Trondheim is the third most populous city in Norway, located at the mouth of the Nidelva River on the banks of the Trondheim Fjord. The administrative center of Sør-Trøndelag. This is a quiet and comfortable town in a picturesque bay of Trondheim-fjord. The river Nid goes around the Old Town, forming a kind of peninsula, only in the west, connected to the mainland. All of the city’s attractions can be bypassed on foot. The city is lucky with the climate: in mid-January rarely falls below -3 ° C. Fjord never freezes, and the flora and fauna is very diverse. In addition, Trondheim is a major industrial and scientific center.
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Trondheim is the first capital of Norway. Olaf the Holy was killed here, over whose tomb the Nidaros Cathedral was erected, the largest active cathedral in Northern Europe, where today coronations of Norwegian monarchs are traditionally held.
This ancient city has been in the heart of Scandinavia since the early Middle Ages. Fires, which destroyed all medieval Scandinavian wooden cities over the centuries, were especially frequent here. Trondheim was almost completely rebuilt after the fire of 1681. Despite the wide avenues provided in the city (as one of the means against the spread of fires), the city has suffered from them several times.
The atmosphere of the past can be felt in Baccalandet, a lively neighborhood on the east bank of the river, where there are many wooden buildings. Once a working class neighborhood, it’s now a mix of residential neighborhoods, stores, and cafes. The city center has wide shady streets and magnificent brick buildings from the 19th century, but you can also find many charming narrow streets and alleys of wooden houses reflecting the true architectural heritage of Trondheim.
The area around Trondheim is the cradle of the Norwegian kingdom. Olaf Tryggvason built the royal residence of Nidarnes in 997, but Olaf the Holy is considered the founder of the city (1016). Until the 16th century the city was called Nidaros (Norwegian for the mouth of the Nid River). After Olaf died in 1030, crowds of pilgrims flocked to the town to see the relics of the canonized king. The shrine made Trondheim the largest and richest city in Norway, but during the Reformation the flow of pilgrims dried up; the shrine was secretly taken to Denmark and destroyed, and the relics themselves were buried in the cathedral – nobody knows where.
After the Reformation churches and monasteries began to close, which led to the decline of Trondheim. At the beginning of XVII century, the city again experiences an economic boom – the timber trade began, and two hundred years later, Trondheim, whose population is 9500 people, equal to the number of inhabitants of Kristiania (Oslo).
The sights of Trondheim
In the center of Trondheim, at the intersection of the city’s two main streets, Kongensgata and Munkegata, is Torget (Market Square). On the square stands an octagonal column with a statue of Olaf Tryggvason (1923).
Construction of the cathedral was started in the XI century on the place of St. Olaf’s grave by order of King Olaf III Haraldsson the Peaceful (1069/70-1093) – the son of Elisabeth Yaroslavna and grandson of Yaroslav the Wise. The building of the cathedral was considerably expanded after Nidaros bishopric (1151), which embraced almost the whole of Norway. Nidaros is historically an important and impressive temple of Scandinavia, the main pearl of Trondheim.
In the XI and XII centuries, Norwegian kings were buried in Nidaros, and coronation began in the XV century; the coronation ceremony in the Cathedral of Trondheim in 1814 was enshrined constitutionally. You can also see all the royal regalia here (Opening hours: June-Aug. 9 a.m. – 12.30 p.m., suds. 13.00 -16.00, on Wednesdays only Fr. 12.00-14.00).
In the decoration of the cross aisle, the chapter hall and the beautiful early octagonal dome there are a lot of elements of the late Romanesque or transition style. The main building material was a greyish-blue soapstone quarried in the environs of Trondheim. In the beginning of XIII century an elongated Gothic chancel and a beautiful southern portal were built, in the end (1280) – a huge central nave and a Gothic tower. A series of fires practically destroyed the western part of the cathedral, including the transverse nave.
The awakening of national consciousness in the 19th century saved Nidaros from complete destruction: the restoration of the temple was begun in 1869 and it was re-consecrated on July 28, 1930. This significant event coincided with the 900th anniversary of St. Olaf’s death. In 1963 an organ made in 1930 by Steinmeier of Ettingen, Germany, was installed under the rosette. In 1914-1968 the west facade, decorated with biblical figures and statues of Norwegian kings and bishops, was restored. The solemn atmosphere of the cathedral impresses visitors; the stunning stained-glass windows and the rose window above the organ are the only points of light in the church. The stained glass windows were created between 1913 and 1934. (Opening hours: June-Aug. Mon-Fri 9.00-18.00, Sat till 14.00, Sun 13.00-16.00).
