A brief account



Trondheim lies on a sheltered peninsula on the southern shore of the deeply intended Trondheimsfjorden at the mouth of the river Nidelva in the middle of Norway. It was founded in 997 by king Olaf Tryggvason who build a royal residence by the outlet of the river. The residence was rebuild a few years later by king Olaf Haraldson, or Olaf the Holy, after a fire on the residence. Trondheim has been very central in the history of Norway. It was early made the capital city of the kingdom Norway. Kings have been crowned and blessed here, the church in Trondheim was a spiritual centre in Scandinavia especially from 1153 until the reformation in 1537, and the city is today the technological capital city of Norway. Trondheim is the third largest city in Norway. In 2011 it had 171 000 inhabitants. But since every sixth living in Trondheim is a student, the number of inhabitants is much larger.

Trondheim was savaged by fire in 1681. When the city was rebuilt, Christian principles were obviously illustrated. Trondheim illustrates the major Christian principles, and on this site I explain how.

The Monks' street



In the photograph we see the street Munkegata ("The Monks’ Street"), starting by the channel in the north and ending up by the cathedral in the south. The harbour by the channel is called Ravnkloa ("The Raven’s Claw").

Munkegata is the main street of Trondheim. It is far from being the most trafficked street, but most institutions of importance are located here. The street is divided like a spear or a sceptre, with the harbour at the bottom of the street, the town square in the middle of the street giving authority to the length of it, and the national cathedral at the top as the spear head. And so the street reminds of The Trinity of The Father (the harbour), The Son (the cathedral) and The Holy Spirit (the street as such). Historically the harbour was the main entrance to the city. Transport took place by the sea.

The name of the harbour, Ravnkloa, meaning “The Raven’s Claw”, is biblical. Raven like birds, like craws, hawks, eagles and vultures, give life to other beings the way they feed upon carcasses. They transform the kill, they transform the being come to its death, to a higher being by justifying it. Jesus told us, when he said, speaking of the end times, that wherever the carcase is, there the eagles will be gathered. The eagle has thus been looked upon as a symbol of nobility. When the harbour is called “The Raven’s Claw” this must have to do with the fortune of the fishermen putting their lives on stake on the sea for the benefit of the people, selling the fish at the harbour, damned by their heroic act, possibly gaining nobility, or rather welfare, by their work. Or the name originates from the feeling people in general had when entering the city at the harbour. The city was the site of possibilities.

The harbour is where life starts – where the seed is sown. The harbour is like The Father. The cathedral is where life ends and principles arise – where the yield is produced. The cathedral is like The Son. And the street Munkegata as such, uniting the harbour and the cathedral, is like The Holy Spirit. Along this street we find the royal residence in Trondheim, we find the court in Trondheim, and we find the administration of the municipality. Earlier we also found the administration of the region, of the county, here, and we found the military headquarter of the district here. The oldest high school in Trondheim is also located here. Munkegata is the street of authority, is the main street, of Trondheim.

The streets Southern and Northern



East of the Munkegata we find the streets Søndre (”Southern”) and Nordre (“Northern”). They have had these names since 1681. These are two parallel streets today both going from north to south. The streets differ a bit, though. It is like Nordre starts in the south, by the Church of Our Lady. Nordre is today a pedestrian street, filled with shops, and is the street we all walk along to see and be seen in the city. Søndre is a trafficked street. It is as if it begins by the railway station passed the channel in the north and ends by the building of the old fire department in the south. The architecture along this street is massive and impressive and in the street we find big restaurants and banks. The Søndre we visit if our business is serious. And so we are reminded of a distinction, namely the distinction between the serious and the light, between sobriety and frivolity. We are reminded of the distinction between heart and mind, and we may grasp there in life in fact is a fundamental distinction, the one between God and man, heaven and earth, man and woman, illustrated in numerous ways in the world. And we may reflect upon the relationship of the two.

Where Munkegata is the street of authority in Trondheim, the streets Søndre and Nordre are the streets of command. They are so by the contradiction they make in the centre of the city and by the popularity and function of the streets. And so the street Munkegata and the streets Søndre and Nordre illustrate the main principle in life: He, the man, will think of a trinity and she, the woman, will think of a dualism with respect to God. He will make God valid. She will serve God as if man the wife.

