Trøndelag is home to some of the most important historic sites in Norway.
Many of the key events in Norwegian history took place here, and there is good reason why Stiklestad is known as the cradle of Norway, and that Nidaros Cathedral is Norway’s national sanctuary.
The battle of Stiklestad…
The year is 1030, and Olav II Haraldsson is travelling around Norway spreading the Christian gospel. The new religion requires great changes in people’s daily lives, and there is a lot of resistance, not least in Trøndelag. When Olav reaches Stiklestad, a great battle ensues, in which Olav is killed.According to legend, Olav is dug up from his grave by the River Nidelva in Nidaros (Trondheim) one year after his death, at which point it is discovered that his hair and nails have continued growing. As a result of this miracle, Olav is considered holy, and when Nidaros Cathedral is to be built, it is a natural decision to build it over his grave.
…brought to life
Each summer, you can enjoy the “St. Olav Historical Play” at the Stiklestad National Cultural Centre. Sitting and watching the dramatisation of the events leading up to the death of Olav in Scandinavia’s biggest and oldest open-air theatre is a powerful experience.
November 2009 saw the opening of Stiklastadir, a longhouse built in the traditional medieval style. There adults and children alike can embark on a journey back in time, to learn more about the events leading up to the battle and life in the Middle Ages. Groups can attend an authentic medieval feast, which we highly recommend doing.
A pilgrimage site
St. Olav has made Nidaros Cathedral a popular pilgrimage site. Right since he was recognised as a saint, pilgrims from all around Europe have walked to Nidaros Cathedral to visit him, in hope of being healed or finding protection. These days pilgrims often come by car or plane.
The midnight opera “Olav Engelbrektsson” every year in August recreates the dramatic national event that took place in the 1500s, one of the most important in Nordic history: Danish takeover and reformation. Archbishop Olav Engelbrektsson built his defenses and his magnificent residence on Steinvikholmen. It became the center of a ruthless struggle for power and love. Over 300 artists participate, including some of the country’s leading singers and instructors. The midnight opera is one of the largest outdoor cultural events in the Nordic region.
Other attractions worth visiting
Each year there is a national Viking festival at Egge, which offers historical highlights for the young ones and adults. At Vang in Oppdal you can explore Norway’s biggest pre-historic burial site, which bears witness to a unique community of “mountain Vikings”. There are also important burial grounds at Frosta and Alstadhaug.
If you are interested in architecture, many of Norway’s oldest churches are also found in Trøndelag. Visiting them makes a fine tour in its own right.
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