My regular readers know I was there last weekend and I’ve promised you a guided trip as always when traveling, domestic or abroad, so here we go:
Trondheim, or Nidaros, is an old city in the mid or centre of Norway. A university dominates the town; its more than 25.000 students add to Trondheim’s 160.000 inhabitants and the resulting economy fuels many local businesses. The city is the oldest of Norway’s major and its old heritage can still be traced in and around the city centre. The most famous is of course the marvelous Nidaros Cathedral, the largest church of Northern Europe, so lets start there:

King Olav Haraldsson was buried by Nidelven, the river Nid, after he was killed in the battle of Stiklestad in 1030. Tradition has it that the high Altar of the Cathedral now stands on the exact spot of this burial site. One year and five days after he died the King was declared a saint, and pilgrims began to flock to Nidaros and the King’s grave. Here is the outside of the Altar where you can see his face sculptured at the bottom:

When restoration of the West Front started about 100 years ago only a handful of the original sculptures had survived. Most of today’s sculptures have therefore been modeled and cut during the 1900s. Have a look:

Trondheim was – contrary to common belief – not so much a center for Vikings but the religious center of northern Europe in the middle Ages and a vital hub for North-Atlantic trade thus giving the town plentiful of characteristic mansions and harbor houses. The inhabitants like to call their town the historical, the religious and the technology capital of Norway. So let’s go take a look at one of the other churches:

This church is the sole medieval parish church to survive the Reformation and the many town fires. One the east wall off the choir is an inspiration telling that the church was dedicated to St Mary and was build by Bjørn Sigvardssson. In the middle Ages, Trondheim had 5 monasteries and up to 17 churches, about half of which where parish churches. Most of these, and the Dominican Monastery, stood in the southern part of the medieval town, like this church. This implies that the population was densest in this part of the town.

The city celebrated its 1000-years anniversary as an official city in 1997. For centuries Trondheim was the northernmost trading city in European civilization, giving it a special “edge-of-the-world” feeling. Its status as a mercantile town also resulted in a more open-hearted, international culture than many other Scandinavian cities at the time, which indeed it has protected. Here you see a picture from the town square with Olav Trygvason on top of the pedestal:

The city boasts a rich, cultural heritage, but is still a major center. Even if the size is modest, there’s a lot going on in Trondheim. Music, arts, culture, alternative politics, nightlife, student life… all combines into making Trondheim one of the most exciting city centers of Northern Europe. The buildings of medieval Trondheim were mostly small low timber houses and fires all to often ravaged the town. A disastrous fire in 1681 destroyed most of the buildings, and Major Jean Caspar de Cicignon from Luxembourg was sent to create a new Baroque city layout. Several narrow alleyways have, however, survived to our time and form a marked contrast to Cicignon’s boulevards from the 17th century. We had a guided tour when there, so I’ll give you some examples:

Still wants to know more about this City with a Heart? Check Wikipedia or their official tourist guide site.
For those who wants more and from a different point of view; please visit my blog friend TorAa who was there at the same time – at your own risk:-)

A bit tired after the guided tour and want something to drink? Scroll down and have some of the most Viking like refreshment – the beer and even from a local brewery!

This post has become a part of this years Lifecruisers Cyber Cruise – what an honor!


  1. Nice set of pictures, renny! Thanks for this because I’ve only been in Trondheim for a quick train-stop, and I’ve only seen the harbour, the royal residence, and that square with the column. :-)

  2. What gorgeous architecture and rich history and traditions your country has, Renny!

    Thank you for the tour and the lovely pictures.

    Have a wonderful weekend, my friend.


    Diane :-)

  3. Captain Lifecruiser

    I’ve never been there and as it looks like it’s a pity I haven’t! Impressive and interesting buildings and history.

    Your posts really complemented each other, yours and Tor’s!

    I’ve added a link to your and Renny’s posts in my last post, as a bonus port for the cyber cruise :-)

    Hope you’re having an excellent weekend!

