St. Olav Ways - The Pilgrim Paths to Trondheim
St. Olav Ways - The Pilgrim Paths to Trondheim, is a network of nine historical trails which all lead to St. Olav's burial place, Nidaros Cathedral - the northernmost pilgrimage destination throughout the Middle Ages. For many people the pilgrimage also offers an inner journey, time to think and find peace. They say it is a lifetime experience!
All nine paths to Nidaros Cathedral are beautiful in their own way, but the most developed paths are Gudbrandsdalsleden and St. Olavsleden. These paths are well marked and you will find accomondation and other necessities on the way.
An inner journey
In the Middle Ages, most pilgrims were religiously motivated, although no doubt some were out for adventure or otherwise motivated. Today, there are many different motivations for embarking on a pilgrimage. Exciting landscapes, unspoiled nature and good hiking trails tempt many of those who set out on the Pilgrim Paths. Connecting with the past and meeting other people is also a strong motivation.
In addition to all these strong experiences that characterize the outer walk, the pilgrim path offers an inner walk. Pilgrimage does something to person, regardless of faith and religious background, there are few who do not undergo a mental change on this trip. Walking in the footsteps of people who have walked this path in sorrow and joy, hope and despair, for hundreds of years, it affects those who walk the same path. Reaching the goal, the mighty Nidaros Cathedral, after walking for days is a powerful and unforgettable experience that the pilgrims carry with them on the way home and on through life.
Nidaros Cathedral - the northernmost pilgrimage destination
After years in viking Olav Haraldsson returned to Norway with a mission to unite the country into one Christian kingdom. July 29th in 1030, King Olav was killed in the Battle of Stiklestad. Legend has it that after his death miracles happened both on the battlefield and around the King’s grave in Nidaros. The following year Olav was declared a saint, and a church was built at the site of his grave. Over the next two hundred years Nidaros became seat of the archbishop, the original church rebuilt into a large cathedral, and St. Olav`s resting place in the cathedral became the most important pilgrimage site in Northern Europe.