Twin City since 1968
Trondheim is the second oldest town in Norway and twinned with Darmstadt since 1968.
The city is located in Middle Norway on the mouth of the river Nidelv, and thus only 500 kilometres away from the Arctic Circle. Furthered by the Gulf Stream, Trondheim has a mild climate and lies on an ice-free fjord. With about 150,000 inhabitants it is – after Oslo and Bergen – the third largest city of Norway, and as a former site of trade, coronation and pilgrimage, it holds a special place within the Norwegian history and culture.
The ice-free Trondheim Fjord was the reason why the Viking king Olav Tryggvason, in 997, founded a town here with the name Nidaros, that became the capital and royal residency for his just united Norwegian kingdom, and quickly developed into an important trade centre. Until the 13th century, Nidaros was the residency of the Norwegian kings, and later the royal coronations took place in the Nidaros Cathedral. Still today, the Norwegian Kings receive the blessing of the Church here.
The Nidaros Cathedral is the most important church in Scandinavia, and in the Middle Ages it was the destination of great pilgrimages. This cathedral was constructed over the tomb of King Olav Haraldsson (Olav the Saint) who ruled Norway from 1015 to 1030 and promoted the country's christianisation, with the assistance of German missionaries. After his death he received the epithet of "the Saint" and became the country's patron saint. Later, the numerous pilgrims made Nidaros, as Trondheim was called until the 16th century, the greatest and richest town of Norway. And still today, modern pilgrims come to Nidaros Cathedral which is the most important place of interest in Trondheim.
But there are some other attractions too that are worth a visit to Trondheim, for example the Palace of Stiftsgården, the biggest wooden building in the North. It was erected in 1778 as a private residence with 140 rooms, and today it is used as a royal residency for visits of the King. A particular jewel is even the Old Town Bridge across the river Nidelv, with carved wooden banisters and gates. The ancient warehouses on the riverbank still reflect the former importance of Trondheim as a trade town. The Old Town Bridge leads into the district Bakklandet, worth a stroll alone for its typical Nordic wood constructions. The wooden houses, first constructed in the 17th century as workers' homes, have been restored and are today part of the World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.
Departing from Trondheim, you might make a trip to the island Munkholmen, lying directly in front of the city. The "Monk's Island" first hosted a Benedictine monastery that later was transformed into a fortification and a prison. Today Munkholmen is a popular place for outings, with a bathing place and a restaurant. The green hills and many rivers around Trondheim invite for hiking, hunting and salmon fishing. A few hours of driving away there its Oppdal, the largest skiing area of Norway.
In recent years, Trondheim developed into an attractive economic and research site. The
University of Technology and Science – with about 28,000 students the second largest in Norway – and other recognized research institutions helped that Trondheim could make a name for itself as a modern city of technology and university, even beyond the borders of Norway. Thus Trondheim very charmingly unites both the idyllic character of a small town and the economic and cultural offer of a large city, and it has a very special fascination for tourists, businessmen and locals alike.