The photo is taken at the top of Nordre, with The Church of Our Lady in the background.

Two principles

Click to see the original size.


By The Trinity man becomes a dweller. By the contradiction he becomes an inhabitant. The dweller, empowered by The Trinity, will be as a son to the Father by being the crop sowed, cultivated and harvested, and he will see to it he, being harvested, becomes something of worth, as bread is of worth. He will owe his life to The Trinity and be a pride to The Lord. He who is an inhabitant, empowered as a help-meet to God, will think differently. He will think of himself as absolutely not God but united with God as if man was the wife of God. And he will be occupied with uniting the contradiction so that he can inhabit God.

According to The Story of the Creation contradictions can and shall be united in seven ways.

Idea

The first day heaven and earth was divided. We found our way out of the opposition by the light being lit, by which heaven rules and earth works.

Law

The second day the waters were split, and the clouds in the sky were divided from the water on the earth. We found our way out of the opposition by the precipitation and the evaporation.

Form

The third day the land was split from the ocean. We found our way out of the opposition by the growth, which grows on land but which is upheld by water.

Clue

The fourth day God let us find our way out of the opposition between day and night. We did so by the lights which were lit on the ceiling, confirming the light as such in three different ways.

Wit

The fifth day the fishes in the water and the fowls of the air were created. And we want to be fresh as the fish in the water, and we want to be free as the bird. We found our way out of the opposition the sixth day by the creation of the animals on the ground, symbolizing rationality.

Plan

Man was created the sixth day. By that a division was made between man and the rest of the creation. We found our way out of the opposition by letting the world suit and serve.

Plea

The seventh day the last division was fully understood, being the opposition of man and woman, both created the sixth day. We found our way out of the opposition by the creation of The Son.

Being by God, confirming God as help-meets, we will unite the oppositions we stand in. Making God valid, man and woman shall be one.

The streets in the centre of Trondheim were drawn in 1681 after a great fire. They were drawn by Major, later General, Caspar de Cicignon, born in Luxembourg.

The realm



East of the city centre, on the east side of the Nidelva river, we find the area Bakklandet (“The Land of Hills”). This is the realm of the city. Historically the Bakklandet has been inhabited by the labour force. And by Bakklandet we may make a distinction between the stomach and the hooves of the city, thinking of it as a creature, where the centre is the working hooves and the Bakklandet is the digesting stomach. Moses told us, in The Law, that when justifying creatures by eating them we should make two demands. The hooves of the animal must be completely split. And the animal must chew the cud. Speaking of split hooves there in the city centre of Trondheim is a clear distinction between the Munkegata and the streets Søndre and Nordre. Two principles are illustrated, and speaking of the execution of power, there is an obvious division between the two principles. Bakklandet, on the other hand, illustrates the stomach. And the animal should chew the cud. And in fact there on Bakklandet is a higher level area, called Møllenberg (“The Hill With The Mill”). This higher level of the realm of the city traditionally has been inhabited by more powerful people. The houses here are more luxurious. And so it is like the cud is chewed by the two levels of the realm, and in this respect the name of Møllenberg (“The Hill With The Mill”) becomes symbolic.

Today the two levels of the realm are also united by a bicycle lift, called “Trampe” (the Norwegian word for what you do with your foot when you cycle up hills, or when you walk heavily). The lift was the first of its kind in the world.

Today the area Bakklandet has been renovated. We find cafés here, and a walk in the area with the old buildings is very pleasant.

The Old Town Bridge



What unites the city centre and the central realm is the old city bridge, called Bybroen. The bridge originates from 1681, when the city was rebuild after the great fire, and the bridge over the river Nidelva was then put here for military reasons. Earlier the bridge over Nidelva was placed further west. In 1681 there was a military control post on the western side of the bridge, and this was one of the city gates. The look of today, though, being the bridge with the portals, is from 1861. At that time the bridge was built so that it could be elevated. In the 20th century the construction was made to be of concrete.

The Bybroen is made famous by a song, a waltz, of Oscar Hoddø. In the very popular song he referred to the bridge as the portal of luck and of happiness. The song is melancholic, written just after the German invasion in 1940, and was very important to the generation of that time: At least the bridge was intact.

