You might have heard of the road to Santiago de Compostela, Europe’s most famous pilgrimage, but what about the holy road to Nidaros? Situated at the Atlantic coast, tucked away in a Norwegian fjord, it is the end of the Saint Olav’s Trail and is better known for its current official name: Trondheim.
Even for the non-believers the Nidaros cathedral is a pretty sight, especially the completing the pilgrimage hike through forests and over mountains that started 560 kilometres (350 miles) east at the Swedish East Coast.
Religious gatherings already took more organized form in 1070 when the first church was built on the same spot as the current Nidarosdommen, as the structure is called in Norwegian. Come in the warmer months of the year and you’ll find a blend of “crusaders”, tourists and locals on the square in front of the cathedral – all enjoying a moment of relaxation after events of different kinds.
Trondheim doesn’t necessarily have to be visited on foot of course. The third largest city of Norway (193,000 inh.) has a major airfield and is a standard stop of the famous Hurtigruten coastal mail and cruise ships that travel all the way along the impressive Norwegian coast to/from the Arctic.
Want to get a closer look of the city’s features, stroll through the quaint streets of the “bakklandet” on the eastern bank of the Nidelva river, which in itself is a perfect stream to canoe through and discover the old wooden warehouses standing with their long poles right in the water.
After all activity it is time to relax. Before heading for one of the many cafés to enjoy the evening taking a moment of reflection can be perfectly done on the defence walls of the Kristiansten Fortress, directly east of the city centre. The view takes you over the Nidelva river, to the towers of the Nidaros cathedral and beyond into the Trondheimsfjorden where the next cruise ship sets sail to the ocean.