The Old Alleys
Wander the narrow streets and alleys (“veitene”) that were typical of the old Trondheim. Trondheim is one of the most distinctive towns built of wood in Scandinavia. Today such wooden towns are preserved as part of a valuable cultural heritage. Many of the wooden buildings in Trondheim date from the 19th century, but these retain something of a tradition going back to the 18th and 17th centuries. It could be said that the origin of these streets and alleys with their wooden houses goes as far back as the Middle Ages.
Trondheim has been ravaged by fire several times. The houses in Holstveita (see picture) were rebuilt after the fire of 1842. Roofs were given expensive tiling instead of the turf and planks that had been used before. However, much of the old style was retained, and several of the old alleys, such as Holstveita, were allowed to follow the same route as they had done since the 17th century.
The main street grid, planned after the great fire of 1681, is much wider, but the alleys that remain show us what city life was like centuries ago.
In the city centre you will find areas where buildings from the 18th century are well preserved and in use today. In the area around Hospitalsløkkan some of the buildings date from the early 19th century and even earlier.
Due to the many major fires in the city, in 1845 a new Building Act laid down that buildings in the centre had to be made of brick. This law was not enforced in areas further out from the centre until 1899 so in the areas called Møllenberg and Rosenborg you will still find many wooden houses, in fact this area is one of the largest in Norway with rows of wooden houses.