St Olav, Trondheim

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  • St Olav
    by Sjalen
  • St. Olav.
    St. Olav.
    by Bjorgvin
  • Sjalen's Profile Photo

    Yorkshire links!

    by Sjalen Updated Aug 7, 2003

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    Not only is local hero St Olav big in York too, where a central church has his name. Trondheim's symbol is a rose, uncanningly similar to the white rose of Yorkshire! Wonder if the typical English roses were St Olav designed? This one was found on a building in Bakklandet :-)

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    St. Olav

    by Bjorgvin Updated Aug 1, 2003

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    St. Olav.

    Olav Haraldsson, Norway’s national saint, was born c. 995 and died in a battle at Stiklarstadir in 1030. At a very young age he set out on his first Viking expedition. He raided the countries around the Baltic Sea, and he also fought in England and France. It was in England and France that he got acquainted with Christianity. 18 years old he was baptized in France. He then decided to go on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and got as far south as Cadiz where he received a vision of God in a dream. God told him to go back to Norway to seize the throne and become king.
    He conquered his enemies and was celebrated as a king and settled down in Nidaros (Trondheim). But his enemies fought back, and Olav had to flee to Russia (Novgorod) where he stayed for 2 years. In Novgorod he received another vision, and went back to Scandinavia to get his kingdom back. In Sweden he gathered men for an army, which he led over the mountains, his intention to take Nidaros. A battle was fought about 100km north of the city, where Olav was killed. His body was brought to Nidaros, and buried in a small hill outside of the city. Soon there were rumours about miracles happening around Olav. A year after his death, his coffin was brought into the city and buried again. But only 5 days later the coffin was opened, and he was declared a saint and martyr. On the place where he was first buried sprung a source of holy water. Olav's reputation spread quickly, and after a while pilgrims started to come to Nidaros to pray at the saint’s shrine. During the middle ages, doing a pilgrimage to Nidaros was almost as natural as to go to Jerusalem, Rome or Santiago de Compostella in Spain. The Saga of St. Olav is the longest and most important saga in Heimskringa by the Icelander Snorri Sturluson.

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