Trondheim is a city and
municipality in the county of Sør-Trøndelag, Norway.
The city of Trondheim was established as a municipality January 1, 1838 (see
formannskapsdistrikt). The rural municipalities of Byneset, Leinstrand,
Strinda and Tiller were merged with Trondheim January 1, 1964.
The city of Trondheim was founded in 997. Trondheim is today a centre of
education, technical and medical research, with around 25,000 students, and
is the country's third-largest city, with 162,000 inhabitants in the city
proper (January 2007). The Trondheim Region has 246,751 inhabitants.
Geography and climate
Trondheim is situated where the
river Nidelva meets a large fjord, Trondheimsfjorden, and is the centre of
the Trondheim Region. At summer solstice, the sun rises at 03:00 and sets at
23:40, but stays just below the horizon - there is no darkness from May 20
to July 20. At winter solstice, the sun rises at 10:00, stays very low above
the horizon, and sets at 14:30. Trondheim has a predominantly maritime
climate, but mostly sheltered from the more windy conditions on the coast.
The warmest temperature ever recorded is 35°C on July 22, 1901, and the
coldest is -26.1°C in February 1899. The municipality's top elevation is the
Storheia hill, 565 metres (≈1850 ft) above sea level.
People have been living in this
region of the country for thousands of years (see Rock carvings in Central
Norway, Nøstvet and Lihult cultures and Corded Ware culture). In ancient
times the Kings of Norway were hailed at Øretinget in Trondheim, the place
for the assembly of all free men by the mouth of the river Nidelva. Harald
Fairhair (865 - 933) was hailed as the king here, as was his son, Haakon I -
called 'the Good'. Trondheim was named Kaupangen (the market place or
trading place) by Viking King Olav Tryggvason in 997 AD. Fairly soon, it
came to be called Nidaros. In the beginning it was frequently used as the
seat of the King, and therefore, for a time, the capital of Norway (until
Leif Ericson lived in Trondheim
around 1000 AD as a military retainer (Old Norse: "hird"-man) of King Olav.
A statue of Leif, donated by the "Leif Ericsson Society" in Seattle, is
located at the seaside, close to the old Customs Building, the cruise ship
facilities and the new swimming Hall. The statue is a replica, the original
being located at a Seattle marina.
The Old Town Bridge,
Trondheim.Trondheim is located at the mouth of the river Nidelva, due to its
excellent harbour and sheltered condition. The river used to be deep enough
for most boats in the Middle Ages. An avalanche of mud and stones made it
less navigable and partly ruined the harbour in the mid-17th century.
The major battle of Kalvskinnet took place here in 1179: King Sverre
Sigurdsson and his Birkebeiner warriors were victorious against Erling
Skakke (a rival to the throne).
Trondheim was the seat of the (Catholic) Archbishopric for Norway from 1152.
Due to the introduction of Lutheran Protestantism in 1537, the last
Archbishop Olav Engelbrektsson had to flee from the city to the Netherlands,
where he died in present-day Lier, Belgium.
The city has experienced several major fires. Since it was a city of log
buildings, out of wood, most fires caused severe damage. Great fires ravaged
the city in 1598, 1651, 1681, 1708, 1717 (two fires that year), 1742, 1788,
1841 and 1842. It must be noted that these were only the worst cases. The
1651 fire destroyed 90% of all buildings within the city limits. The fire in
1681 (the "Horneman Fire") led to an almost total reconstruction of the
city, overseen by General Johan Caspar von Cicignon (originally from
Luxembourg). Broad avenues like Munkegaten were made, with no regard for
property rights, in order to stop the next fire. This gave the sleepy
provincial town of roughly 8000 inhabitants a certain flair.
After the Treaty of Roskilde 26 February 1658, Trondheim (together with the
rest of Trøndelag) became Swedish territory for a brief period; the area was
reconquered after 10 months; the conflict was finally settled by the Treaty
of Copenhagen, 27 May 1660.
During World War II, Trondheim was occupied by German forces from April,
1940 (on the first day of the invasion of Norway, Operation Weserübung)
until the war's end in Europe, 8 May 1945.