Next to the cathedral is the Bishops’ Palace (Erkebispegard), a medieval stone building, where previously lived bishops. The palace is the oldest secular building in Northern Europe and was once surrounded by a stone fence. Today it is a museum complex, with many exhibitions on the history of Trondheim and Norway, a collection of weapons and the Resistance Museum (1940-1945).
Houses on stilts
From the red wooden bridge (1861) over the Nid River (northeast of the cathedral), there is a great view of the old 18th- and 19th-century warehouses on stilts, most of them beautifully restored. There are many good fish restaurants in these city blocks. The first warehouses on the river appeared in the area of Ovre Elvehavn 1000 years ago – under Olaf Tryggvason, but almost all of them soon burned down. On the eastern bank of the river there are restored old houses where workers lived.
After the bridge, bypassing the suburban area of Bakklandet and climbing a small hill, you can get to the territory of Fort Kristiansten. It was built in the XVII century in the European Baroque style by General Caspar de Sicignon. From the top there is a magnificent view of the city. The best time to admire Trondheim is in the early morning or at sunset (opening hours: June-Aug. Mon-Fri 10.00-15.00, Sat-Sun 11.00-16.00).
North of the market square, on Munkegata, is the royal residence of Stiftsgarden (1770), a stately yellow wood building with about 140 rooms; the Norwegian kings lived here during their visits to Trondheim. Coronation celebrations for kings, most recently in 1991 (King Harald V), were held in the inner courtyard of the residence. Visit the Stiftsgården – only with an organized group (Opening times: June-Aug. Mon-Sat. 10.00-17.00, Sundays only from 12.00).
A little further from the center on Erling Skakkesgata is a complex of university buildings, which house mineralogical, botanical, zoological (including a diorama “Bird Bazaar”) and archeological collections as well as an excellent library with a department of ancient manuscripts and an exhibition of religious art. Since 1997, a wonderful exhibition “Medieval Trondheim” has been open in a former storehouse (1843). It presents archaeological finds, reconstructed workshops and living quarters from the Middle Ages (opening hours: May-September, Mon-Fri. 9.00-16.00, Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Sept.-dec. Tues.-Pt. 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Sat. 12.00-16.00).
On a beautiful large hill in the southwest part of the city where the castle of Sverresborg (1177-1202) once stood, the Folkemuseet is situated (Opening hours: June-Aug. daily 11.00-18.00, other times 11.00-15.00).
When to visit
The best time to visit Trondheim is at the King Olavfestdagene in late July and early August. There are numerous concerts, exhibitions, musical and theatrical performances in the churches and public buildings. In the territory of the bishop’s residence is held “medieval” fair, where they sell all kinds of products of Norwegian crafts: pottery, candles, carvings of bone and wood.
However, if you can not come to the festival, then come in any case, it is recommended to come in the summer, as almost all the memorable places at the end of the tourist season are closed.
What else to see
A view from the quaint bridge in the old town, which reveals a jumble of 18th-century warehouses lined up along the river.
DORA-1, a massive German submarine base from World War II. It is now an entertainment center with even a bowling alley. Cycle up Mount Brubacken to Kristiansten Fortress. Don’t have a bike? That’s okay, walk, as the magnificent view from the top is worth it! “Monks Island” (Munkholmen) – Here you will have a fascinating walk through the old fort and dungeon. Then take the boat to Ravnkoa, where the fish fair is held. Grab a bite to eat at the revolving restaurant of the Tucholt TV Tower.
In the late 1920s, the authorities attempted to name Trondheim Nidaros, which provoked indignant protests from the townspeople.
Surroundings of Trondheim
If you take the E 6 from the center to Narvik and after about 2 km turn left (signposted), you will soon see the “Ringve Gard”, where the brave seafarer and adventurer of the 17th century, Peder Turdensjöld, spent his childhood. Ringve Museum is located in a magnificent botanical garden. The rooms dedicated to composers Chopin, Grieg (authentic photographs), Beethoven and Mozart are authentic. A very popular tourist attraction is the museum of the history of musical instruments, opened in 1999, which presents a magnificent collection of keyboard, wind and string instruments from all over the world and a collection of Norwegian folk instruments. You can visit the exhibition in the main building only as part of a guided tour (opening times: mid-April – mid-September daily, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., July – 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and July – 4 p.m.). 11.00-15.00, July-Aug. until 17.00, in winter until 15.00).