I have taken the liberty to change the meaning of the text of the song by making it English and taking it out of context. In my words it goes as follows:


JEALOUSY QUIET AND GRACEFUL THOU ART
Original title: Nidelven stille og vakker du er
Original text: Oscar Hoddø
Changed and made English: Anders Woje Ellingsen
Melody: Christian Christensen and Kjell Rian

Growing from mountains far off in the blue,
trusted, a place to me dear.
Hither my thoughts and my dreams will ensue
after the taking of care.

Jealousy, quiet and graceful thou art,
here as I walk by, dreaming,
thinking of thee once so urgent to heart,
memories now just gleaming.

The old town bridge by the portal pulsar –
coupled and shining in stardom we are.
Jealousy, quiet and graceful thou art,
here as I walk by, dreaming.



| Scores | Sheet music
| Scores | Sheet music original song, with Norwegian text

Kristiansten fortress



Up hills from the Bakklandet, on a brink controlling the city, we find the fortress Kristiansten festning. The man's, the king's, name "Kristian" means “Christian", and so "Kristiansten" means "Christian Stone”. And speaking of what really is important to defend in Christian faith we of course come to the conclusion faith itself is. Faith makes us independent. And what really shows faith is the child. Jesus pointed this out to us, saying that for him who made a child fall from innocence and faith, for him it was better if a millstone was hanged around his neck and he was drowned in the depth of a sea. And Jesus told us to be like children again. The kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who do. Faith, as the readiness of innocence, is the corner stone of what Christian is. And the fortress Kristiansten festning is a symbol of independence. We may build spiritual fortresses to defend faith.

The fortress was build after the great fire in 1681. The hills upon which the fortress is build had shown themselves to be of vital importance to keep control over during earlier Swedish invasions, and a garrison was placed on the fortress. The only time the fortress was put to test was during the Swedish invasion in The Great Nordic war in 1718. The Swedes surrounded the city. The soldiers at the fortress suffered from starvation but the garrison in Trondheim withstood attack.

During World War II Norwegian patriots were executed on the fortress by the Germans. And after the war, some convicted war criminals were executed on the fortress by the King of Norway, among these Gerhard Flesch, the head of the Gestapo in the district, and Henry Oliver Rinnan and nine of his men, a gang hated for torturing Norwegian patriots during the war.

On the fortress today salute guns are placed. The fortress is a peaceful spot and as such a recreational area for both citizens and tourists.

The Monks' Little Island



If we draw a line along the main street Munkegata to the north into the fjord we come to the fortress Munkholmen, in English “The Monks' Little Island”. Throughout the history, the little island has been a monastery, a fortress, and a prison. Seen as a bit isolated from the city it reminds us of being, or standing alone. It reminds us of the conflict in wanting to be fresh as the fish in the water and free as the bird. And the words of Jesus was, that he who loves his father and mother more than The Son of God is not worth paying attention to, and he who loves his son or his daughter more than The Son of God is not worth paying attention to, and he who does not take up his cross and follows Jesus is not worth paying attention to. Telling us so Jesus pointed out that the conflict between fish and fowl, between the two values, is not important. What counts is to take up the cross and act in the name of Christ.

The Munkholmen was a monastery from 1100 to 1537. The monastery was the last stronghold of the Catholic church in Norway, but it was abandoned in 1537 when the Archbishop of Nidaros had to flee and the Church of Norway became Lutheran. The Munkholmen was a fortress from 1660 to 1825. It was a state prison from 1680 to 1850. And it was again a fortress, made modern, from 1825 to 1893. Today the island is a recreational area. A boat departing from the harbour Ravnkloa will take you to the island.

The royal residence



In the main street Munkegata we find the royal residence in Trondheim, called Stiftsgården, in English “The Courtyard of The District” but also meaning “The Courtyard Where The Future Is Constituted”. The building, which is one of the largest wooden buildings in the Nordic countries, was built by a wealthy widow in 1774-1778 but was sold to the state in 1800. It reminds us of hope. By being sovereign, following our own authorities, we may have hope in the future. By being Christian signals; by not being sold to anyone or anything, we may be hopeful. In that respect Jesus said that we are either slaves to our sins or we are freed by Messiah. In the latter case we will be set entirely free.

