Archaeologists find church of St. Olaf II

Olav den hellige saga (St. Olaf II) Photo:

In a backyard in the centre of Trondheim archaeologists have found the remains of what they believe was Clement’s Church where the coffin of St. Olaf II, stood on the altar for 25 years after his death.

The foundations are probably the most important archaeological single discovery in Trondheim in 100 years.

– I’m as sure of it as I can possibly be.

This is one of the most exciting discoveries I have been involved with as an archaeologist, says Project Manager Anna Petersén of the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (Niku) to the newspaper Adresseavisen.

Date rings of the discovery suggests that the church was built in 1015.

– The discovery is of great historical importance in the national context, says Special Advisor Sissel Ramstad Skoglund of the Cultural Heritage to the newpaper.

The stone foundation of a church and several graves were discovered during a preliminary investigation conducted by archaeologists from Niku last fall.

The reason for the investigation was because a company had plans to build a commercial building on the plot which is located between the streets of Søndregate and Krambugata.

The saga goes that the coffin of King Olaf Haraldsson was dug up from the bank of the Nidelva (Nid River) on August 3rd, 1031, a year after he was killed during the Battle of Stiklestad.

Hair and nails had clearly grown as if he was alive. When it was decided that King Olaf was indeed a saint, his body was transported into Clement’s Church.


Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today