Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Trondheim, Norway

Trondheim is the 3rd largest city in Norway.  It was founded in 997 as a trading post and was capital of Norway until 1217. 

The picture on the bottom right on the postcard is the Old Town Bridge or Gamle Bybro in Norwegian. It was constructed in 1681.  It was built near the original Elgester Bridge which was then allowed to decay and collapse. Originally Gamle Bybro was constructed of wood, but the wood was supported on three stone piers. In the middle of the bridge, an iron gate was placed. This remained a guarded city gate until 1816. At each end of the bridge was a toll and guardhouse.

Gamle Bybro is also known as Lykkens portal (Gate of Happiness), after the lyrics of the popular waltz Nidelven stille og vakker du er ( "Nidelven quiet and beautiful you are") by Norwegian composer Oskar Hoddø (1916-1943). According to tradition, Hoddø wrote the waltz about the Nidelva River one night in late April 1940 while he was standing at Gamle Bybro. Oskar Hoddø was a member of the resistance movement against the Occupation of Norway by Nazi Germany. He was executed in Trondheim on 17 November 1943.

The middle picture is the city's central plaza. On top of the obelisk in the center is a statue of Olav Tryggvason. (The founder of Trondheim) The statue base is also a sun dial.

The picture on the upper right is Nidaros Cathedral.  It was built in 1070 and is the most important Gothic monument in Norway.  It was Northern Europe's  most important Christian pilgrimage site during the middle ages. During the Middle Ages, and again after independence was restored in 1814, the Nidaros Cathedral was the coronation church of the Norwegian kings.

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