Roman and Mediaeval History, Illlustrated Travel Journals, Mediaeval Literature, Geology


18.4.11
  Culture and Nature in Norway

And here we go for the third photo post: the way back from the north. We're still north of the Arctic Circle in the Vesterålen achipelago where I found this charming little church.

Stone church in Trondenes (Vesterålen)

This is the oldest stone church north of the Arctic Circle. There's a bit of a discussion about the exact date the church was built, about 1250, or 1440. It definitely replaced an older timber church from the 11th century. There are also remains of fortifications from that date that once protected the timber church from attacks from the sea side.

Entrance to the mist-veiled Trollfjord (Lofoten archipelago)

In summer the ship enters the Trollfjord, one of the most narrow passages on the way, but the amount of snow on the mountains makes for a significant danger of avalanches this time of the year, and since the ship has to get close to those steep slopes, that's not unproblematic. But I could get a glimpse because I went on a sea eagle safari in a smaller boat. Yes, I did see eagles but the skuas were more willing to fly model in front of my camera.

Sunset in the Brønnøysund

With this one were's south of the Arctic Circle and here spring slowly makes it way north. There was less snow and even a few specks of genuine green among all the brown and yellow, but it took until I arrived back in Germany to fully meet spring. It really had worked hard on that green thing during the time I was away.

Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim

The cathedral of Nidaros, as Trondheim was called in the Middle Ages, took a long time in building, from 1070 to 1327. Thus it's a mix of Romanesque and - preeminently - Gothic elements. The cathedral suffered severe damage by fire several times, so the building had to be restored in part; a task that was finished in 2001. The most striking feature is the westwork with its rich decoration of large stone sculptures.

Historical farmhouses, Trondelag Folkemuseum

The Trondelag Open Air Museum is situated around the ruins of the oldest stone castle in Norway, Sverre's castle near Trondheim. It houses a collection of different buildings that were - and in some cases still are - typical for the area. The age of the buildings varies from an old church of 1170 to 19th century town houses. Most of the buildings are farm houses, stables and sheds though, and they make for a lovely scenery among the trees and rocks.

Spring is coming to Norway

I took this photo from out of the train window on the way from Trondheim to Oslo. The ice on the rivers and lakes in the inland is the last trace of winter to give way, but the snow had been melting those last days even in a skiing district like Lillehammer. The Norwegians need to travel further north for their customary Easter fun.

Gokstad ship, Viking Ship Museum Oslo

I promised Viking ships and I got some for you. I've actually visited two Viking ship museums, the ones in Roskilde and in Oslo. The museum in Oslo houses the ships found in Oseberg, Gokstad and Tune, and additional grave finds from Borre. All three ships had been buried in mounds, together with other beautifully crafted items; most remarkable among them are the cart and the sleighs from the Oseberg find. The museum's eldest part was opened as early as 1926 while the museum in its present 4-winged layout dates to 1957.

The opera house in Oslo

The opera house in Oslo opened in 2008. It won several architecture awards for its unusual ice shoal design, and you can walk onto the roof. Most of the material used is white Italian marble, while the stage tower is clad in white aluminium in a pattern that resembles old weavings. The large windows allow for a lot of light to stream in. In contrast to the white and glass of the exterior, the interior surfaces are covered in oak.

I managed to get a ticket for 'Rigoletto'; a fitting celebration of my last night in Norway.
 
Comments:
Beautiful, love the Trondelag Folkemuseum image.
Thank you.
http://woodsrunnersdiary.blogspot.com/
 
I am so envious right now. ;D
Norway is one of the countries I wish to visit someday. Actually a visit to the Northern Europe will be a dream come true. I wish it will be possible one day. I hope you had a great time :)
 
That picture of Trollfjord is awesome. No wonder it got the name! It could be something from Tolkien.
 
Mihai, my best wishes that you may find the chance to travel there; it's really a great place.

Carla, Noway is Viking-land and Tolkien got some of his inspirations from their culture; he would have loved taking the tour, I think (I actually wonder why he apparently never did since it was offered during his lifetime).
 
Yay Viking ships!

And did you see any trolls in the Trollfjord?
 
I really love your photos, Gabriele. They are so beautiful!

I follow your blog since one year ago and I think that it's very very interesting.

Congrats from Barcelona :)
 
Charles, the only troll I saw was in front of a museum-plus-kitsch-shop and it was made of plastic. :)

Hallo Beldz, welcome to my blog and thank you for your kind words.
 
Brilliant photos as ever Gabriele (in all three posts) but I am awed by the Nidaros westwork, that's tremendous. And of course the Gokstad ship is just stunning. It reads like a marvellous trip all round, if maybe just a bit cold...
 
Jonathan, I like it cold. :)

Yes, the Nidaros westwork is stunning but I must admit that I liked the austere lines of the Roskilde one even better.
 
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Miscellaneous musings of an aspiring Historical Fiction and Fantasy author. Illustrated essays on Roman, Dark Age and Mediaeval history, Mediaeval literature, and Geology. Some poetry translations and writing stuff. And lots of photos of old castles, cathedrals, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes from Germany, the UK and Scandinavia.

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I'm a writer of Historical Fiction living in Germany. I got a MA in Literature, Scandinavian Studies, Linguistics and History, I'm interested in Archaeology and everything Roman and Mediaeval, an avid reader, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, and photographer.

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