Trondheim, Norway

Trondheim, one of Norway’s oldest cities, sits on the wide Trondheimfjord.  It was founded by Viking King Olav Tryggvason in AD 997 as a trading post and was under Viking rule until 1217.  Today I took a self guided walking tour of this very walkable city.  I first stopped at the Var Frue Church (2 photos), a Romanesque church in the centre of the city first built in the 12th century but restored in 1739.  I then went to the Nidaros Cathedral and the Archbishop’s palace, dating back to the Middle Ages.  The Cathedral (photo) stands on or near the spot where King Olav Haroldsson was killed in 1030 and is now a national shrine and the place where kings of Norway have been crowned. Building commenced in 1070, but over the years it has been restored several times, most recently in 1869.  It is the largest Gothic cathedral in Northern Europe and a place of pilgrimage.  The Archbishop’s Palace (2 photos) dates to the medieval period.  It is still in use as a museum and for concerts and official functions. The museum is small but well done. The palace also contains the Norwegian Crown Jewels. I then visited the Trondheim Art Museum. It has a fairly large collection of regional art, though the paintings are grouped in rather odd ways. One room is devoted to paintings with cows, another with horses and another for those showing a rising moon! My next stop was the Siftsgarden Royal Residence (photo). I took a guided tour of this residence which is still used by the Norwegian Royal Family. It was built as a private residence and sold to the crown by an impecunious grandson of the woman who built it. It has no original furniture and some of the original decor was destroyed by an architect hired to restore it.  I then went to see the Old Town Bridge (Gamle Bybro – photo.)  It was built in 1681 and a sentry and excise post stood on either end of it.  The riverbanks are lined with old warehouses (photo). After crossing the bridge, I then walked through the old town called Bakklandet, with many picturesque, wooden houses painted in bright colours (photo) on my way back to the ship.  Our next port is Tromso.

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