivindvik play an important part in establishing the exact location of the "Gulating".

The location

In a document dating from 1626 we find the earliest description of the crosses at Eivindvik. There is no indication that the Anglian cross has been moved. On the contrary, there is evidence that the location has been carefully selected. There is actually a solar observation linked to the Anglian cross. On winter solstice, 22 December, the sun rises just high enough to shine on the whole cross.

The cross today

As the cross leaned forward, the "Historisk Museum" put the cross back in a vertical position, financially supported by the municipality of Gulen. In a survey report from 1994, the cross is considered to be in a fine state. A memorial erected at Floli in connection with the choice of "Gulatinget" becoming the county's millennium site, is evidently inspired by the crosses. The two crosses at Eivindvik are also used as symbols in the municipal coat of arms for Gulen.


Artikkelnummer:
SFFkl-100173
 
Forfattar og datering:
Gunnar Ellingsen, 2001.
 
Prenta kjelder:
Midtun, Magnor: Eivindvik før og no. 2001.
Birkeli, Fridtjov: Norske steinkors i tidlig middelalder: et bidrag til belysning av overgangen fra norrøn religion til kristendom. Oslo 1973.
Helle, Knut: Gulatinget og Gulatingslova. Skald 2001. Sjå også artikkelen:
 
Den keltiske steinkrossen i Eivindvik
 
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