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King Olav Haraldsson was buried by Nidelven, the river Nid, after he was killed in the battle of Stiklestad in1030. Tradition has it that the high Altar of the Cathedral now stands on the exact spot of this burial site. One year and five days after he died the King was declared a saint, and pilgrims began to flock to Nidaros and the King's grave.
Work on erecting the first stone church at St. Olav's burial site commenced around 1070, and it is assumed that the Cathedral was finished in all its splendour some time around 1300. It was then held to be the most beautiful church in the entire country, which we of course claim it still is! Admittedly, the Cathedral has undergone a great deal of restoration work after centuries of decay, but now, after more than 130 years of restoration and rebuilding, we can really appreciate the impression the church must have made on medieval pilgrims.
Today the Cathedral continues to attract a great number of visitors. Each year we receive around 400 000 tourists from around the globe. The Cathedral also serves as the local parish church for inhabitants of downtown Trondheim with divine services given several times each week. Moreover, music recitals in the Cathedral offer sublime listening experiences under the high vaulted arches.
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