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Stiftsgården is the royal residence in Trondheim
Trondheim , historically, Nidaros and Trondhjem, is a city and municipality in Sør-Trøndelag county, Norway. With a population of 173,486, it is the third most populous municipality and city in the country, although the fourth largest metropolitan area. It is the administrative centre of...

, Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. It is centrally situated on the city’s most important thoroughfare
A thoroughfare is a place of transportation intended to connect one location to another. Highways, roads, and trails are examples of thoroughfares used by a variety of general traffic. On land a thoroughfare may refer to anything from a rough trail to multi-lane highway with grade separated...

, Munkegaten. At 140 rooms constituting 4000 m² (43000 ft²), it is possibly the largest wooden building in Northern Europe, and it has been used by royals and their guests since 1800.


It was built 1774–1778 for Cecilie Christine Schøller (1720–1786), the wealthy widow of Stie Tønsberg Schøller
(1700–1769), chamberlain and merchant in Trondheim. Through her mother she was descended from some of the most prominent noble families in Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

. From her father, the army Commander in Chief of central Norway, she inherited a large property in the city centre. When she inherited her husband's large fortune, she commenced the construction of the largest private town house in Trondheim. In 1777 she was given the title of privy counselor. She is a representative of the cultural and commercial growth that Trondheim experienced in the late 18th century, and of the city's strong women in that period. She often traveled abroad and seldom used the palace herself before she died in Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 in 1786. The palace was constructed on the grounds of the former residence of her father, General Johan Friderich Frølich (1681–1757).

During her absence abroad, her son-in-law General Georg Frederik Von Krogh (1732-1818) resided in the building. After her death, it was inherited by his son, Mrs. Schøller's grandson, and the General remained in residence there until it was sold to the state in 1800 for 10,000 rixdollars. It was then used by the Governor of the region, as law courts and as a royal residence when the royal family visited Trondheim. The building also had several other functions; it housed the Bank of Norway
Bank of Norway
Norges Bank / Noregs Bank is the central bank of Norway. Apart from having traditional central bank responsibilities such as financial stability and price stability, it manages The Government Pension Fund of Norway, a stabilization fund that is world's largest investment pool.On 31 December 2010,...

 in the period 1816–1819. In 1906 the palace became exclusively the royal residence in Trondheim.

Prominent guests resided there when in Trondheim. Thus, this location has been the place of residence in Trondheim for the Norwegian Royal Family
Norwegian Royal Family
The Royal Family of Norway is the family of King Harald V of Norway. In Norway there is a distinction between the Royal House and the Royal Family. The Royal House includes only the King and his spouse, the Queen, the King's eldest son with spouse, being the Crown Prince and Crown Princess, and the...

 since 1704. The first royals ever to visit the present building were Crown Prince Frederik and Princes Carl and Frederick of Hesse
Hesse or Hessia is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.* The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state...

, who were the guests of General von Krogh in 1788.

Historic events

Stiftsgården has been the setting for the main festivities during the following coronations:
  • King Carl III Johan
    Charles XIV John of Sweden
    Charles XIV & III John, also Carl John, Swedish and Norwegian: Karl Johan was King of Sweden and King of Norway from 1818 until his death...

    , 1818
  • King Carl IV
    Charles XV of Sweden
    Charles XV & IV also Carl ; Swedish and Norwegian: Karl was King of Sweden and Norway from 1859 until his death....

     and Queen Louise
    Louise of the Netherlands
    Louise of the Netherlands was the Queen of Sweden and Norway as spouse of King Charles XV of Sweden and IV of Norway.-Birth:...

    , 1860
  • King Oscar II
    Oscar II of Sweden
    Oscar II , baptised Oscar Fredrik was King of Sweden from 1872 until his death and King of Norway from 1872 until 1905. The third son of King Oscar I of Sweden and Josephine of Leuchtenberg, he was a descendant of Gustav I of Sweden through his mother.-Early life:At his birth in Stockholm, Oscar...

     and Queen Sofie, 1873
  • King Haakon VII
    Haakon VII of Norway
    Haakon VII , known as Prince Carl of Denmark until 1905, was the first king of Norway after the 1905 dissolution of the personal union with Sweden. He was a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg...

     and Queen Maud, 1906

as well as during the following benedictions:
  • King Olav V
    Olav V of Norway
    Olav V was the king of Norway from 1957 until his death. A member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg, Olav was born in the United Kingdom as the son of King Haakon VII of Norway and Queen Maud of Norway...

    , 1958
  • King Harald V
    Harald V of Norway
    Harald V is the king of Norway. He succeeded to the throne of Norway upon the death of his father Olav V on 17 January 1991...

     and Queen Sonja
    Queen Sonja of Norway
    Queen Sonja of Norway is the wife of King Harald V of Norway.-Prior to marriage:Sonja was born in Oslo on 4 July 1937 as the daughter of clothing merchant Karl August Haraldsen and Dagny Ulrichsen .Queen Sonja grew up in the district of Vinderen in Oslo and completed her lower secondary schooling...

    , 1991

Stiftsgården has also been the setting for many other royal visits — among others, the visits of the Norwegian regent and first king of independent Norway, Crown Prince Christian Frederik
Christian VIII of Denmark
Christian VIII , was king of Denmark from 1839 to 1848 and, as Christian Frederick, king of Norway in 1814. He was the eldest son of Hereditary Prince Frederick of Denmark and Norway and Sophia Frederica of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, born in 1786 at Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen...

 in 1814, King Carl III Johan in 1835, Crown Prince Carl in 1856, and in recent times King Harald V and Queen Sonja's 60th birthdays in 1997 and Princess Märtha Louise
Princess Märtha Louise of Norway
Princess Märtha Louise of Norway is the only daughter of King Harald V and Queen Sonja. She is fourth in the line of succession to the Norwegian throne, after her brother and his two children.-Early life:...

