In his attempt to unite and Christianize Norway, Olav Haraldsson fell in the battle of Stiklestad in 1030. When the fighting ceased, his body was rescued from the battlefield and buried on the banks of Nidelva River. Soon afterwards, signs and miracles were reported occurring close to Olav's remains. To protect the remains, a chapel was built above Olav's grave and soon after he was proclaimed a saint on August 3, 1031. Around AD 1070 Olav Kyrre founded the first Christ's Church in the same place,and this church ultimately became Cathedral of Trondheim (also called Nidaros). Revered as a saint, pilgrims came from Sweden and Norway to celebrate the feast of St. Olav in Nidaros Cathedral. To this day, the St. Olav Festival centered on the feast day of July 29 continues this tradition.
The pilgrim road from Oslo to Trondheim were officially opened during Trondheim's millenary celebrations in 1997 after 5 years work. These consist of some 2000 km of prepared pilgrim paths to St. Olav in Norway. The present Pilgrim Way aims to give today's wanderers an idea of what medieval pilgrims would encounter on their way to Trondheim. The path follows ancient trails when these can be used. The path is bound by names of places, historic monuments and sacred wells, with links to the medieval pilgrimtradition and Saint Olav. Along the way you will also see burial mounds from pre-Christian times.
This cultural treasure has become increasingly popular with pilgrims from Norway and abroad. The pilgrimage paths to Nidaros were developed and prepared by public authorities in association with local volunteers, among them the Confraternity of St. James, Norway.
For the period 2007-2010 a four-year project is aimed at developing the pilgrimage paths. After the modern pilgrimage paths' official debut in 1997, there has been a steady increase in the interest and following of the pilgrimage roads to Trondheim. The first modern guidebook in English was published in 2001, by Alison Raju, Cicerone. This pilgrim-guide describes several of the historic monuments and attracted the attention of many foreign pilgrims. Today there are guidebooks (From Verbum publishing house) in the Norwegian language covering most of the routes.
The english guide:
The objectives of this website: www.pilegrim.no, are to:
- Give comprehensive information about the pilgrim tradition, history and the different routes
- Be a resource for interested parties within the field, in school and church.
- Be a reference for the development of information about the pilgrim ways.
We welcome and encourage visitors to search the site to find out what is available at the present moment.