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Stiklystadir

 

This is where it happened!
It was here, at Stiklestad, King Olav Haraldsson fell in a battle against peasants and petty kings on July 29, 1030.

 

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The Battle of Stiklestad represents a turning point in Norwegian history, marking the transition from paganism to Christianity. Olav outlawed all other religions and actively used the Christian court to develop his kingdom. The main factor in strengthening the unified kingdom was, however, the fall of the King in the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030. Shortly after his death, Olav was canonised and became the subject of worship far beyond the Norwegian borders. St. Olav has by many been called the most important Norwegian ever outside of Norway, and hardly any one person has influenced the development of the Norwegian nation as much as he did through his death.

 

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The battle and the Saint-King made Stiklestad a symbol for both Christianity and for the Kingdom, and Stiklestad and Nidaros became important destinations for pilgrims in the Middle Ages. Even during the last few centuries people have chosen Stiklestad as their meeting place, to promote political targets.

 

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Stiklastadir - a farm from Olav's time
We are currently building the farm Stiklastadir on the site. The building process itself gives valuable insight into the building practices of the Middle Ages. The farm is constructed f with, amongst other things, a longhouse and is meant to as much as possible resemble a medieval farm. The goal is to create a farming environment where knowledge of everyday life and practical tasks is imparted in a lifelike and interactive manner. Visitors become familiar with the era before the battle through role-playing. They learn how people reacted to Olav being in Trondelag and how it affected their daily lives. Building activity is at full pelt in the summer, and come winter schoolchildren can partake in history by performing everyday tasks. In the grand guildhall the table can be set for traditional medieval festivities. The Culture Centre has a model of the longhouse at Stiklastadir.
 

The medieval market - experiences for all senses and all ages.
The colourful market place will get us in the proper medieval mood, and we can learn more about the society in the Middle Ages. We meet entertainers and craftsmen in historical outfits. We learn of old culinary and clothing traditions. Enterprising craftsmen from home and abroad come here year after year, bring their quality products and create a special atmosphere. While the adults are impressed by the medieval crafts traditions, the young ones can play various games from when Olav was young. A wide range of crafts products are sold from the sales booths. This is a place for shopping, tasting, laughing and listening. Everyone can participate in the activities, of which there are plenty and if you get hungry or thirsty you can buy tasty medieval food and thirst quenching drinks


Olav's childhood and adolescence

According to Snorre Sturlasson, Olav was a descendant of Harald Fairhair through his father, Harald Grenske, who died before Olav was born. Olav was raised by his mother Asta and his stepfather Sigurd Syr on a grand farm in Ringerike. The saga suggests a lukewarm relationship between Olav and his stepfather. He got on much better with his mother, who would spoil him and yield to most of his demands. Yet there is nothing in his childhood and adolescence that suggests he would become canonised after his death. On the contrary, as a fresh faced 12 year old, Olav left on a Viking voyage. As a Viking he became acquainted with Christianity, and he was probably baptised in France at the age of 18.
The saga depicts Olav as big and strong, of medium height, and already as a child he was monikered Olav the Stout. He was a good athlete and always wanted to be the first and the best. As a young sea-king he was victorious in
several battles and emerged as an outstanding tactician. He was praised for his courage, wisdom and strength, and Snorri writes that he was "bold and well-spoken, and soon fully grown in strength as in knowledge, and he was well liked by all his friends and acquaintances".
Norway during Olav's time - from unification to division and yet another unification
The land was divided into several loosely connected petty kingdoms, and there was no such thing as a unified "Norway" until Harald Fairhair united the country towards the end of the ninth century. The century following his death was marred by battles and competition, where provinces and families were up against each other. When Olav Tryggvason, another descendant of Fairhair, died, two Earls of Lade called Eirik and Svein rose to power. But Olav Haraldsson considered Norway his rightful royal heritage and in 1015 he returned from his Viking voyages and was soon declared king. He won the decisive battle against the Earls of Lade and their allies at Nesjar on Palm Sunday in 1016.


The life of a Viking:

Some say Olav had inherited many of the Fairhair clan's characteristics. These included savagery, cruelty, greed and licentiousness, but also positive character traits such as the ability to organize and rule. During his years as a Viking he was able to develop all these abilities, and he is unlikely to have felt much guilt when stealing food from ordinary people, chopping down those who resisted, capturing people and selling them as thralls, violating women and setting fire to farms. Even his own mother encouraged such behaviour. Although the moral code was completely different back then, we can only imagine the huge change required to start leading a Christian life.

 


Send your e-mail with questions or suggestions about dreamlike to: webmaster@dreamlike.info
Copyright 2007, Hanspeter Hochuli, Ennetburgen, Switzerland
last updated:  20.07.2007

 


Send your e-mail with questions or suggestions about dreamlike to: webmaster@dreamlike.info
Copyright 2007, Hanspeter Hochuli, Ennetburgen, Switzerland
last updated:  18.06.2016