Trondheim, located in central Norway, is the country’s third-largest city and a vibrant cultural and historical hub. With a population of around 200,000, it marries the old and the new, boasting a rich heritage that dates back to Viking times while embracing a modern urban landscape.
Purely by coincidence, Merge happened to visit Trondheim during the annual St. Olav Festival, dedicated to honoring the legacy of St. Olav, Norway’s patron saint. Rooted in religion, the festival also has a broad cultural dimension that includes concerts, processions, lectures, and artistic performances.
Merge started her exploration of Trondheim at the Nidarosdomen, or Nidaros Cathedral. As the coronation site for medieval Norwegian kings, this ancient cathedral in Gothic architecture dates back to the 11th century and is adorned with intricate detailing, soaring spires, and a richly adorned interior. When Merge arrived mid-morning on a Sunday, there was a service in progress, so she didn’t get in until after 1 PM. It was worth the wait!
Right next to the Nidarosdomen is the medieval Archbishop’s Palace that once served as the residence for the archbishops and kings of Norway. Today, it is a museum that houses the Royal Regalia and other historical artifacts, and the renowned Crown Jewels Collection. Merge had already purchased a combined ticket that included entry to the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Crown Jewels. At NOK 240 (approx. USD 23), it was the best value to be able to see all three highlights. The Royal Regalia included items of ceremonial significance used during royal events, such as coronations and formal ceremonies. The Crown Jewels Collection was spectacular. Unfortunately, photography was not permitted, so Merge had to settle for photos of the entrances!
Unfortunately, by this point, Merge’s explorations had taken almost the entire day, so she was unable to visit three additional highlights she had hoped to — the Stiftsgården, the Rockheim, and the Trondelaag Folk Museum. The Stiftsgården, or Royal residence, is the country’s largest wooden palace and serves as the official royal residence in the city. The Rockheim is a museum of Norwegian rock and pop music, and conveniently is just across from the cruise ship pier. But alas, there was no time! The Trondelaag Folk museum is a living heritage site that offers visitors a glimpse into the region’s past through its collection of historic buildings, artifacts, and cultural exhibits. On the plus side, three good reasons to return!!