The Stiftsgården became exclusively the royal residence in Trondheim in 1906. Norway became independent from Sweden in 1905, after having been in union with Sweden since 1814. The Norwegian claim for independence was urged by the Norwegian demand for consulates abroad independent of Swedish control. The Swedish-Norwegian King would not grant us that. And so we took control of our own affairs. But our Independence Day we celebrate May the 17th in memory of the independence from Denmark in 1814. Norway was at that time given as war compensation to Sweden, but the Danish prince ruling Norway and Norwegians of that time would not accept this decision forced upon us by the Kiel treaty ending the First Napoleon War. Men elected in free elections from most of the country were assembled at Eidsvold north of Oslo, where our constitution was made and the Danish prince was elected as our king. And so Norway in 1814 was in position to meet, or face, Sweden as a sovereign state with its own king. The war with Sweden which followed did not last long. But the Swedish King acknowledged the Norwegian constitution in the union that followed. We were in union with Sweden from 1814 to 1905.

The town square



In the middle of Munkegata we find the Torvet, the town square. In the middle of the town square there is a statue of king Olaf Tryggvason, the king founding Trondheim. He is famous for being the first Christian king of Norway. He put his life at stake, and died in a battle in the year 1000, for the sake of Christianising and uniting Norway. And so he is a symbol of responsability. The word of Jesus was, that seeds which are not sown will only be themselves, but seeds that are sown will become something. As seed Olaf Tryggvason became a harvest.

At summertime a little marked is put up in the town square. Fruit and vegetables are sold, often from local farms. The strawberries from the district of Trøndelag are especially sweet and are highly recommendable.

The Nidaros Cathedral



At the top of Munkegata we find the Nidaros Cathedral – the national cathedral, the national sanctuary of Norway. The church was build on the grave of Olaf The Holy in 1070 but the look of today comes from a fundamental rebuilding starting in 1869.

The Munkegata reminds us of the Trinity. The church reminds us of The Son, where the growth is harvested and principles are produced. In the Christian nation, in the Christian constitution, The Trinity is mirrored by the distinction of legislative power (The Father), executive power (The Hoy Spirit) and judicial power (The Son). And the important principle, and the number one principle for states, is that there should be clear distinctions between the three powers. This principle is The Principle of Separation of Powers.

If legislative and executive powers were not separated from each other the power would be eclectically. The king would not justify his decisions by values and laws but would know every kind of decision would be justified by the parliament. And the parliament would not be serious. If legislative and judicial powers were not separated from each other the power would be pragmatically. The decisions of the parliament would not be grounded in the constitution. And the court would not protect against arbitrary laws. If executive and judicial powers were not separated the power would be authoritarian. The king would know any action of his would be justified by the court. And the court would not protect us against abuse from the king.

By the Munkegata the three powers are clearly separated. The legislative parliament is symbolised by the harbour. The executive King is symbolised by the royal residence. And the judicial court is symbolised by the cathedral. The cathedral as such, in other words the Church, has no power in a modern state. But the church should govern principles, such as the principle of division of powers.

Built on the grave of Olaf the Holy the cathedral in Trondheim has always been a pilgrimage. The church was the seat of the archdiocese from the establishment in 1152 until its abolition in 1537. Since the reformation, the Lutheran bishop of Trondheim have had his seat here. And today the Nidaros Cathedral is the church of the Norwegian Preses – the first bishop.

The tower Tyholttårnet

Up hills from the Bakklandet and the Møllenberg, some kilometres eastwards, we find the Tyholttårnet, in English “The Tyholt Tower”, built in 1985. It is said to be the second biggest tourist attraction in Trondheim, beaten only by the Nidaros Cathedral. The tower is a 124 metres high radio tower with a restaurant 80 metres up, which makes a 360 degrees revolution per hour. The view from the restaurant is spectacular. When sitting there we may reflect upon judging. We remember the words of Jesus was that we should not judge, and he said that the way we judge others, in the same way we would be judged ourselves. And Jesus said that we should let our communication be yes – yes or no – no. Anything more than this, said Jesus, comes from the evil.

