The Way of Saint Olav
The Way of Saint Olav
The itinerary of Saint Olav – patron saint of Norway – is a pilgrimage route that winds through Northern Europe, through Norway, Sweden and Denmark to reach Trondheim, recognized as a European Cultural Itinerary by the Council of Europe in May 2010.
Olav, born Olav Haralsson, was the king of the Scandinavians. He was born in 995 and was martyred in Stiklestad near Trondheim on July 29, 1030. He dedicated his life to the goal of uniting Norway into a great Christian Kingdom: to this end, he cultivated significant relationships with the Counts of Normandy, with the royals of England and with Russia.
Pursuing this ideal of his led to the battle of Stiklestad, where he was killed.
In 1031, Bishop Grimkjell proclaimed him a saint and - since then - pilgrimages to his tomb began: numerous churches and chapels are dedicated to him throughout Europe.
The history of Saint Olav, with particular reference to the issue of women's rights and the establishment of a democratic structure linked to Norway (the “Law of Saint Olav” is the basis of the Norwegian Constitution) make it an always interesting subject of study and current.
With the rediscovery of the pilgrimage in the second half of the 20th century, an important work was done to recover these paths, with particular attention to signage and their maintenance.
The objectives of the ’cultural itinerary are, among others:
- encourage the visit of the various European Shrines which convey a culture and a religious expression different from one's own;
- highlight the link between the Camino de Santiago and the countries of Northern Europe;
- to encourage studies on the figure of Saint Olav and on pilgrimages;
- enhance local traditions related to food and wine, history and culture.
The Oslo road, a 930 km route which, from the Norwegian capital to Stiklestad passing through the Gudbrand valley and the Sweden, road, has been rearranged. The initiative was taken by the Norwegian Ministry of the Environment, together with local communities, parishes, associations and numerous volunteers. The official route was inaugurated in 2007 by the Prince of Norway. At the moment, signs have been placed on the routes that cross Norway for about 2,000 km.
In Denmark, on the other hand, interest in pilgrimage routes developed later: the pilgrim center in Viborg was inaugurated in 2004, in collaboration with the region of North and Jutland. The path of the Haerveien, the army road, is 250 km long and already equipped with signs.
- Oslo – Klofta
- Klofta – Lethoallen
- Lethoallen – Espa
- Espa – Tangen
- Tangen – Hamar
- Hamar – Rudshogda
- Rudshogda – Lillehammer
- Lillehammer – Skae Oyer
- Skae Oyer – Favang
- Favang – Sor Fron
- Sor Fron – Kuam
- Kuam – Otta
- Otta – Vollheim
- Vollheim – Dombas
- Dombas – Hjerkin
- Hjerkin – Ryphusan
- Ryphusan – Fagheraugen
- Fagheraugen – Rennebu
- Rennebu – Meldal
- Meldal – Lokken Verk
- Lokken Verk – Skaun
- Skaun – Sudent Gard
- Sudent Gard – Nidaros
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