Tag Archives: Nidaros Cathedral

Was Nidaros Cathedral built from stone extracted in a large underground Medieval quarry?

Ancient underground building stone quarries are rather common. They are known since at least the Old Kingdom in Egypt, some 6 500 years ago, when fine limestone was quarried underground close to Cairo (Tura) in order to provide casing stones to the Giza pyramids. But underground quarries are, interestingly, quite rare in the European Middle Ages. Apparently, there was no need to start difficult, large-scale underground operations to build churches, monasteries and cathedrals until the Late Middle Ages, when, for example, the underground limestone quarries in Paris and Caen in France started to become developed toward the gigantic network of tunnels and galleries we know today. Thus, it is remarkable that a huge underground quarry may have been opened around AD 1200 in Trondheim, Norway, in order to provide soapstone for Nidaros Cathedral, the northernmost of Europe’s great medieval cathedrals. Why? Continue reading

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“Nidaros: The Portland Cement Cathedral” (Baker Memorial Lecture)

This week I attended the international conference “Rediscovering Traditional Mortars” in Trondheim. The conference was hosted by the Nidaros Cathedral Workshop and it was part of the annual conferences organised by the British Building Limes Forum and its Nordic counterpart.

I was lucky to be invited to keep two lectures, one on the experimental lime burning in Hyllestad earlier this year, and the Baker Memorial Lecture during the gala dinner. A very great honour to keep this traditional lecture for more than 230 delegates! I concentrated the lecture on the use of Portland Cement during the restoration of Nidaros Cathedral from 1869 on. Read on to get a glimpse of all the problems it has caused! Continue reading

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Nidarosdomens grunnfjell. Les utdrag og omtaler av boken!

Min nye bok “Nidarosdomens grunnfjell” er en kulturhistorisk reise i stein, sett fra perspektivet til de som jobbet i steinbruddene – steinbryterne. Vi følger dem fra Det gamle Egypt, gjennom Romerriket og nordover i Europa, helt opp til Trondheim og Nidarosdomen i middelalderen og videre frem til den nye tid. Et meget stort antall steinbrudd i hele Norge ble benyttet til restaurering og gjenreisning av Nidarosdomen – Europas nordligste katedral – fra slutten av 1800-tallet. Mange av bruddene var i drift allerede i middelalderen, noen endog mye tidligere. Fra den nye tid har vi gode kilder. Og de kan hjelpe oss til å forstå hvordan arbeidet gikk for seg i bruddene i middelalderen og enda lengre tilbake i tid.

Få kjøper en bok uten først å ha en anelse om hva den dreier seg om. Derfor finner du i denne artikkelen nok opplysninger til at du bare må få tak i “Nidarosdomens grunnfjell”! Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Egypt, Archaeology, New projects, New publications, Norway, Old quarries | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Nidarosdomen: Den viktigste marmorkatedralen nord for Alpene

Visste dere at Nidarosdomen er den viktigste marmorkatedralen nord for alpene? Ikke det? Neivel. Dere tenker vel at domen er en klebersteinskatedral. Og det er jo ikke helt galt, det heller. Men det er bare en del av sannheten. Så … Continue reading

Posted in Ancient Egypt, Archaeology, Marble, New projects, New publications, Norway, Old quarries | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Nidarosdomen og forvitring – sett fra 17 år tilbake i tid

Ganske tilfeldig kom jeg over en utgammel tekst om Nidarosdomen og forvitring her forleden. Det viste seg snart at det var en omtale av min egen doktoravhandling om temaet fra 1998; stødig ført i pennen av Hans Georg Jürgens og publisert i Universitetsavisa i Trondheim. Så leste jeg gjennom. Og fant ut at det meste har aktualitet den dag i dag. For om man googler “Nidarosdomen og forvitring”, så dukker det fortsatt opp helt tullete skremselsbilder om gigantisk luftforurensning som tærer på nasjonal-helligdommen. Nei, forvitringen på Nidarosdomen er nok mer kompleks enn som så.

Så jeg tillater meg å sitereden 17 år gamle omtalen til Hans Georg Jürgens i sin helhet. Den har tittelen:
“Nidarosdomen skranter… Continue reading

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Steinhoggerne – hvem var de? En reise i tid og rom

Mange spør meg om hvem steinhoggerne var i gamle dager. Var de frie folk, var de treller, var de svært proffe? Eller hadde de et yrke som egentlig alle kunne utøve? Ikke lett å svare på! For bryting, hogging og … Continue reading

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Making medieval stone architecture: the use of slate in Central Norway

The use of slate has traditions back to the Neolithic in Norway. Stone that were easy to split could be used for anything from the erection of fine burial chambers to the production of knives – phenomena that have been … Continue reading

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Good stone doesn’t change its location!

There have been few new posts on my blog recently. But there is a very good reason for this apparent laziness, since I’m now writing a book about stone. Or, to be more correct, a book about the cultural history … Continue reading

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Nidarosdomens steinbrudd I: Byggingen av Kristkirken (1070-1100)

Building of Olav Kyrre’s Christ Church (1070-1100), the forerunner of Nidaros Cathedral / for Norwegian readers Denne historien er en liten del av min bok “Nidarosdomens grunnfjell” (2015). Les mer om boken her. Tenk deg at du for nesten 1000 … Continue reading

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Experimental archaeology: The traditional way of quarrying soapstone

Experimental archaeology in old building stone quarries is a rare activity. But not so for Norwegian stone carver Eva Stavsøien. She asked herself how soapstone was extracted in the Middle Ages. Bringing handmade pickaxes, she went to an abandoned quarry … Continue reading

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