Stiftsgården, the Royal Manor, is the king’s official residence in Trondheim. Right in the heart of the city, the manor was built in the 1770s as a private home for the Privy Councillor Schøller’s widow Cecilie Christine von Schøller. This building was specifically positioned and built to show off the family’s riches but in 1800 the family sold it to the State for a mere 10,000 rix-dollars.
In State hands, the manor became the residence for the stiftamtmannen (the Lord Lieutenant). As it was tradition for Norway’s kings to be coroneted in the Nidaros Cathedral down the road and that there was no other manor fine enough to house royalty, the stiftamtmannen had to vacate his humble 140 room home for royal family visits. The stiftamtmannen has since moved out (permanently) as now the manor is managed by the Norway regional office of the Directorate of Public Construction and Property, and the building is at the disposal of the king.
The manor is made of wood with one main wing and two smaller side wings. (Wooden structures are much better suited for the Norwegian climate.) It is considered to be the largest wooden building in Northern Europe. It was built in the Baroque style and has elements from Rococo and Neo-Classicism. A large part of the garden at the back, also in the Baroque/Rococo design traditions, has now been converted into a public park (and claimed by the Trondheim bums as their local haunt).
The interior is very spacious, lots of air above and minimal furnishings. (It would certainly make the average Joe go broke from the heating costs!) It has been refurbished various times and King Harold (the current sovereign) ‘rehabilitated’ the manor in 1997. The manor is open for public tours during the Summer.