And we may reflect upon how it is to be a ruler. When Jesus was taken to the Romans, to Pontius Pilatus, the chief, Pilatus wondered why Jesus would not be a fool. He wondered why Jesus would not serve the eyes of Pilatus. He asked Jesus, do you not know I have the power to crucify you and to release you? But Jesus let him know he had no power if it was not given him from above. And so Pilatus himself was a private – just like anyone else was. And therefore, said Jesus, the one giving Jesus to Pilate committed the greatest sin. By doing so he made the situation intolerable to Pilatus. The situation was. Pilatus would be a despot if he tortured and killed Jesus and he would face court martial for challenging the emperor in Rome if he did not. And so Pilatus washed his hands when sentencing Jesus to die on the cross. Doing so would be weak for a man in authority in most situations. But by doing so he showed himself to be a private, a citizen himself. He was not God or godlike. And so The Principle of Legacy was instituted. We should not be afraid of having to be fools when facing the king, when facing the authorities. What the king thinks about us should be of no importance. The important thing is that we adhere to the laws and the rules of the king. By doing so we are free.

The Principle of Legacy and The Principle of The Separation of Powers are the two core values of the Christian constitution. They principles were paid much attention to in the lawmaking of the Norwegian constitutional assembly at Eidsvold in 1814, both in the work of the assembly itself and in the formulation of the constitution.

The Principle of The Separation of Powers is the man’s most important principle in his relation to God. The principle of Legacy is the most important principle to the woman. And in the relation between man and woman the man should make the constitution and the woman should make the laws. The man should work out the principles. The woman should work out the rules. And both the man and the woman should follow them.

The royal streets

Click to see the original size.


In the centre of Trondheim there are three streets given the names of the titles of the royal family. The Kongens gate, in English “The King’s Street”, goes from west to east and is the longest street in the city. It is the main entrance to the city from the west and begins by the ancient city gate and ends by the river Nidelva. North of The King’s Street and parallel to it The Queen’s Street goes. In Norwegian it is called Dronningens gate. It is not quite as long. In the city centre both streets are crossed by The Prince’s Street, in Norwegian Prinsens gate. The Prince’s Street is the main entrance from the south. It begins by the river Nidelva and ends by the channel. By the crossings we are reminded of the position of the son in the family, being his father’s faith and his mother’s hope. The son will excuse him being his intention and reveal her being her aim.

The crossing of The King’s Street and The Prince’s Street is called Prinsenkrysset, in English The Prince’s Crossing. This crossing is a symbol of Christianity, of belongingness to a family and of love to the son. A man principally thinking his son in every action will be reliable. A derision of faith was the establishment of the Gestapo headquarters in the Missionaries Hotel by The Prince’s Cross during World War II and the torture of patriots finding place here.

Today The Queen’s Street is known for – the buses. Believe it or not. The Queen’s Street reminds us of collective transportation.

A contradiction



The photo is taken from the entrance to the city from the west and shows the old building of The Norwegian Institute of Technology on the other side of the river Nidelva. The red building is the Samfunnet, in English “The Society”, the meeting place for students.

Trondheim is said to be the technological capital city of Norway. And Trondheim is the prime seat of the Church of Norway. And so we are reminded of what seems to be a dilemma, between believing in technology and what the senses tell us or to be governed by faith. We are reminded of the conflict between the theory of the evolution and the Story of The Creation. In that respect we remember that the sisters Martha and Maria, both friends of Jesus, acted differently when Jesus visited them. Martha was occupied with making the meal and with making it cosy. But Maria just sat down by the feet of Messiah and listened to him speaking. When Martha complained about this, Jesus said to her that you, Martha, is cumbered with many things. But one thing is necessary. Maria, said Jesus, has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Living in darkness as we do in this world we may either be enlightened by making the stars valid or by making the moon valid. By making the stars valid we will mirror the sun by the multitude. By making the moon valid we will mirror the sun by the merit. And the necessary thing is to mirror the sun by the merit, as the moon does.

