During excavation work on the site of the new public library in Trondheim, archaeologists found the ruins of what is thought to be Olavskirken (Olav’s Church), a church dating back to the mid-12th century. Olav was a Viking who went to England and was converted to Christianity. He returned to Norway to convert the heathen, became King of Norway and then was canonised to Sainthood after his death.
St Olav’s Church was one of the first churches built in Trondheim. Snorre, the great recorder of the Viking and Norse era, wrote that King Magnus the Good (the son of St Olav) built the church on the site where the body of ‘King Olav the Holy’ was placed the first night after the battle of Stiklestad.
These church ruins are inside the Trondheim public library and on display for the public via a specially built balcony and bridge. Architects have enhanced the site by using natural light and colours. There is also a mini museum of other artifacts found at the site as well as a little cafe upstairs.