Norway has been a Christian kingdom since 1030, when king Olav, later to be called "The Holy", won a siege at the battle of Stiklestad near the city of Trondheim. The king fell in the battle between the Christ-Men, King's Men and the Farmer Army.
Through his death he turned hatred and hostility to peace.
The entire kingdom decided on a Thing, (democratic assembly from back to year 700), the Christianity should replace Odin, Thor and the rest of the old pagan belief. Now wonders kept to occur near the belated king, and a church was built in his memory. The first of many Saint Olav churches. The building started only four years after King Olav's death. King Olav was buried behind the high altar, later placed in a sacred shrine, and pilgrims from all over Europe came to taste the holy water of Saint Olav's spring water. Royal coronations were performed in the church till our days. Our king and queen were officially blessed for their duty in a ceremoniously in the Nidaros Cathedral.
The Catholic church named the cathedral "Cor Norvegia" , heart of Norway, since the relics of Saint Olav were placed there.
Also after the reformation in 1578 the church held its position of the foremost church in Norway.
To maintain and even extend and add ornaments on this old stone church, an entire workshop with crafted stonemasons, plasters, sculptures, archaeologists and conservators work all around the year to keep the church from deteriorating.
In the 1960-ies it so happened the sculpture of Archangel Michel lost its head.
Archangel Michael on the spire to the left of the front facade.
The sculptor followed an ancient tradition, to let a living person be a model for the replacement head.
This happened the early sixties with scaring murders of American presidents, Asian wars, social uprising in the ghettos, the cold war and above all the terror of a nuclear war, threatening to destroy the entire globe. The sculptor let the face of the spokesman for all our fear and despair be depicted in the face of the mightiest angel of all, Michael.
Such were the times, that it took 50 more years who was the model of archangel Michael.
Now even more pilgrims visit the dome to admire this mighty testimony.
Gunnar was there yesterday, and I said the only thing I really wanted as a souvenir was a postcard of archangel Michael/Bob Dylan.
"When He Returns"
The iron hand it ain't no match for the iron rod
The strongest wall will crumble and fall to a mighty God
For all those who have eyes and all those who have ears
It is only He who can reduce me to tears
Don't you cry and don't you die and don't you burn
Like a thief in the night, he'll replace wrong with right
When he returns.
Truth is an arrow and the gate is narrow that is passes through
He unreleased His power at an unknown hour that no one knew
How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice ?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness ?
Can I cast it aside, all this loyalty and this pride ?
Will I ever learn that there'll be no peace, that the war won't cease
Until He returns ?
Surrender your crown on this blood-stained ground, take off your mask
He sees your deeds, He knows your needs even before you ask
How long can you falsily and deny what is real ?
How long can you hate yourself for the weakness you conceal ?
Of every earthly plan that be known to man, He is unconcerned
He's got plans of his own to set up His throne
When He return.