's wedding in 2002.


The architect of the building is not identified with certainty, but is assumed to have been Mrs. Schøller's cousin, Admiral Christian Lerche (1712–93). Many of the artisans and artists responsible for the interior decorations are also unknown. The palace is built in the Baroque
Baroque architecture
Baroque architecture is a term used to describe the building style of the Baroque era, begun in late sixteenth century Italy, that took the Roman vocabulary of Renaissance architecture and used it in a new rhetorical and theatrical fashion, often to express the triumph of the Catholic Church and...

 style, but has elements of Rococo
Rococo , also referred to as "Late Baroque", is an 18th-century style which developed as Baroque artists gave up their symmetry and became increasingly ornate, florid, and playful...

 and neoclassicism
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

. It has around 140 rooms constituting 4000 m² (43000 ft²) and is probably the largest wooden palace in Northern Europe
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

. A large part of the garden was separated as a public park in 1906. It was originally laid out in the Baroque style and contained both an orangery
An orangery was a building in the grounds of fashionable residences from the 17th to the 19th centuries and given a classicising architectural form. The orangery was similar to a greenhouse or conservatory...

 and an arbour.

The exterior is mostly in its original form. In 1841 some of the dormer windows were removed after a small fire, but those on the garden side are still in place. The orchestra annex by the ballroom was built for the planned coronation of King Oscar I
Oscar I of Sweden
Oscar I was King of Sweden and Norway from 1844 to his death. When, in August 1810, his father Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte was elected Crown Prince of Sweden, Oscar and his mother moved from Paris to Stockholm . Oscar's father was the first ruler of the current House of Bernadotte...

 in 1847. The original quarter pane windows were replaced in 1860. However, some of the original windows are still in place in the southern wing on the garden side.

Unlike the exterior, the interior has changed significantly. The interior of the side wings has been extensively rearranged, and all the rooms in the building have been renovated several times. However, some original features are still present. The Rococo style stucco
Stucco or render is a material made of an aggregate, a binder, and water. Stucco is applied wet and hardens to a very dense solid. It is used as decorative coating for walls and ceilings and as a sculptural and artistic material in architecture...

 work was preserved on some of the ceilings and around the wall niches. The supraportes (panels above the doors) are decorated with painted landscapes. Several of the original wall decorations are preserved, some with Chinoiserie
Chinoiserie, a French term, signifying "Chinese-esque", and pronounced ) refers to a recurring theme in European artistic styles since the seventeenth century, which reflect Chinese artistic influences...

s. In the dining room, one can see paintings of cityscapes made after contemporary English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 copper engravings. The ceiling and the supraportes in the ballroom were painted in 1847, probably using drawings by architect Heinrich Ernst Schirmer
Heinrich Ernst Schirmer
Heinrich Ernst Schirmer was German-born architect most noted for his work in Norway.Schirmer worked in Norway from 1838 to 1883 and put his mark on a number of public buildings...

 who worked with the interiors at the Royal Palace in Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

. The painted floors and ceilings in the other rooms are mostly from 1847 as well. The interior of the Queen’s salon was designed for the coronation
A coronation is a ceremony marking the formal investiture of a monarch and/or their consort with regal power, usually involving the placement of a crown upon their head and the presentation of other items of regalia...

 in 1906 by architect Ingvald Alstad.


Very few furnishings from the 18th century have been preserved, except two Rococo style stoves from 1768. All the furniture was acquired in the 19th century and later. Most of it was acquired for the planned coronation of King Oscar I
Oscar I of Sweden
Oscar I was King of Sweden and Norway from 1844 to his death. When, in August 1810, his father Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte was elected Crown Prince of Sweden, Oscar and his mother moved from Paris to Stockholm . Oscar's father was the first ruler of the current House of Bernadotte...

 and Queen Josephine in the 1840s and the coronation of King Haakon VII
Haakon VII of Norway
Haakon VII , known as Prince Carl of Denmark until 1905, was the first king of Norway after the 1905 dissolution of the personal union with Sweden. He was a member of the House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg...

 and Queen Maud in 1906. The many pieces of Biedermeier
In Central Europe, the Biedermeier era refers to the middle-class sensibilities of the historical period between 1815, the year of the Congress of Vienna at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, and 1848, the year of the European revolutions...

 furniture were made in Trondheim in the 1840s. The Hepplewhite-style furniture in the Chinese Cabinet was acquired in Paris for the coronation in 1906. The King’s Study is furnished with a set of Chippendale
Thomas Chippendale
Thomas Chippendale was a London cabinet-maker and furniture designer in the mid-Georgian, English Rococo, and Neoclassical styles. In 1754 he published a book of his designs, titled The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director...

-style furniture designed by architect Axel Guldahl and crafted by cabinet maker A. Kvenild for the same occasion. The furniture of the Queen’s salon was created in the style of Louis XVI
Louis XVI of France
Louis XVI was a Bourbon monarch who ruled as King of France and Navarre until 1791, and then as King of the French from 1791 to 1792, before being executed in 1793....

by Edvard Røhmen in Trondheim.

Other sources

  • Andersen, Eystein M.(2006) Stiftsgården - Det kongelige palé i Trondheim (Andrimne Forlag, Oslo) ISBN 82-92546-10-3.
  • Rognerød, Dag-Ivar(1997) På historisk grunn - En kulturhistorisk reise til statlige eiendommer (Orfeus Forlag, Oslo) ISBN 82-467-0011-1.