Visit Real-Life Locations That Inspired Disney Princess Castles

St. Olaf’s Church, Balestrand, Norway

Photo: Kviknes Hotel

As a bonus, we’ve included the church featured in Frozen. This is St. Olaf’s Church in Balestrand, Norway. You can spot St. Olaf’s Church as the backdrop of Elsa’s coronation ceremony. 

The Anglican church was built by Knut Kvikne, a reserved man in town who operated a hotel called “Kvikne Hotel.” During his time there, Kvikne found love. However, there love was cut short after four years when she suddenly passed away. 
Before her death, he promised to build her a church and that’s how St. Olaf Church came into existence. 

According to the hotel’s website, a Disney team traveled through Balestrand for inspiration. 

“They saw the church and were very impressed. They also used the dragon style patterns we have on the houses and buildings around us, to decorate clothing in the film. We think that’s wonderful,” says Kari Kvikne, the great-grandchild of Knut Kvikne’s brother. 

Sources: 9 Disney Princess Castles Inspired By Real-Life Places That Are Bibbidi Bobbidi Beautiful, 10 Magical Real-Life Castles That Inspired Disney Films, 18 Real-Life Locations That Inspired Disney, The Frozen church has an incredible love story behind it, Valcartier