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Last updated : Nov 2009
Central Norway
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Similar to most of the rest of Norway, the central region is largely mountainous, but the peaks do not rise as high as those of the southwest. This is the region where the country narrows on a west to east axis, and the Swedish border is never too far away.

Mid-Norway consists of three large Fylker: Møre og Romsdal; Sør-trøndelag; and Nord-trøndelag, between them home to about one-seventh (635,000) of the Norwegian population. A quarter of them live in and around Trondheim, the country’s third largest city and lies on the southern shore of Trondheimsfjorden, which although not spectacular scenically when compared to the fjords of the southwest, is one of the largest, stretching more than 70km (44 miles) inland.

Other larger towns include Ålesund, Kristiansund, Molde (which stages a major annual summer international jazz festival), Namsos and Steinkjer.

Outside Trondheim, by far the most important attractions in the area are the former copper-mining town of Røros located to the east, and the historically significant Stiklestad, a short distance south of Steinkjer. It was at the latter that Christianity first came to Norway, when St Olav met his end during a battle in 1030. To the south of Trondheim, the mountain village of Oppdal is a popular skiing resort.


Founded during 997 AD as Kaupangr, and later called Nidaros, Norway’s early capital has a number of major attractions, not least the Nidarosdomen Cathedral, which dates from the late 11th century. Built over St Olav’s grave, it has been a centre of pilgrimage since the medieval times.

Elsewhere, the Ringve Museum is famous for its collection of rare historic musical instruments, while the Trøndelag Folk Museum incorporates the ruins of a 12th-century castle.

Stiftsgården, the Trondheim palace of the Norwegian Royal Family, is a fine 18th-century wooden building in the city centre. Over the river stands the Kristiansten Festning fortress. The former island monastery of Munkholmen in the fjord is a popular boat excursion.


One of just 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Norway, Røros is a small but picturesque mountain town near the Swedish border, from the 17th century until the 1980s it had been a copper mining and smelting settlement. Principal attractions are the Old Town, the wooden church and the Mining Museum. Close by is Olavsgruve, an early mine now open to visitors.