Sunday, July 31, 2011

Day 35 Trodheim

Today was a most beautiful, sunny day in Trodheim.  It is the most picturesque town at the end of a large fjord and is considered th spiritual centre of Norway.  It was founded by the Viking King  Olav I in 997 and was then the capital of Norway.  The present Cathedral building was begun in 1070 by King Olav III.  It served as a coronation church during the Middle Ages and even after the Reformation.  Large statues adorn the front of the cathedral.  One of these shows King Olav with the head of a servant who had killed his master at his feet.  Another statue shows a bishop with three heads in his hands.  I think the Viking violence was still around at this time.
Trodheim, with its wooden buildings, has suffered many fires, but in the seventeenth century, Johan Caspar de Cicignon, a French Huguenot refugee, beautifully redesigned the city after the 1681 fire.  He designed wide, gracious avenues to act as fire breaks and built houses that were separated rather than attached as they had been.  One of the most picturesque points of the old city was the arched bridge known as the Gamle Bybro.  From the bridge we could see the old wharves and gabled warehouses on stilts along the water front.  We thought this was more attractive than the UNESCO listed Brygen district of Bergen, but I think the Brygen is older.
We also went to the fort.  There are many canons spread around the grassy top of this fortification.  Within this fortification, we saw cells where the Norwegian resistance fighters were held by the Germans, and we saw the foundations of the stakes that these brave people were tied to when they were shot.

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