Nidarosdomen

One of the most important cathedrals in Norway is located in the city of Trondheim. Nidarosdomen is a unique historical landmark that holds a special place in the hearts of Norwegians. The building was originally constructed over the grave of St Olav, the patron saint of Norway, and for this reason, Nidaros Cathedral is known as the national sanctuary. The historic city of Trondheim is located in the center of Norway, on the coast. As a university town, it has also earned a reputation for advancements in technology. Construction started in the eleventh century, and in the nineteenth century renovations were undertaken to restore the grandeur of the building. Today, it is one of the most popular destinations for tourists interested in the history of Norway.

The oldest parts of Nidarosdomen still in existence today are from the twelfth century. Unfortunately, the magnificent cathedral was the subject of fire on many occasions throughout history, and during the time of the Reformation, in the sixteenth century, the building was mostly in ruins. Rebuilt in Gothic and Roman styles, the Nidaros Cathedral didn’t receive a complete renovation until 1869. Today, the cathedral welcomes more than 400,000 visitors a year and is still an important destination for religious pilgrims. This tradition began in the eleventh century and was revived with the opening of the Pilgrim Way.

Not all the historic cathedrals in Norway are still active places of worship, but Nidarosdomen still is. Services are given several times each week for locals of Trondheim, and concerts are an especially enjoyable event, as the high vaulted arches of the cathedral create excellent acoustics. From June 20 through August 20, special evening masses are held specifically for tourists visiting Trondheim. This service contains more music than a regular mass and is catered toward visitors, and it is an excellent complement to visiting local museums and enjoying the stunning fjords.

The Nidaros Cathedral has a very recognizable façade. The west wall is the main centerpiece of the cathedral and shows different depictions of Jesus. The exterior has intricate ornamentation of stone and large stained glass windows from the twentieth century. The Archbishop’s Palace is another historical attraction in Trondheim, and today it houses many of the archaeological finds at the cathedral. The altar of the cathedral is an especially important spot, as tradition says that the altar is directly above the grave of St Olav. The king died in a battle in 1030 and was declared a saint a year later.

Cathedrals in Norway are usually open to visitors all week, and Nidarosdomen is no exception. Limited hours on Sunday (1 pm to 4 pm) mean that visitors should plan in advance. During the week, the cathedral is open from 9 am to 3 pm, with extended evening hours in the busy summer months. Guided tours are also available during the summer in a variety of languages, and the tower is open during the summer as well. For lovers of organ music, there is a concert every Saturday at 1 pm that is open to the public. An important building historically, religiously, and culturally, the Nidaros Cathedral is a must-see during a trip to Trondheim.

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