The wooden palace in Trondheim, Norway, was built in the 1770s as a private home for the affluent councellor Schøller’s widow Cecilie Christine von Schøller. The opulent building Stiftsgården has around 140 rooms. In 1800 it was sold to the Norwegian state.
This good-looking yellow structure is claimed to be the largest wooden building in northern Europe. During the 19th century Stiftsgården was chiefly used in connection with the royal coronations, since it was traditional for Norwegian kings to be crowned in Trondheim’s Nidaros Cathedral.
Stiftsgården has been renovated a number of times, for example in connection with the consecration of King Olav in 1958. When the present king succeeded his father in 1991, plans were drawn up for a total rehabilitation of Stiftsgården, which was completed in 1997.
In 1906 Haakon VII was crowned in Trondheim and both King Olav V and King Harald V were consecrated in Nidaros Cathedral. Stiftsgården has been used for the festivities held on these occasions and the processions to and from the cathedral start and end here.
When Princess Märtha Louise was married in Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim in 2002, the wedding celebrations were held at Stiftsgården.
Inside, a long series of period rooms are decorated with fanciful Italianate wall-paintings and furniture in a range of late eighteenth- to early nineteenth-century styles, from Rococo to Classicism, that reflect the genteel tastes of the early occupants. The anecdotal guided tour brings a smile or two. The Royal Residence is open for visitors form the 1st of June, until the 20th of August 2017 (Closed form the 19th of until the 23rd of June).
It is only possible to visit Stiftsgården by attending a tour. The tours are conducted in Norwegian and English.
If the sight of Bakklandet’s old wooden buildings has whetted your appetite, you’ll enjoy the tangle of narrow alleys and pastel-painted clapboard frontages that fills out the sidestreets north of Kongens gate and west if Prinsens gate. It’s a pleasant area for a stroll.
The Largest Wooden Building in Northern Europe, written by Tor Kjolberg
All interior photos: The Norwegian Royal Court