Trondheim is a city where the old meets the new.

Situated in the county of Sør-Trøndelag where the river Nid flows into the Trondheim fjord, we must admit we are pretty far north, in fact only 500 km from the Polar Circle, but the warm Gulf Stream blesses us with a fairly mild climate.

The name Trondheim derives from the old Norse Þróndheimr, meaning home of the strong and fertile ones.


The city was founded by Viking King Olav Tryggvason in 997 BC, and occupies a special place in Norwegian culture and history. Trondheim was the nation's first capital, and continues to be the coronation city where Norway's Kings from Harald Hårfagre (10th century BC) to King Harald V (1991 -) have been crowned and blessed. In its history the city was and is now again a popular destination for pilgrimages. Trondheim is also an ecclesiastical centre, a regional capital, a centre for industry and commerce, and an important education and research centre.



When you visit Trondheim, you will notice:

  • The river winding slowly around the city's downtown district and the old wharves along the mouth of the river
  • The majestic Nidaros cathedral
  • The wide streets
  • The tall column with the statue of Olav Tryggvason the Viking king in the middle of the town square
  • The old town bridge ("Gamle Bybro") with its carved gates
  • The wooden houses in the downtown and Bakklandet districts

After a catastrophic fire in 1681 destroyed most of the houses in the city, Major Jean Caspar de Cicignon was brought to Trondheim (from Luxembourg) to design a new city plan in the Baroque style. The streets were made wide to prevent fires from spreading. Some of the narrow alleys and narrow streets, many originating in the Middle Ages, nevertheless still exist, contrasting with Cicignon's wide boulevards from the 1600s. Even today Trondheim is spoken of as one of the typical wooden cities of Europe, and the city centre has many special wooden buildings, some built as far back as the 1700s.



Financial development in the 1700s was led by rich merchants, many of whom were immigrants from Denmark, the Netherlands and Germany. Often trading in exports and imports using their own ships, they generally lived along Kjøpmanngaten, with their wharves facing the river. These distinctive buildings are still a characteristic feature of the city today. The great wooden mansions of the city were also built during this time of prosperity.

Industrialisation in the 1800s led to new growth. A number of factories and workshops were founded, and Trondheim was connected by railway to the south. At the end of the 1800s Trondheim also developed into an education centre.

Modern Trondheim boasts a thriving combination of science, research and business communities, giving us a city that has the intimacy of the small town, and also the many choices of the metropolis.


Nidaros Cathedral was built over the grave of King Olav Haraldsson, Norway's patron saint (reign 1015 - 1030). St Olav's shrine was once a major destination for pilgrimages in the Nordic countries. During the last decade we have been witness to a pilgrim renaissance, with a growing number of pilgrims making their way to Nidaros (ancient name for Trondheim).



Down by the Trondheim fjord at the bottom of Munkegata, Ravnkloa serves as the city's main fish-market area. 

Another interesting sight here is the sculpture "The Last of the Vikings" by sculptor Nils Aas and a copy of the old Ravnkloa clock.



One of the largest wooden buildings in the Nordic countries, now called the Royal Residence, was completed in 1778 and stretched all of 58 meters along Munkegaten. The cost of the building was 7400 spesiedaler, in today's money approximately NOK 78 million...

Cecilia Christine Schøller, widow of the Privy Councillor, paid for this out of her large capital base, estimated at around five barrels of gold. The widow and her in-laws ended up with about 140 rooms at their disposal. However, she did not have many years to enjoy the splendid interior of her new house before she left for Copenhagen, where she died in 1786. Her son-in-law, General Georg Fredrik von Krogh, organized the lively social activities here before the heirs sold the house to the state in 1800. Then the County Governor and the County Court moved in.

When Karl Johan was crowned in 1818, the Royal Residence served as the point of departure for the coronation procession to Nidaros Cathedral for the first time. The County Governor had to find a temporary home for his documents and dossiers. The coronation tradition in Trondheim was continued with the crowning of the Swedish-Norwegian regents Karl XV and Oscar II. The year after the union was dissolved - in 1906 - King Håkon VII was crowned, and the name "the Royal Residence" was taken into use. The County Governor now left the building for good.

This mansion was the splendid backdrop for the blessing of King Olav V in 1958 and King Harald V in 1991, for the city's millennium celebrations, and for the joint celebration of the sixtieth birthdays of the King and the Queen in 1997. The Royal Residence has the style and exquisite detail that make it a true wooden palace.



At Nidareid, by the narrow isthmus between the river and the fjord, lies Skansen, where the remnants of the city fortifications towards the west can be seen. Today this is a park with a beautiful view of the fjord.

An aerial view of Trondheim, shows that the Nid river forms a natural moat around the city centre (Midtbyen). In the sagas this was called Nidarneset - the Nidar headland. There is only one access road into the city centre and that is over Nidareid. There have been fortifications here since around 1170, originally a wooden fort with palisades. In the 1640s, fortified walls were added, the remains of which we can still see today. There was a city gate here from the Middle Ages right up until 1858.



Trondheim has a strong position as the centre of trade for central Norway. It has around 50 per cent of the regional retail trade and about 85 per cent of the wholesale trade, 85 per cent of imports and 65 per cent of exports. NTNU (the Norwegian University of Science and Technology), Trondheim's internationally renowned university, and the city's many research communities ensure that it is a city of innovation and development of science, business and industry ventures.  Trondheim is truly the nation's technological capital.

In 2006 Trondheim is home to around 157 000 inhabitants. But if we count the large number of students (every sixth inhabitant is a student) the population swells to 170 000. The students adds a youthful exuberance to this thousan-year old city. While it is not a large metropolis, Trondheim's location and opportunities put it on an equal footing with the major cities of Europe.

Trondheim has a rich cultural life with an international flavour. Every year at the end of July and start of August the city celebrates St. Olavs Festival, a popular church and cultural festival drawing crowds from near and far.



All info about Trondheim, and the photos, I found here:



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