Trondheim, Trondheimfjord / Norway
Trondheim is Norway's third largest city with 150,000 inhabitants and lies at the mouth of the river Nidelv in Trondheimsfjord. Located on a peninsula in the fjord, the town was founded in 997 by the Viking king Olav Tryggvason, and flourished at the beginning of the 13th century, when it became the crowning town and the most important residence of the medieval kings. In the Late Middle Ages came the decline of Trondheim. Plague epidemics eradicated two-thirds of the population and the urban area shrank to a narrow area along the river bank. Trondheim, however, remained a trading center with wealthy citizens which lived from fishing and timber trade. After a fire in 1681, which destroyed almost the entire city, the center of Christian V was rebuilt in a chalkboard-like layout with wide streets. The French Versailles served as a mode and from the market square wide streets descended in all directions. This structure still characterizes the city center.
The small town center of Trondheim is easily accessible on foot. The Nidaros Domkirke, a gothic cathedral, completed in 1290, is the most magnificent gothic building in Northern Europe and today is still the spiritual center of Norway, where all royal coronation ceremonies take place. The Trondhjems Kunstforening Gallery, in addition to 19th century art, also exhibits works by modern artists, while the Vitenskapsmuseet displays exhibits from the Viking era, an ethnographic collection of the cultivation of the southern seeds and the flora and fauna of central Norway. The open-air museum Trøndelag Folkemuseum Sverresborg presents 60 old houses, from bourgeois house to the simple fising hut.Also the northernmost baroque church of the country can be visited here. To the east of the old town stands the 120-m-high Tyholttårnet bservation tower, Trondheim's landmark, with a panoramic restaurant at 74 m altitude. Here is also the Ringve Music History Museum, Norway's only specialized museum for musical instruments. The small island of Munkholmen in the Trondheimsfjord is a popular destination for sunbathing and walking.