Trondheim 2001


Trondheim was founded in 997. The Viking chieftains of Lade, the earls of Lade had already established their centre of power east of Nidaros, when Olav Tryggvason started a centre for trade and built a royal residence at Kaupang, to the west of Nidaros. The settlement soon became influential under Olav Haraldson. After the battle of Stiklestad Olav`s earthly remains were brought to Trondheim. When Olav was canonized and named Olav the Holy, the building of Nidaros Cathedral, Nidarosdomen, was begun, and Trondheim became a permanent royal residence.

Trondheim 1880

In 1152 Trondheim became the seat of the archbishop supervising ten bishoprics. The Archbishop collected revenues such as butter, wheat and stockfish from the whole of northern Norway. These products provided the basis for trade and growth and the city expanded and flourished in 1250-1350. The number of inhabitants rose to 3000.

In the Late Middle Ages revenues decreased dramatically because of a severe demographic crisis, and Trondheim became an impoverished provincial town. The hour of destiny for the Church and Trondheim came during the Reformation, when Norway´s last Archbishop fled the country in 1537. His properties were seized by the Danish crown.

In the 17th century the city expanded again, through the timber trade with Holland and the rich herring fishery. The town had a salt monopoly and controlled the processing and sale of herring. The mining industries at Røros, Kvikne and Løkken used Trondheim as their shipping harbour. The number of inhabitants steadily grew and in 1680 about 5000 people lived in the city. Merchants from Flensburg, who settled down in the city in the 17th and 18th centuries dominated commerce and trade. The great fire in 1681 led to Cicignon’s Plan of the City with its wide streets. The city continued to expand.

In the 19th century strong class divisions existed: prominent tradesmen, often of foreign birth lived in Søgaden. In Munkegata lived foreign officials. The locals were mostly craftsmen and workers.

During industrialisation in the 19th century old trades got difficulties, and found it difficult to survive. Exports also decreased to a great extent. Gradually Trondheim expanded again, this time as a communication centre north of Dovrefjell. The major merchant families lost a great deal of their power to import wholesalers, factory owners and tradesmen. This was the time when Bernhd. Brekke Ltd was founded.

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