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Verdal


Verdal in Norway Verdal municipality coat of arms

Population:
14.387

Areal:
1.547,6 km2


Verdal Local Directory


Accommodation, Businesses and more pictures from Verdal

Verdal muncipality has approximately 14.500 inhabitants and covers a area of 1.547,6 km2, reaches from the fjord to the mountains at the Swedish border. Verdal is a municipality in the middle part of Norway, not far away from Trondheim. Even though Verdal is rated as a small town by Norwegian standards, the area is in fact rural with huge areas well suited for hunting, fishing and outdoor life.

The main river (Verdalselva) running through the municipality is well known as one of the best rivers in Norway for fishing salmon, and each fall the elk hunting in the area is one of the favourite activities for many of the locals. The principal industries are offshore industry, various other industry, agriculture, trade and services. The highest mountain is Loysmundhatten 1.090 metre above sealevel and the greatest lake is Leksdalsvatnet 22,6 square kilometers.

Verdal can offer quite a few sights, of which the Stiklestad outdoor museum and Stiklestad Church probably are the best known. Verdal offers a wide variety of outdoor activities, both at sea and on land. Hunting and fishing, mountain trips and other activities in nature contribute to making the stay in Verdal exciting and different. During winter, Verdal can offer many opportunities for skiing. Great mountains that are well prepared for both cross-country and downhill skiing can be reached in less than one hour from Verdal.

The battle to win contracts is a daily challenge for Aker Verdal and many others in the local community, but battles have been fought here before. The battle of Stiklestad is one of the most famous and important in Norwegian history. Stiklestad is located about 4 km east of Verdalsøra and has become a national centre for culture with a museum, historical exhibitions and outdoor stage.

STIKLESTAD

Stiklestad is the battlefield where King Olav Haraldsson fell on July 1030, and he became known as St. Olav. The battle of Stiklestad represents the introduction of Christianity in Norway. The battle and the saint king made it possible for Stiklestad to act as a symbol of both Christianity and the kingdom. "Olav den Hellige" met the Trønder army at Stiklestad in the year 1030 when trying to christen the people of Norway. The Trønder army proved too strong. He failed and was killed in the battle. However, his death became a strong symbol to the people, and contributed to the christening and consolidation of Norway into one kingdom.

His death was thus turned into a victory. This battle is re-enacted, and has become an annual event at the amphitheatre at Stiklestad. It occurs at the exact location where the original battle took place. The actors consist of a mix of amateurs and professionals. Thousands have seen the re-enactment, and it is highly recommended to visitors in Verdal.

BURIAL MOUNDS

Within walking distance from Stiklestad,there are two large burial sites from pre-Christian times. The closest is at Heggstad, about 1.5 km east of the church. Eight large burial mounds dominate the site. The largest is 46 metres in diameter and about 8 m high. The remains of at least five houses are found near the burial mounds,and there are about 30 trenches in the area, which were used for cooking food. No excavations have been made at Heggstad, so it is difficult to determine the date of the site, though it is known to be the first millenium of the Christian era.

The burial site at Hallem is about 2 km north of Stiklestad. About 80 burial mounds have been registrated on the Hallem farms, and there are many more on neighbouring farms. The largest mounds are almost as large as at Heggstad. A number of finds have been made at Hallem. Some of the artefacts show evidence of people of high status 1600 to 1800 years ago. Both of the burial sites have trails and information boards.

THE CATHOLIC CHAPEL

This chapel was built for the 900th anniversary of the battle in the 1930, but the desire for a Catholic church at the site of the saint-king`s fall emerged long before then. Early in the 1920`s, the plans were advanced enough for the architect John Tverdal to be commissioned for the chapel design. It was consentrated on St.Olav`s Day in 1930, so that Stiklestad once again had a Catholic place of worship.

Donations from 1930 dominated the fittings in the chapel. Marie Knudtzon donated the altar, a communion bench that she herself had designed. She is also mainly responsible for the carving work. The style is Romanesque, and the leitmotiv is the Olav rose and simple decorations from Norse sculpture. Sigrid Undset donated the frigate suspended in the church, and a number of liturgial garments.

