Archbishop's Palace

Trondheim, Norway

The Archbishop's Palace is a castle and palace in the city of Trondheim, located just south of the Nidaros Cathedral. For hundreds of years, the castle was the seat, residence and administrative center of the Archbishop of Nidaros.

The castle is one of the largest medieval stone structures in Scandinavia and the oldest walls are likely from the 13th century. The Archbishops of Nidaros expanded the castle gradually, with great halls and residential areas being built over time. Norway’s last Archbishop, Olav Engelbrektsson, attempted to make a final stand and defend the castle during the Reformation but eventually fled into exile.

After the abolishment of Roman Catholicism, the castle became royal property where the local lensherre resided. The castle was restored, rebuilt into a residential palace and eventually used more for military purposes, again being expanded considerably. After the Sovereignty Act of 1660, the castle became the seat and residence of the Amtmann.


Today, the castle has several museums, is frequently used by the Church of Norway and is also the venue of Olavsfestdagene. The Regalia of Norway have been kept in the western flank of the castle at various times since 1826, but have been on permanent display in the castle since 2006.

'The Armoury' (Rustkammeret) is a Norwegian army museum as well as a resistance museum, emphasizing the military history of Trøndelag. Military equipment of Norway during World War II at display in the 'Armoury' Army Museum in Trondheim. The museum has weapons, uniforms and other artifacts on display, starting with the Viking Age, going through the Middle Ages and the Norwegian union with Denmark (1380–1814) and later with Sweden (1814–1905), up to the German occupation of Norway during World War II (1940–1945).



Your name


Founded: 13th century
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Norway


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Pål Th Ekeheien (3 years ago)
Great museum with great pieces. Dot's the i for a visit to Nidaros.
Mardiray (4 years ago)
This is an open-air museum adjacent to Nidaros Cathedral. The medieval stone walls on display stand in stark contrast to the highly decorated church next door. It is an ideal place to bring the children when they want to play knights and castles. Some paths are gravel or cobblestone and might be hard to navigate by wheelchair. There are also some sills at some of the doorways.
Hans Olav Nymand (4 years ago)
A museum about the time when Norway was a catholic country (before the reformation), and the seat of the archbishop of Norway was in Trondheim. Both tells the story of top politics of the time, the life of people around the archbishop and results from several archaeological digs in the area around the Nidaros churh.
Tyler Lund (5 years ago)
It’s not every city that has both a cathedral and a palace, but Trondheim isn’t a normal city. The massive palace is more of a fortress it seems, and is totally worth a visit. Inside the fortified walls is a huge courtyard where medieval reenactments are held and museums are contained. The history of the place is palpable, and it’s definitely worth stopping in when visiting the city’s medieval landmarks.
Eirik (6 years ago)
Set in a new building at the rear of the courtyard of the Archbishop's residence, the museum at first seemd unassuming. The admissions price was reasonable (90 NOK at the time of writing) and I thought the main level was the whole museum. I was wrong: there is a good sized lower level with many artifacts and displays, as well as an upper mezzanine. The place was pleasantly large and I spent a good hour and a half taking it in. What you'll find inside are original pieces of statues recovered from restoration of the cathedral done in the 1990s. These pieces were simply thrown into the walls to rebuild following a massive fire in Trondheim in the 1500s. They are interesting to look at for the art style and details and date back to the 1100s and 1200s. Downstairs are numerous displays and artifacts derailing the way the Archbishop's residence and surroundings were going back in time, from examples of weapons and coins to how things were built and models of how the area changed over time. These displays are set in the footprint of the actual original walls that were excavated in the 1990s. It's a fascinating walk through history. Overall I recommend this museum without hesitation. It was basically my favorite place in Trondheim.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Lorca Castle

Castle of Lorca (Castillo de Lorca) is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. Lorca Castle was a key strategic point of contention between Christians and Muslims during the Reconquista.

Archaeological excavations have revealed that the site of the castle has been inhabited since Neolithic times.

Muslim Era

It has not been determined exactly when a castle or fortress was first built on the hill. The first written documentation referring to a castle at Lorca is of Muslim origin, which in the 9th century, indicates that the city of Lurqa was an important town in the area ruled by Theudimer (Tudmir). During Muslim rule, Lorca Castle was an impregnable fortress and its interior was divided into two sections by the Espaldón Wall. In the western part, there was an area used to protect livestock and grain in times of danger. The eastern part had a neighbourhood called the barrio de Alcalá.

After Reconquista

Lorca was conquered by the Castilian Infante Don Alfonso, the future Alfonso X, in 1244, and the fortress became a key defensive point against the Kingdom of Granada. For 250 years, Lorca Castle was a watchpoint on the border between the Christian kingdom of Murcia and the Muslim state of Granada.

Alfonso X ordered the construction of the towers known as the Alfonsina and Espolón Towers, and strengthened and fixed the walls. Hardly a trace of the Muslim fortress remained due to this reconstruction. Muslim traces remain in the foundation stones and the wall known as the muro del Espaldón.

The Jewish Quarter was found within the alcazaba, the Moorish fortification, separated from the rest of the city by its walls. The physical separation had the purpose of protecting the Jewish people in the town from harm, but also had the result of keeping Christians and Jews separate, with the Christians inhabiting the lower part of town.

The remains of the Jewish Quarter extended over an area of 5,700 square m, and 12 homes and a synagogue have been found; the synagogue dates from the 14th century and is the only one found in the Murcia. The streets of the town had an irregular layout, adapted to the landscape, and is divided into four terraces. The synagogue was in the central location, and around it were the homes. The homes were of rectangular shape, with various compartmentalized rooms. The living quarters were elevated and a common feature was benches attached to the walls, kitchens, stand for earthenware jars, or cupboards.

Modern history

With the disappearance of the frontier after the conquest of Granada in 1492, Lorca Castle no longer became as important as before. With the expulsion of the Jews by order of Ferdinand and Isabella, Lorca Castle was also depopulated as a result. The castle was abandoned completely, and was almost a complete ruin by the 18th century. In the 19th century, the castle was refurbished due to the War of Spanish Independence. The walls and structures were repaired or modified and its medieval look changed. A battery of cannons was installed, for example, during this time. In 1931 Lorca Castle was declared a National Historic Monument.

Currently, a parador (luxury hotel) has been built within the castle. As a result, archaeological discoveries have been found, including the Jewish Quarter.