Excursion to Grocallen.
You can take the Fjellsetervei trail from Trondheim to Fjellseter (ski slopes, ski jump) and to the church, which is 8 km to the west. Here begins a hiking trail (15 minutes) to the top of Grokallen (Grakallen, 556 m). From the top you have a fantastic view of Trondheim Fjord and the peaks of the Trollheimen mountain range. You can also take the Grokallen railroad (from St. Olavsgate station) or the bus from Dronningensgate stop to Lian (30 minutes), and from there walk through Fjellseter and Skistua to the top of Grokallen (great walk; 2.5 hours there and back).
Rock paintings in Hegre
Drive on the E 14 as far as Hegra; after a signpost marked “Berg-museet” (after about 2 km past Hegra), turn left onto a country road and drive to the rock formations covered with petroglyphs. Here was found one of the largest Northern European clusters of petroglyphs of the Bronze Age (1500-500 BC). Of greatest interest is the depiction of a group of thirteen men. The figure in the foreground and the three smallest figures depict “masked men,” apparently performing the role of “spellcasters” of weather and crops.
At 95 km north-west of Trondheim lies Stiklestad, which played an important role in the history of Norway. Where today there is an altar in the church of the same name (1128; interesting casein and lime paintings), on July 29, 1030, Norwegian king Olaf II Haraldsson (995-1030) was killed by his enemy, Tore Hund; after his death he was canonized. St Olaf’s body was later taken to Trondheim.
Trondheim, Norway: the most detailed information about the city of Trondheim, the main attractions with photos and descriptions, location on the map.
City of Trondheim, Norway
Trondheim is a city in central Norway, located on the river Nidelva on the shore of the Gulf of Trondheim. It is the third largest in the country and one of the oldest in Norway. Trondheim is one of the main cultural centers of the country, a city of students, science, technology and festivals. It boasts a rich historical heritage, which sets it apart from, for example, the capital city of Oslo.
Things to do (Norway):
€138 per tour.
1,000 years in 1,000 metres
Walk down Oslo’s main street and trace the city’s history
€150 for the tour.
On the traces of World War II. Oslo at War
Walk through the center of the Norwegian capital and see it with new eyes
Geography and climate
Trondheim is situated in central Norway at the mouth of the Nidelva River at its confluence with the Trondheim Fjord. The climate is maritime. Summers are cool and winters are mild with little frost. The annual precipitation is almost 900 mm.
- The population is more than 180,000 inhabitants. It is interesting that of them – 30,000 students.
- Currency is the Norwegian krone.
- Visa is Schengen.
- The official language is Norwegian. English is widely spoken.
- Time zone +1, in summer +2.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit is May-September and winter.
Trondheim was founded at the end of the 10th century by King Olaf the Holy. It is one of the oldest cities in Norway. At that time the city was called Nidaros, which means “city at the mouth of the Nida.” King Olaf fell in battle near Nidaros and was buried here. Nidaros was the capital of Norway until about the middle of the 13th century, when in 1230 it gave way to Bergen. In this case, the tradition of the coronation of the kings of Norway is still preserved in Trondheim.
View of the Trondheim Fjord
Despite having lost the title of capital, the city has always remained one of the major cities of Norway. For a long time the historic center of the city remained wooden. During its history Trondheim has burned more than 10 times. After a devastating fire in the 17th century, the historic center was rebuilt in the Baroque style with wide avenues and distances between buildings. Although old wooden quarters can still be found in the old town.
The renaming of Nidaros to Trondheim took place in the late Middle Ages. From the Norwegian the new name translates as “home of the strong. It is interesting that in the 30s of the 20th century there was an attempt to return the historical name Nidaros, but it was so negatively received by the inhabitants that after a year the city became again Trondheim.
How to get there
The local airport serves international and domestic flights from: Oslo, Bergen, Spain, Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Riga, Warsaw, Prague and other cities. You can get to the city center from the airport by train and bus. The cheapest option – the train (70 NOK), which leaves every hour.