    (Mine is getting better since the headache is almost gone now. I wonder what it was that helped… *giggles*)

  4. Captain Lifecruiser

    (I mean your and Tors post – obviously I have no brain left :-)

  5. Norway is such a heavenly place to be! And the cathedral is simply splendid! The copper green spire makes the whole structure a remarkable landmark that’s hard to be missed! Classical European Gothic architecture!

  6. OldOldLady Of The Hills

    Looks like you and your buddy TorAa had a fabulous time…Wonderful pictures from both of you! Thanks for that, Renny…That is a beautiful place!

  7. Lovely lovely pictures of the Nidaros Cathedral. I actually like the architecture of that place. But the inside of it is truly breathtaking

  8. terrific post renny, thank you. the age of some things is astonishing to me, when you consider that our oldest lasting structures in continuously inhabited places are only about 400 years old.

  9. That cathedral is simply gorgeous! I would love to see the inside too! Sounds like you and Tor really had a good time!

  10. Very very interesting ! I know that Trondheim is quite famous for it’s University I already had heard of it.

    I have been in Antwerp Wednesday and intend to direct the cruise there. It was at least 25 years I haven’t been there, but it is a very nice town.

  11. Love these virtual trips, very nice indeed. Interesting pics as well. Love the unpronounceable Norwegian names :)
    Happy weekend!

  12. @Mark: Glad to be able to show you some more then. You have to visit again!

    @Diane: Yes, the architecture is just breath taking.
    A great weekend to you and your family too!

    @Lifecruiser: Never to late you know – Carpe Diem!
    I also think it is fascinating to see how Tor and I report quite differently, being at the same place. That’s also a great thing about blogging you know!
    Thanks for plugging both of us!

    @Kyh: Your welcome – glad you visited Tor’s too!

    @OldOldLadyOfTheHills: Glad you like our tour and good to know you visited both me and Tor!

    @Chase: Yes, the inside of the Cathedral is astonishing but your not allowed to take pics there:-(

    @Lime: Thanks! There has been people in Norway since 10 000 years you know – ever since the end of the ice age, so we have a long history you know.

    @Melli: Then you have to come and visit – do so!
    We had the loveliest time together!

    @Gattina: Yes, the Technical University was established in 1913, but there is a lot more to that city.
    Looking forward to see you report from Antwerp!

    @Mar: Glad you liked it. If you’ve had the right native tongue, it’s easy to pronounce you know:-)
    Happy weekend to you too!

  13. I love this post from The Best of Cities :-)
    I will link to your blog tomorrow when I write my Booktalk on a Sunday.

  14. y blom no yhw eesOh my dear b logger and friend, what an exlusive inside to Trondheima and the towns secrets, unknown for the World.

    cbtw still in Winterhome. you can see why on my blog. Moving Sunday..

  15. what the heck did happen with my first line of my comment.

    btw. Det hele er jo så forvridd mht bokstaver…

    klem fra oss her til dere;)))

  16. Renny – thanks for the tour. I love old stone buildings – great photos!

  17. Those are some really beautiful buildings! We rarely have anything as neat as that here in the American West, just because everything out here is so new! Colorado has only been a state for just over 100 years, so there’s no comparison :-)

    Thanks for the sweet pep talk in the comments at my blog, I really needed that today!

  18. thank you for sharing these pictures and their history,Renny!ive seen those kinds of establishments only on TV,now you take us along with you :)

    and thank you for the moving comment that you left made my entry became so special,i really appreciate it :)

    happy weekend to you and Dianne!!

  19. You are the best “virtual” tour guide I know! It is a joy to discover Norway in your company !

  20. I would want to see this place if I ever make it to Europe. That building…it’s simply awesome.

    Renny, have you considered openinga new business in guided tours? You do it so well!

  21. Do you need love , Renny? ;-)
    Chase said so!

  22. what a beautiful history! We are 100 years here this year… Imagine how young everything is! We have one cool church on the reserve. I need to go on a sunny day and take pics!

