A fascinating and complex history of the church has been uncovered, beginning with the original wooden church and leading to a sequence of three major rebuildings, corresponding in time with the transformation from Viking king Olaf to the royal saint St. Olaf of Norway.
Since early September 2016, archaeologists from The Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) have worked at an exciting area at Søndre gate in the city center of Trondheim. A preliminary survey in the fall of 2015 parts of a cemetery and masonry were interpreted as the foundations of a church. The church must have been listed sometime in the early 1000’s, but both the church and the cemetery are in use up until the mid 13th century when the area is taken over by normal settlement. Among the tombs there were grave that have not been found at previous excavated medieval cemeteries in Trondheim.
By the end of 2016 it became clear that the archaeologists believe this is St. Clement’s Church, founded by King Olav Haraldsson. The remains of a pallet, or possible high altar, in the church were considered as an archaeological sensation. St. Clement’s church has had a foundation stone of stone with the church itself being a wooden church. The excavation should have been completed in December 2016, but since the findings were so sensational, the Directorate for Cultural Heritage supplied more funds to explore more of the area and some possibly exciting results from under the church.
There has been a great national and international interest around the excavation of the church which will last until October 2017. After the excavation, a visitor center will be built around the church remains.
Follow the excavation on the project’s facebook page.
- Status In progress
- Client Koteng/ The Directorate for Cultural Heritage