The picture in the chapel, which is composed of various materials, dates from 1966, and is the work of the artist Karl Kristian Hildrum. The central panel is rich in symbolism, while the side panels show St.Olav on the left on the chancel door, and St.Sunniva on the right. Legend has it that St.Sunniva was the daughter of an Irish king who travelled to Norway with a few companions to escape a heathen suitor. They came to Selja in Nordfjord, and were later killed by a rockslide at the mountain cave where they had been hiding from Norwegian pagans. The innocent Sunniva was canonized in 996, and among Norwegian saints she can be regarded as a contrast to the warrior Olav Haraldsson.

STIKLESTAD CHURCH

There was probably a wooden church at Stiklestad before the stone one was erected. But construction of the chancel in today`s church began sometime in the middle of the twelfth century. A portal frames the old entrance for priests on the south side, where there are elements of Anglo-Norman style as it was developed in England at the end of the 11th century. The nave is newer than the chancel. The south portal of the nave cannot have been hewn before about 1200. This shows that for a long time the church had no nave, or one that was only half finished, but in the medieval times a long construction period was normal.

The sides of the south portal in the nave bear chevrons of the same type as those on the south portal of the chancel. The round arch has a variant of the chevrons, framed by a delicate Gothic vine. The column capitals also have early Gothic features. At some stage in the High Middle Ages, the nave of the church was extended about 10 m to the west. When the church was to be extended, the western portal was dismantled and rebuilt. The ornamentation on this portal is in the late Romanesque style. In the vestibule, where churchgoers left their weapons before entering, we can still see the old altarpiece from 1655, which is in the Baroque style. Reservation work in the years up to 1930 revealed an indistinct secco fresco on the walls inside the nave. In the nave, we also find 32 panels showing episodes from the life of Christ.

The baptismal font in the church is medieval and the leaf decor indicates the 14th century. Formerly it stood at the western entrance so infants could be baptized as they came into the church. It was not enough to sprinkle water on the child`s head in those days; the whole body had to be immersed in the water. This was why the font had to be so large. The chancel ceiling has a cross vault with ribs of soapstone. The ribs rest on four columns attached to the wall, with capitals in the form of drapes of cloth. This type of vaulting is unique in rural Norway,but it shows a link to Nidaros Catheral. The only possible explanation for building such a special and expensive vault at Stiklestad is the tradition surrounding the place where St.Olav fell.

The church has been restored several times, most extensively in connection with the 900 years anniversary of the battle in 1930. The appearance of the chancel changed when the east window was walled up for Alf Rolfsen to paint "The Sword and the Lily".

STIKLESTAD NATIONAL CULTURE CENTER

The Cultural Centre was built on the basis of an architectural competition won by Jens Petter Askim and Sven Hartvig from Oslo. It took nearly a decade from announcement of the competition until completion of the centre of the St.Olav`s Day in 1992. The Centre covers 6000 m2, and it comprises elements with historical ties such as the gable roof, wall, courtyard, rampart, bridge and crucifix. The crucifix is not obvious, but a busy area is marked with a cross of solid oak in the floor. The mezzanine covers about 450 m2,and includes an information centre and shop. The mezzanine is connected to the restaurant and an assembly hall of about 300 m2, which is used inter alia for conferences and concerts.

It is also possible to divide the hall into two smaller rooms. The lower level includes an auditorium with 100 seats and a storeroom for the museum. The first floor consists mainly of offices and exhibition space. The master exhibition on St.Olav and Stiklestad is located in the passageway enclosing the south side of the courtyard. The easterly part of the Cultural Centre was bulit for the Nord-Trøndelag theatre company, which hires the space there.This includes offices and a workshop. A theatre of about 200 m2 is located in the basement. The theatre company is not an integral part of the Cultural Centre, but there is close collaboration in many areas.

