St. Olav Festival 2007

Trondheim Travel Blog

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St. Olav has his statue on the West Front of Nidaros Cathedral

St. Olav Festival is a church and cultur festival.  The Norwegian word for this event, Olsok, comes from the Norse, Olafsvaka.  It is celebrated on 29 July to commemorate St. Olaf`s death in 1030.  In his youth he was a Viking, but converted to Christianity and was baptised.  Olav was proclaimed king in 1015.  He tried to unit the country and introduce Christianity, often using brutal methodes.  As a result he made many enemies and eventually had to flee to Russia in 1028.  In 1030 he attempted to regain power, but was killed at the Battle of Stiklestad on the 29th of July 1030.

His body was secretly buried in Nidaros  (old name for Trondheim), reputedly on the spot where Nidaros Cathedral`s high alter stands today.

The apostle St. James the Greater. The Saint of the pilgrims
  Rumours of miracles attributed to Olav quikly spread, and on 3rd of August 1031 his body was exhumed.  He apperently lay unblemished in his coffin, but his hair and nails had grown.  Olav was subsequently beatified, and his coffin was placed above the alter in the Church of Nidaros.

Many pilgrims visited St. Olav`s shrine during the Middle Ages, esecially around the time of St. Olav`s Wake on the 29th of July when the shrine was carried through Nidaros in a grand procession.  Olav is Norway`s patron saint and eternal king - Rex perpetuus Norvegiae.

The pilgrims arrives Nidaros (Trondheim) by foot.  On the Westfront of Nidaros Cathedral the pilgrim`s saint is represented.  The Apostle St. James the Greather, pilgrims clothing with a staff, hat, bag and schallop shell.

From the procession.
  The pilgrims of today celebrate him at St. Olav Festival.

In the Middle Ages, up until the Reformation, great numbers of pilgrims flooded to Nidaros on 29th of July in search of healing and betterment. Olsok, culminates on 28-29 July with St. Olavs Wake.  In the Middle Ages it was common to begin important festivals with a virgil.  Every Olsok is celebrated with St. Olav`s Wake, prayers, pilgrimages, pilgrim services and services in Nidaros Cathedral and other churces in Trondheim.  In addition to that Trondheim presents different kind of concerts, exhibitions, an historical fair and lots of arrangements for children.

The celebration starts with a procession through the centre of Trondheim that ends up at the Archbishop`s Palace Complex.

Sinead O`Connor gives a consert during St. Olav`s Festival, 2 August 2007.
  Most of the participants where costumes in middle age style.  You can see the Men of the Church, knignts on horses, Lord`s with their Lady, common people and beggers.

National and international musicians gives concerts all over Trondheim during the Festival.  Concerts are given in churches, cafees, pubs, concert halls and outdoor.  Here you can find concerts for every tast.  This year Sinead O`Connor gives her only concert in Norway in the festival.  The concert prices are average, so you do not ruin yourself by going to 4 or 5.  I have planned to visit 6. Some of the concerts starts at 4 em, other at 10 em.  You can have two at the same day if you want.  And the best of all, there is atleast one free concert each day.

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St. Olav has his statue on the Wes…
St. Olav has his statue on the We…
The apostle St. James the Greater.…
The apostle St. James the Greater…
From the procession.
From the procession.
Sinead O`Connor gives a consert du…
Sinead O`Connor gives a consert d…
St. Olav to the right. An axe in h…
St. Olav to the right. An axe in …
The Knights infront of Nidaros Cat…
The Knights infront of Nidaros Ca…
The Knights processions to the tou…
The Knights processions to the to…
Middle Age Lady
Middle Age Lady
Knight in Arcbishops Palace Complex
Knight in Arcbishops Palace Complex
From the historic marked in Archbi…
From the historic marked in Archb…
Blacksmith
Blacksmith
Middle ages musicians
"Middle ages" musicians
Middle age market in The Archbisho…
Middle age market in The Archbish…
Pilgrims arriving Nidaros (Trondhe…
Pilgrims arriving Nidaros (Trondh…
Outside Arcebishop`s Palace Complex
Outside Arcebishop`s Palace Complex
Irish & Scottish music from Corner…
Irish & Scottish music from Corne…
In true rock`n`roll spirit Toto gi…
In true rock`n`roll spirit Toto g…
Tangueros del Norte is a tango orc…
Tangueros del Norte is a tango or…
Feetwarmers, swinjazzband, have li…
Feetwarmers, swinjazzband, have l…
Olsok night, Nidaros Cathedrel
Olsok night, Nidaros Cathedrel
Trondheim
photo by: cvanzoen