| 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