Trondheim [TRONN-hime] is the third-largest city of Norge (following Bergen and Oslo). I recently had the chance to visit it and thought I’d share a bit of denne vakre byen (this beautiful city) with you.
Trondheim is the capital of Trøndelag, a historical region that links the remote Nordnorge (Northern Norway) to the rest of the country. In a way, it’s the true centre of Norway. Vikingene (the Vikings) made it their capital. Den norske kongen (the Norwegian king) is still sworn in here. The kroner (crowns) of den norske kongefamilien (the Norwegian royal family) are being kept here.
Many people come to Trondheim in order to experience Nidarosdomen, a huge cathedral. (The name means ”the Nidaros cathedral”, Nidaros being an old name for Trondheim.) It was built on top of the grav (grave) of Olav den hellige (Olav the Holy), the most important Norwegian saint. (In the Middle Ages, Norway was a Catholic country, and had saints like Mexico or Italy.)
There are many students in Trondheim, partially because of NTNU, a huge university specialising in natural sciences. This of course means that there are a lot of things going on in the city, from the bustling beer halls of Samfundet [SAMfunneh] – a students’ cultural house – to the romantic, uptown cafés of Bakklandet. This doesn’t mean that you’ll find students’ prices here, though. I generally found the city to be really expensive. For instance, a night in a vandrerhjem [VANdreryem] (youth hostel) dorm cost me about 350 Kroner, more than 50 American Dollars.
I’ve only been to Trondheim på høsten (in Autumn/Fall), which is a season that suits it well. Trehusene (the wooden houses) on both sides of Nidelva (the river Nid) are the perfect match for all the colourful leaves. Nidelva, which gave Trondheim its old name Nidaros (”the Nid estuary”) runs into Trondheimsfjorden.
There are lots of cosy restaurants and pubs in Trondheim, and several museums, such as Rockheim, Norway’s national museum of popular music!
What’s up with all this -heim stuff? Heim means home, and Trondheim is the ”home” of the people known as trøndere. (In Norwegian Bokmål and Danish the word for home is hjem, which is why you’ll also see the name spelt Trondhjem.) Many Norwegians outside Trøndelag still view trøndere as a bit different. I guess this is because their dialect is very distinct and a bit hard to understand if you’re not used to it. Trøndere sometimes end their phrases with sjø [shir], which is short for skjønner du (you see).