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The Archbishop's Palace
Photo: Åge Hojem, NTNU University Museum

The Archbishop’s Palace

Norway's oldest existing secular building

About the Archbishop's Palace

The Archbishop's Palace holds a very special place in Norwegian history, along with Nidaros Cathedral. The Archbishop's Palace in Nidaros (later Trondheim) was the archbishop's residence and administrative centre in Norway until the Reformation.

In 1983 two large wooden buildings burned to the ground at the Archbishop's Palace. The Archbishop's Palace museum has been erected over the fire site, where archaeological excavations were conducted over several seasons in the 1980s. The dig included 120 archaeologists from 12 countries. This is one of the largest and most extensive archaeological excavations in Norway ever, resulting in around 160,000 discoveries and just over 100 house pits. The museum displays some of the finest and best-preserved objects from the excavations.

The most remarkable discovery from the excavations was the coin workshops —three workshops, one on top of the other. The most well-preserved workshop was the bottom most, which turns out to have belonged to Archbishop Gaute Ivarsson. The coin workshop today is displayed exactly as it was found and is the smallest and most northern coin shop in the world