Trondheim, Norway's high-tech capital, Central- Norway's main city, and the country's third largest city, celebrated its 1000th anniversary in 1997. St. Olav (King Olav Haraldsson) was buried here in 1030 after falling in the battle of Stiklestad on July 29th. The Gothic cathedral Nidarosdomen was built over his grave, making Trondheim the fourth most important pilgrim city in the entire Catholic Church. For four centuries pilgrims came to seek comfort, help and miraculous cures. Norway's monarchs have also been crowned in this national shrine, right up to King Olav who chose a simpler ceremony in 1957.
From 1153 to 1537, Trondheim was the seat of the country's archbishop and the spiritual centre of an area including Greenland, the Faroe Islands, the Orkney Islands and the Isle of Man. A great deal of Norwegian history has taken place in Trondheim and the surrounding areas. The city also lies in one of the country's most important agricultural districts.
Nidaros Cathedral, Norway's proudest jewel,
and the largest medieval
building in Scandinavia
The west front with towers and sculptures
Photo: Johan Berge/NTR
After the city burnt down in 1682, General Caspar Cicignon of Luxembourg was made responsible for the rebuilding. His Renaissance city plan laid the foundation for modern Trondheim. It is now a green city with a mixture of wide streets and modern buildings as well as picturesque wooden houses and narrow alleyways. In the middle of town you will find the lovely Stiftsgården, which is one of the king's royal residences and the third largest wooden building in a Nordic country. The calm and beautiful river Nidelva winds through the heart of the city. Since the river has been cleaned up, salmon is again a frequent guest.
The heritage of St. Olav is celebrated at the annual Olav Days around Olsok with concerts, lectures, and exhibits, walking tours and religious services. At the old Ringve farm, summer concerts are held at the National Museum for Music and Musical Instruments, a fascinating place with a fine collection of old instruments. From Ravnkloa down by the harbour, you can go by motorboat out to the old Munkholmen cloister ruins. Directly beside Nidaros Cathedral lies Erkebispegården, the oldest Nordic non-secular building, which also houses a military museum.
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Festivals & Events
Kristiansund Opera Festival, February
The Kristiansund Opera Festival is hosted and produced by the district opera in the city of Kristiansund. It runs for 14 days and has been staged in February every year since 1972. The festival presents a comprehensive menu within musical theatre and offers two to three opera productions, large church music productions, ballet and concerts.
Førde Folk Music Festival, July
Over 250 artists perform music and dances from all corners of the world, around the clock! Concerts, courses, exhibitions, club nights, festival parades, dance fun. There are festival activities going on at local museums, hotels, churches and in the downtown streets, leading to more than 80 events.
The Peer Gynt Festival, August
The Peer Gynt Festival is a ten day long cultural festival with an open air performance of Henrik Ibsens Peer Gynt, with music by Edvard Grieg, open air consert "Ved Rondane", art exhibition, and much more.
The Hamsun Festival, August
The Hamsun Festival has been arranged every other year since 1982 with a focus on Knut Hamsun's literar work, his life and ties with this part of Norway. The festival is held on the island of Hamarøy, where visitors can enjoy the scenery and the local indigenous colour that characterises much of Hamsun's literary work.
Lillehammer Jazz Festival, October
The Lillehammer Jazz Festival is considered one of autumn's most beautiful adventures. The festival profiles Norwegian and Nordic jazz, but has always included renown foreign performers as well.
The Festival of North Norway, June
The Festival of North Norway is the most important art event in Northern Norway. During a hectic week the town of Harstad, located 300 km north of the Arctic circle, is turned into a cultural melting pot for artists with completely different outlooks.
The Northern Lights Festival, January
Each year, in the middle of January, Tromsø comes to life after the long polar night. The programme offers music in concert halls, churches and pubs, as well as dance, theatre and music ensembles of different sizes and types.
Tromsø Film Festival, January
Tromsø International Film Festival is Norway's largest film festival. It is the world's northern-most film festival and presents a cutting-egde international program, consisting of more than 40 feature films plus the latest in short films produced in northern Norway.
Telemark Folk Festival, August
The Telemark Festival presents traditional folk music from all over the world. With more than 50 concerts and work-shops for all ages one can learn traditional Norwegian dances, play a traditional instrument or study with our guests from abroad.
Oslo Jazz Festival, August
The Oslo Jazz Festival has been an annual event since 1986 and has grown to more than 60 concerts taking place in six days. The Festival presents the elite of Norwegian musicians in traditional, swing, modern and bebop styles, as well as many world famous performers.
Ibsen Culture Festival
The Festival offers pieces and impressions produced by great artists both from Norway and abroad. There are performances in the great Teater Ibsen and events in the town's art galleries and cultural venues. Young people from all over Norway participate in Ibsenstafetten.
The Ibsen Stage Festival, September
The Ibsen Stage Festival in Norway is one of the most significant international festivals in the country, receiving attention far beyond the national boundaries. Actors from all over the world arrive to meet Ibsen at center stage.