The Norwegian Institute of Technology was established in 1910 after the decision to place a national college of technology in Trondheim was made by the Parliament in 1900. From the college were graduated charted engineers (master level) and charted architects. The college was united with the university of Trondheim in 1995, but the importance of the college is verified by the fact the new university was called the Norwegian University of Science And Technology. Charted engineer students had a prominent place in the hearts and minds of the people of Trondheim in the 20th century.

The Sun Side



By the outlet of the river Nidelva, on the eastern side, we find an area called Solsiden, in English “The Sun Side”. Inside old factory buildings we find a shopping centre and on the outside of it, facing the sun, we find numerous cafés located side by side. This area has become a meeting place in Trondheim. By the shopping centre and the cafés we are reminded of a distinction between worrying about clothes on the one side and worrying about necessities on the other. We are reminded about the worries of living. And we remember Jesus clearly stated we should not worry about what to eat. The fowls in the air, said Jesus, do not sow, they do not reap, and they do not gather into barns. And yet the heavenly father feeds them. Are you not much more worth than fowls, asked Jesus. Which one of you, asked Jesus, can add as much as a cubit unto his stature by taking thought? And he told us to look to the lily. Lilies toil not, they do not spin, but even Salomon would come short the way they are arrayed. If grass is clothed the way grass is, which today is and tomorrow is cast into the oven, should not you be clothed much more? You are of little faith, said Jesus. And he told us not to take thought of tomorrow, for the morrow shall have its own worries. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. Said Jesus.

The old factory buildings at Solsiden were left by the Trondhjems Mekaniske Verksted, in English the Mechanical Factory of Trondheim, a shipbuilding company, when the company was closed in 1983.

The fjord



Trondheim is situated by the fjord. And by the fjord there is a channel, beginning by the ancient gate of the west and ending by the Nidelva river in the east. The place where the channel begins is called Skansen, meaning “The Defence Line”. Here one controlled the entrance to the city from the sea.

Norway is known for its fjords. The fjords make us special. If the sea is our feelings and the land is our consciousness, it is like the feelings have made attacks on the consciousness by the fjords. And the consciousness has let the feelings do so. Fjords are established as symbols of marriage. But the fjord is to be grasped also in another sense. In the story of the creation a clear distinction is made between necessity, usefulness and loveliness. The plants are of three kinds, being corn, herbs and fruit trees. The plants symbolize values. The animals on the ground are of three kinds, being creep, cattle and wild animals. The animals symbolize sensibility. And there are three kinds of light on the ceiling, being the moon, the stars and the sun. The lights symbolize spiritual enlightenment. And in Norway there are three kinds of water. There are the ocean, the fjords and the lakes. There are faith, hope and charity. Only the pure watered lakes are true charity. But the fjord is to have expectations to. It seems like it wants to be a lake, exactly the same way as cattle seems to want to be wild animals.

The Trondheimsfjord is 130 km long. It is an inlet of the Norwegian Sea. At least 90 species of fish has been observed in the fjord, and the fjord has the richest biological life of all Norwegian fjords. It was an important waterway in the Viking age, and it still is. The ware houses by the river Nidelva give witness to the historically importance of the fjord.

Paradise outside the city

Both east and west of the city, close to it, we find large recreational areas. West of the city we find Bymarka, in English “The Woods (or Hills) of The City”. Bymarka has an area of 80 square kilometres with more than 200 km of walking tracks. The height of Bymarka goes from 200 metres to 565 metres above sea level. There are more than 10 lakes in Bymarka, and many bogs. Walking in Bymarka is wonderful recreation. There is a rich bird life, and there are healthy populations of many animals. One can collect mushrooms if one knows which are not poisonous and one can collect berries, especially blueberries. The blueberries of the north, growing from the ground, are delicious. In wintertime, skiing is very popular. There are some huts located different places in Bymarka where one can stop and drink cacao or coffee and have a waffle, open especially in the weekends.

So in Trondheim we may find pleasure in communicating with God by boat life, fishing, sun bathing and bathing, in other words by enjoying the love of God by having it. And we may find pleasure in communicating with God by walking and collecting in the hills, in other words by enjoying the love of God by taking it. What Paradise is only God knows. But either – or we in Trondheim have Paradise just outside the city. Be welcome to visit us!