  23. Norway is on my list of countries I haven’t yet seen, but would like to visit. Thank you so much for the introduction to Trondheim. The cathedral looks marvelous.

  24. Dropping by to tell you your blogroll shows your good taste :)

  25. Mother of Invention

    I love all the medieval architecture. It looks tall and skinny and like fine bone china!

    Your history goes back so far, it amazes me…Canada is relatively young!

  26. Being married to an architect and being a Christian, I love looking at church architecture. Norway has an interesting past.

  27. Hello Renny!
    What a nice tour we do today!
    I Realise how beautiful is the north of Europ and how our european cultur is commune! Hope these are the right words, I don’t have my pictionnary with me!
    Perhaps a surprise in my new cabin in a few time for all cruisers!
    I’ll say you more later about!

  28. @Britt-Arnhild: What an endorsement from a local – thanks!

    @TorAa: Thanks for your cryptic compliments!

    @Hexe: Your welcome – glad you liked it!

    @Jen: Norway has thousands of years history you know.
    You’re worth that pep talk my dear blogger friend:-)

    @Ghee: Blogging is much better than TV you know:-)
    Happy Anniversary to you and your husband!

    @Sidney: Hope I can guide you in person one day!
    Thanks for you love:-)

    @Shoshana: Hope you’ll make it one day – it’s even better seeing with your own eyes!
    I might consider it:-)

    @ET: Happy Anniversary then! Please keep us posted about your church pics!

    @Cosima: Thanks for your compliments – hope you’ll make it here and tell me so I can guide you!

    @mar: and so are yours:-)

    @MotherOfInvention: Good to see you around and thanks!

    @Norma: Norway is an eldorado for architects you know!

    @Claudie: Yes we have a lot in common my dear French blogger friend!
    Please keep us posted about the cruise event!

  29. Thank you for your kind note, Renny.
    Your photos are absolutely lovely! I find the details in the architecture to be fascinating. Thank you for sharing your wonderful trip with us.

  30. Very cool buildings! When I come visit, you’d better take me around for a tour (and a beer!).

  31. I love this old buildings! We don’t have as many here..

  32. I really have to visit Norway!

  33. The pictures are all really gorgeous. I clicked on them to get detail from the photographs and they are really impressive. What a wonderful place to visit. Thank you for sharing it with us.

    And thanks for stopping by so often. I will try to get back here more than I have!

  34. I am such a glutton for old cities like this, Renny! I’d go there in a New York minute! :)

  35. Captain Lifecruiser

    I’m having a smashing time dancing over at Claudies blog warming party!!!

    Mr Lifecruiser grabbed me at once Edit Pif started to sing….

    I have announced some other cyber cruise news to! A new prize winner!

  36. Interesting stuff and beautiful pictures! I only knew Trondheim from the speed skating, now I know a lot more, thanks!

  37. Gorgeous architecture, Renny! I just love old buildings of all sorts.

    Glad you are having so much fun in your travels!
    Take care!

  38. I’ve fallen in love with the west front of the church – the circular geometric design in the middle. Look forward to travelling further into it as inspiration for my next embroidery design piece. Who knows, maybe they will turn into a pair of viking pants! ;D

  39. Your blog and these pictures really make me long for something I have never known but have always felt was a part of me. As I have said before my grandpa was Norwegian and it has been my lifelong dream to get to see the land he called home. I don’t know if it will ever happen that I can be there but I thank you so much for making that possibility a little easier to grasp via the web.

  40. One word… wonderful!!I love historical stuff…ooops that was more than one oh well……

  41. Thank you Renny, for this Guided tour, which I for some reasons did not join – and for linking to my post from Trondheim.
    As you commented, our stories are really different – but I think we know each other that well, we knew how to make our stories to one whole.

  42. Yeah, It was classic Gothic church with rose windows, Just as Amiens Cathedral:)
    I love your guided trip to such a middle ages city.I love these kind of cities:)

  43. Pingback:New Oslo Opera House in Norway

  44. Pingback:Tyholt tower on top of Trondheim in Norway

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