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Trondheim was founded in 997 by Viking King Olav Tryggvason. Until 1217 it was the capital of Norway and remained the main commercial city of Scandinavia long after. Like many other Scandinavian cities Trondheim was destroyed by a fire once, in 1681. The regular street pattern of the city is a result from the reconstruction after that fire.
The cities lies along the Nidelva. Actually that is technically wrong, because elva means 'river' and so it is factually the river Nid. Along that river stand old warehouses from the eighteenth century. The site of the old shipyard has been renovated in the nineties. Apartment buildings and shopping centers were put in these buildings, amongst other things. It is a popular residential and commercial area for the young people of Trondheim.
For centuries, the city has been an important religious center, the Nidaros Cathedral in the center testifies to that fact. Nidaros is also the old name of Trondheim. It is the only cathedral in Norway and the remains of Olav the Holy are stored under the wooden floor. The so-called Olav Sources in the church are fed by a mysterious source. In medieval times the Norwegian kings were crowned in this church and again since the restoration of Norwegian independence in 1814. Since 1957 Norwegian kings haven't been crowned in the Nidaros Cathedral anymore, but blessed. A pilgrim route (Pilegrimsleden) runs from the Norwegian capital Oslo to this cathedral. When you have completed this 640 kilometer long Olavs route successfully, you can obtain a certificate at the pilgrim center inside the church.
The largest wooden building in the Nordic countries is Stiftsgården, the royal residence. It was built in 1774 and the royal family loves using it during the summer months.
Trondheim is not a big city, but does have some interesting museums. In the museum of the Royal Norwegian Scientific Society you will learn more about the region's past. Ancient musical instruments are on display in the Tordenskiold Museum on the Ringve estate. A nice detail is that the musical instruments are placed in the rooms which have been decorated like they were in the time of Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven. Another museum dedicated to music, but of a later era is Rockheim, the National Center of Rock and Pop Culture. It is a highly modern and interactive museum that has the music from the fifties as its theme.
Located on the east side of town, high on a hill, stands the Kristiansten fort. It was built between 1681 and 1684 and proved its usefulness more than thirty years later when the advancing Swedes were forced to retreat from this very fort.
On a hill just south of the city king Sverre built a castle, Sverresborg. In the beginning of the last century plans were forged to establish an open-air museum around the ruins of the castle. And so it happened. There are now over sixty houses and other characteristic buildings from the region on the hill. There are utensils, costumes, and masks exhibited as well in this Trøndelang Folk Museum.
In the stone age a people that made drawings on rock walls lived near Trondheim. The oldest images are of animals which were carved into the rock with just a single line - in profile -, including the famous reindeer of Bøla, which is about 6000 years old. In later petroglyphs, when the people ventured out to sea, hunting scenes were replaced by boats.
There are several possibilities to swim in and around Trondheim. Near the sea is the hypermodern water park Pirbadet, a really good option in the cold winter months. In the summer you can take a dive in the sjøbadet, a little beach behind the train station which doesn't exist of more than a wooden diving tower. Alternatively, in hot weather you can discover several swimming spots if you walk over the path along the fjord.
You can park in the center of Trondheim on the street, but you are usually cheaper off if you park your car in one of the parking garages. The garages that have spaces available are indicated through signs. There are eight municipal garages, but the parking service collaborates with some of the hotels so you can park your car at some of the hotels too.
The Trondheim Airport is located 35 kilometers north of the city center. Trondheim Airport Værnes is easily accessible via the E6 by rental car. The route to the airport is clearly signposted.