Architecture, History & Traditions

Back in Bakklandet – Norway

With every tourist arriving in Trondheim, in Central Western Norway, heading for the medieval Nidaros Cathedral and the mandatory picture in front of the “Gamle Bybro” – the 19th C Old Town Bridge, shown below with the iconic carved woodwork, you could be forgiven for asking why you would seek out the back streets of Trondheim?


The eastern side of the Nidelva river, once the haunt of Trondheim’s fishermen, seamen, and labourers features cobble-stoned, picture-perfect alleys of wooden buildings, many dating from as far back as the 17th century, all lovingly restored and renovated into cafes, vintage stores, retro gift shops, galleries and private residences.


On a summer evening in Trondheim, the sun doesn’t really set, the light just dulls somewhat, so one can wander the streets of Bakklandet in safety, and not get lost in some dark alleyway, fearing for your safety.


If you enter Bakklandet by bike, you might also like to experience the world’s only coin-operated, (now card-operated), “cykel tramp” or bicycle lift, up a very steep Trondheim street, (see tramp in action to the right of the photograph below).

I believe, this tramp, takes a little practice to master, so I declined the offer to experiment on this occasion.


The bicycle lift takes you past more ‘old world’ homes, painted in pretty shades of pastels and Norwegian red, to ‘Kristiansten’ fortress, still complete with tower, bastions and whitewashed army barracks and artillery supply buildings from days of old.

The fortress can now be accessed free of charge and was established for the protection of Trondheim from all those marauding Swedes of the past, (at this latitude in Norway, Sweden is less than 200 kms away)

IMG_3566 (Small)

Being a student town, and for that reason alone, Trondheim offers a huge range of options for eating out, and late opening hours to suit any age. One such cafe with especially unique interiors and a friendly atmosphere is the Baklandet Skydsstation, pictured below, and it is not just the food that is good.

baklandet skyndstasjion

This cafe is stuffed with handcrafted cushions, wall hangings and embroidery that screams Scandinavian tradition and fight to divert one’s attention from their food.

The cuisine is freshly-made: waffles and cafe food, and the hot chocolate of gargantuan proportions is topped with a mountain of fresh Norwegian cream. Just what I needed after walking up and down the eastern side of the river.

Frequently overlooked by passing tourists, Bakklandet, the real jewel in Trondheim’s crown is Something to Ponder About this and you can see all of this for the price of a cup of coffee if you wish.

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