Many of us want to visit the capital city of the country that we are visiting but many of us forget about the ‘original’ capital and the important role that it played in the history of its country. One such city, that I had the opportunity to explore recently, is Trondheim in Norway.
Dating back to the middle ages, it was near Trondheim at Stiklestad, that the patron saint of Norway and once King, St Olaf Haraldsson, was defeated by those who opposed him and a chapel built over his grave, by the River Nid. Having undergone many transformations, the chapel became a church and finally the cathedral that stands at the heart of the city. A popular site of pilgrimage, all routes lead to Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, as did mine.
Here are my top 5 attractions in Trondheim.1. Nidaros Cathedral – This majestic structure has undergone extensive renovations in recent years – its oldest part dates from 1161, and its newest from 2001. Built above the tomb of St Olav the Holy, this impressive cathedral can be experienced independently, although the comprehensive guide service gives a better understanding of its history. Purchase a combined ticket for admission to all three attractions – Nidaros Cathedral, Archbishop’s Palace Museum and the Royal Regalia.
2. Sverresborg Folk Museum – Cultural history is on display at Sverresborg open-air folk museum. Escape the 21st century and step back in time as you explore the 60 historical buildings – farmhouses, a school and a greengrocers to name but a few – which have been uprooted from Trondheim and the region of Trondelag. Not to be missed is the Haltdalen stave church which dates from 1170 and the Market Square which is surrounded by 18th and 19th century buildings from the centre of Trondheim. The museum also features an indoor exhibition and cafe, and during the summer months theatrical performances and carriage rides add to the fascination of Sverresborg – a must for families.3. The Bakklandet District – East of the River Nidelva is the Bakklandet district. Here, you will see houses from yesteryear – old timber buildings which were once homes of the working class and which now, after some careful restoration are an assortment of charming homes, shops and restaurants – one of which is the cosy Bakklandet Skydsstation restaurant, originally an old trading post from the 17th century its menu consists of homemade traditional cuisine.
4. ROCKHEIM – Opened in 2010, the national centre for rock and pop music ‘ROCKHEIM’ takes you on a journey through the years of rock and pop in Norway. A visit here, starting on the 6th floor and working your way down to ground level, gives you the opportunity to interact with music – perhaps attend a rock party, become a music producer or simply join the band, whether on vocals, guitar or drums. Ideal for young and old alike.
5. Kristiansten Fortress – For a great view over the city, head to the old fortress, c.10-minutes uphill walk from the centre. Built after the great fire of Trondheim in 1681, the fortress and grounds are a popular recreational area visited by tourists and locals. Standing guard on a hillside to the east of Trondheim, it overlooks the city and the fjord and has a mountainous backdrop. Here, you can take in the surrounding scenery whilst learning about the history of the fortress and its important role in repelling the invading Swedish forces in 1718. Open all year – before you ascend from the city centre check to see if the flag is raised; whilst it is raised the gates of the fortress are open (but note that buildings and rooms are generally only open between June and August)