Nidaros Cathedral is Norway´s national sanctuary and was built over the burial place of Saint Olaf. The church is the goal for many pilgrims, comming from Southern Norway, Sweden or other countries, and from 28 July to 3. August there is Olavsfestdagene. I wouldn’t say the festival is celebrating the saint, the old Viking king. It is more of a cultural festival with elements of religion, religious music and other music, history and a town that are full of joy and celebration this time of the year. But there was also an international meeting for pilgrims last weekend, and they they mourned the terrible train accident at Santiago de Compostela in Spain, by a black ribbon in the wreath that is traditionally hung on St. Peter’s staue on the church during the festival.
These pictures are from the night between 28th og 29th July, when a lot of people, pilgrims, priests, bishops and others, are gathered in the cathedral for St. Olav’s wake. These torch bearers are waiting for people to arrive after a three-hour walking service in town.
Not all photographers show respect, or, he probably didn’t noticed that the procession were comming….
Nidaros Cathedral was built as a Catholic church, starting around 1100. Since the Reformation in 1537 it has been the cathedral of the Lutheran bishops of Trondheim (Nidaros). The country is Lutheran, (except that there are a lot of different religions today), but as one journalist just say: our heads are Catholic for some days in July. There are more pictures in my Olavsfestdagene photo gallery.
Norway has been a Protestant country since the Reformation in 1436-37 but for a week or two in July we celebrate a king that became a saint, and an era when the country was Catholic. It is history, religion, music and pilgrims, and most of all, a great time in the town.