Jelsa in Suldal is the best-preserved fjordside village in Ryfylke. There has been a church here since the 13th century and commercial activity since the 17th century. The old settlement and the wharf constitute a unique environment in architectural terms.
The present church at Jelsa, dating from 1647, is in the Renaissance style. The church, which was built by the foremost craftsmen of the time, has subsequently been altered several times. Part of the old interior decoration was restored in the 1950s. It is one of the few privately owned churches in Norway. The schoolhouse dating from 1774 is now a school museum. Not far from the centre of Jelsa lies the listed vicarage and a gallery.
During summer the Ryfylke Museum offers guided tours of the School Museum and Jelsa Old Church. See www.ryfylkemuseet.no for more information.