Visit Scandinavia's oldest secular building in conjunction with Nidaros Cathedral . It was once the center of the Norwegian archdiocese, comprising not only Norway but also the Faeroe and Shetland Islands, the Isle of Man, and even Greenland and Iceland. Today's museum, which was started in the second part of the 1100s, lies close to the cathedral precincts. Until the Reformation came in 1537 and the ruling archbishop got the boot, the palace was the home of every reigning ecclesiastical authority in Trondheim. Once the archbishops were gone, it became the official address for the Danish governors, and was later taken over by the Norwegian military. As you stand in the courtyard, you can see buildings that date from the 1160s to the 1990s. In summer, there are daily guided tours of the historic buildings.
If time is short, visit at least the Archbishop's Palace Museum, displaying artifacts discovered when two large storage buildings on this site burned to the ground in 1983. After 5 years of excavations, many artifacts were discovered, and the museum opened in 1997. More intriguing still are the sculptures removed from Nidaros Cathedral for safekeeping; the gargoyles, mythological figures, and animals of the Middle Ages live on here. The cathedral and its famous sculptures are also depicted in an audiovisual presentation.
Also here is the Rustkammeret med Hjemmefrontmuseet, Trondheim's army and resistance museum, entered at Kongsgårdsgata (tel. 73-53-91-60), charging no admission. It is open June to August Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am to 4pm. It is closed otherwise. The history of the military is traced from the days of the Vikings. Of more recent vintage is the Home Front Museum, presenting the drama of the Norwegian Resistance during the horrendous occupation by the Nazis in World War II.