THE MONUMENT

The monument is about two hundred metres east of the church. Before about 1700, there was a wooden cross here, and we must assume that there was also a cross here during the Catholic period. The stone monument dates from 1710. In about 1800, the stiftamtmann (prefect) took the lead in organizing a new monument, the one we see today. It is hewn from Bornholm sandstone, with a text plate of italian marble on the front. The sculptor was "Denmarks excellent sculptor; Professor Dajon". This monument was erected in 1807.

During the war, the National Unity (NS) party planned a major project for Stiklestad. The plans were based on previous work, and the installation was ready for St.Olav´s Day in 1944. Party chairman Vidkun Qvisling, could then hold a speech for important party officials-and perhaps others. A central feature of the installation was a stone monument more than 9 m high, with a broad stairway leading up to it. A wall at the top of the steps bore a relief depicting the fall of the king, and behind the relief was space for rostrum. The monument was the work of sculptor Vilhelm Rasmussen.

The life of this structure was short. It was "dismantled" with some vigour in the summer of 1945, so that most of it was destroyed. Some of the villagers had hidden the old monument from 1807 while Qvisling´s people were in power. Now they retrieved it and put it back in place.

MUSEUM

30 well-preserved historical buildings, some dating back to the 17th century. Actors from the "Gårdimillom" theatre company re-enact, every season, typical scenes and various activities that would have gone on in the various buildings. Molåna is one of the central buildings at the museum. It is a typical "trønderlån" or "lån (lån=long, narrow main building on larger farms in Trøndelag) from Trøndelag, built in 1783 of logs on a granite foundation wall. The entrance and kitchen are in the middle of the building, with living rooms and chambers on both sides. The portal framing the entrance doors is of lavish design in Louis XVI style. The building has two full storeys and was protected by a conservation order in 1923. Today, Molåna is used for functions on special occasions, and the Cultural Centre runs a simple cafè in the northern living room during the summer.

The buildings near Molåna represent the oldest part of the museum. North of the courtyard there are two "stabbur",or storehouses, on pillars and a mountain lodge originally built near the road to Jâmtland in Sweden. The easternmost storehouse, "Ådalsvollsburet", is the museum´s oldest building, from about 1650. Facing Molåna is the barn. Farthest east on the south side of the stream,and in contrast to the elegant Molåna,is a crofter´s cottage built of logs together with a barn constructed from upright panels. This is a typical example of a crofter´s farm. The crofter´s accommodation was far more humble than that of the farmer at Molåna.

Around 150 years ago there were many crofters in the region, and some farmers with large holdings. But most were ordinary farmers who managed with fairly modest resources north of the stream. A "trønderlån" with functions different from those of Molåna forms the eastern boundary of the museum area. The building houses a natural history exhibition and a large room for meetings and lecture. Several buildings in the museum grounds reflect needs other than shelter for people and animals in the old farming community. The blacksmith shop provided a vital service to the farms, and grain was ground into flour at the mill. The roadsman´s cottage and the carpenter´s workshop tell us that a new society was taking shape toward the end of the 19th century. The same applies to the bakery and general store. New professions emerged, and more people could earn a living away from the farm.

The "telthus" is an interesting stucture. This also bears witness to activity outside farming-but an age-old activity in this case, namely war. The "telthus" was a small mobilization depot for military equipment. Today,it is used for exhibitions on World War II. There is also an exhibition on roads and road construction on the ground floor.

HUNTING

The main river (Verdalselva) running through the municipality is well known as one of the best rivers in Norway for fishing salmon, and each fall the elk hunting in the area is one of the favourite activities for many of the locals.

FISHING

There are plenty of opportunities to go fishing, both inland and at sea. During the summer, many find the salmon fishing exciting in the Verdal River. This river is among the best in Central Norway. However, should one wish to succumb to the cosiness of a bonfire while the trout are jumping, the Verdal area offers a multitude of small lakes and ponds, which can surely provide the right opportunity. If you like sea fishing, the whole Trondheim Fjord is there.

GOLF

Stiklestad Golfclub is a golf course with 9 holes and a variation of difficulties. The golf course on historical ground. The course lies close to Trondheimsfjorden, at Trones approximately 5 km from Verdal.



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