Archaeologists think they have found a shrine dedicated to the Viking king Olaf Haraldsson in the ruins of a church in Trondheim, Norway. The team of archaeologists from the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) have discovered the foundations of the church where King Olaf II is believed to have been buried after he was canonized.
The foundations of a church where Viking King Olaf Haraldsson’s body may have been enshrined after he was declared a saint. (Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU))
The King that Became a Saint
Olaf II Haraldsson, also called “the Fat” or “the Stout” during his lifetime, was born in 995 (the year in which Olaf Tryggvessön arrived in Norway.) After fighting the Danes in England, Olaf Haraldsson returned to Norway in 1015 and declared himself king. He obtained the support of the five petty kings of the Uplands. He was the King of Norway from 1016-1029.
The king was posthumously given the title Rex Perpetuus Norvegiae (Eternal King of Norway) and was canonized in Trondheim by Bishop Grimkell one year after his death in the Battle of Stiklestad on July 29, 1030. He is also a canonized as a saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church and is one of the very few famous Western saints before the Great Schism between the Eastern Church and the Western Church in 1054. The pope confirmed St. Olaf's canonization as a saint in 1164.
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