Trains from Oslo go 4 times a day. If you get by car, you need to move along the freeway E6. There are also buses to Trondheim, but the train is cheaper and faster.
Morning in Trondheim
Trondheim is one of the centers of Norwegian shopping. Although Norway is a very expensive country, you can do some great shopping here. The main shopping areas:
- Nordre gate – the main shopping street with many stores.
- Thomas Angells Gate – stores sound equipment, electronics and other products.
- Fjordgata – Specialty stores and restaurants.
Streets of Trondheim
Large shopping malls:
- Trondheim Torg – The largest shopping center with more than 70 stores.
- Solsiden – A modern shopping center in the old shipyard buildings (60 stores).
- City Syd – 70 stores. Located 8 km south of Trondheim.
- Byhaven – stores with clothes and shoes.
Trondheim – one of the main gastronomic centers of Norway. Here you can find food for every taste and purse. Street food culture is widespread. Priority is mainly given to local products, which are of very high quality. Also here is brewed an excellent beer.
Since the city is a student town, there is a rather busy nightlife, many pubs and bars, but you should know that most of them close pretty early.
Trondheim in winter
Trondheim stands out from other cities in Norway for its rich history, sights and cultural monuments.
Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim
The Nidaros Cathedral is a masterpiece of Norwegian Gothic architecture and one of the greatest religious buildings in the country. Legend has it that the cathedral stands on the burial site of King Olaf, called Saint, the founder of Trondheim, who died in his surroundings. The high altar inside the cathedral is located exactly where he was buried. Because of this, pilgrims from all over Norway flocked to Nidaros Cathedral. The first Romanesque church was built in 1070. In the 13th century, the building was rebuilt in the Gothic style. The oldest surviving elements of the cathedral date back to the 12th century. After fires during the Reformation in the 16th century, the building was in a deplorable condition. The Nidarossa Cathedral underwent extensive restoration in the 19th and 20th centuries to sparkle in all its splendor today.
The Old Bridge over the Nidelva was built at the end of the 17th century. It is interesting for its gate, which was nicknamed the “gate of happiness”.
Munkholmen is the oldest monastery in Norway, located on an island near Trondheim. It was founded by Olaf the Holy. In Viking times, executions were carried out here. Benedictine monastery on this site was built in the 11th century. Monks lived here until the Reformation in the 16th century. In the 17th century, Denmark turned the monastery into a fort. For a time there was a prison. In the form of a fortress, it survived to this day.
Ilene Church is a neo-Gothic Lutheran parish church built in the late 19th century. It is located between the river Nidelva and Trondheim Bay.
Lademon Church is an Art Nouveau-style brick parish church built in the early 20th century.
Church of Our Lady
The Church of Our Lady is one of the oldest churches in the city, founded in the 12th century.
The piers in Trondheim
The piers are one of the symbols of Trondheim, the main photo postcard from this city. Despite the fact that the oldest buildings are only from the 18th century, the quays are a testament to the city’s glorious trading past.
University of Trondheim
The university is one of the largest educational institutions in Norway. Trondheim is a real city of students. Students make up 17% of the city’s population.
Interesting places in Trondheim:
- Royal Residence – Scandinavia’s largest wooden palace.
- Ravnkloa – fish market and old clock. Boats leave from here in the summer for Munkholmen.
- Tyholt Tower is 74 meters high. In it you can enjoy food and views of Trondheim.
- Bakklandet is an idyllic area on the east bank of the Nidelva River with old wooden buildings.
- Fort Kristiansten – built in the 17th century after a major fire. From this hilltop you can enjoy views of Trondheim and the Trondheim Fjord.
Trondheim in winter
Museums of Trondheim:
- Maritime Museum – The old 18th-century prison has been modernized into an interesting maritime museum.
- War Museum – exhibits of military subjects from the Viking era.
- Rockheim – National museum of pop and rock music.
- Museum of Natural History and Archaeology.
- Museum of Royal Regalia – an exhibition of symbols of royal power.
€216 for a sightseeing tour
Vivat, King, Vivat!
Get acquainted with the history, symbols and attributes of the Norwegian monarchy
€188 per tour
The City of Four Kings
Explore the city’s main attractions and hear stories about key Norwegian monarchs