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Final Day in Trondheim

On Wednesday, Their Majesties King Harald and Queen Sonja and His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg travelled to Trondheim for the final day of the State Visit from Luxembourg.


Following their arrival at the Trondheim Airport in Værnes, King Harald, Queen Sonja and Grand Duke Henri travelled to Rotvoll, where they paid a visit to the Statoil Research Centre.

Applied research and education

The research centre at Rotvoll plays a crucial role in the ongoing efforts to expand Statoil’s expertise and technology. The centre houses several special laboratories in the areas of materials technology, toxicology, and oil and gas refining. Additionally, data laboratories carry out modelling and simulations based on complex calculations and data models.

Mr Karl Johnny Hersvik, Director of Research, briefed the King, Queen and Grand Duke on the centre’s activities, and Ms Eli Aamot, Vice President of R&D New Energy, gave them a tour of one of the laboratories.

The programme focused on competence development later in the day as well, when the King, Queen and Grand Duke visited two other key knowledge centres: the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and the SINTEF Research Group. These institutions cooperate extensively, which includes the exchange of scientific personnel and collaboration on laboratories and other equipment.

Cicignon’s city

The King, Queen and Grand Duke were the guests of the City of Trondheim and Mayor Rita Ottervik at a luncheon held in the Archbishop’s Palace, where historian Rolf Grankvist told the story of Johan Caspar von Cicignon – a nobleman from Luxembourg and general in the Danish-Norwegian military who became known for his skills as an engineer and city planner.

In 1681, he was dispatched to Trondheim to direct the efforts to rebuild the city following the great fire. The city was reconstructed according to the city plan designed by Cicignon, which included wide, straight streets. The city centre of Trondheim is still based on this plan, and a square located between Krambugata and Søndre gate has been dedicated to Cicignon.

Guided tour of Nidaros Cathedral

Following a brief visit to the Royal Regalia exhibition, the King, Queen and Grand Duke walked to Nidaros Cathedral, where they were given a guided tour by acting Dean Ragnhild Jepsen.

Construction of the cathedral began in 1070, when King Olav Kyrre tore down the wooden chapel that had been built over St. Olav’s grave and had a stone church built in its place. The church was gradually expanded, especially after the Archdiocese of Nidaros was established in 1153. Canterbury Cathedral served as the inspiration for the construction of Nidaros Cathedral in the Gothic style.

Several fires and a lack of maintenance resulted in extensive damage to the cathedral, and it fell into decay until the emerging national consciousness of the 1800s led to calls for its restoration. The work began in 1869 and has been ongoing ever since.

King Harald, Queen Sonja and Grand Duke Henri were given a short concert at the end of their visit to the cathedral.

Programme concluded at Rockheim

The final activity on the programme for this State Visit was a visit to Rockheim – Norway’s national centre for pop and rock music. Opened in August 2010, the aim of the museum is to collect, maintain and convey Norwegian popular music.

The special exhibition "Wenche's World", dedicated to the career of Ms Wenche Myhre, was opened today, and the opening was conducted by the Norwegian artist herself.

A walk through the permanent exhibition at Rockheim is a journey through Norwegian popular music and culture, decade by decade, from the early 1950s until today. The museum’s director, Petter Myhr, accompanied the King, Queen and Grand Duke as they went through the exhibition.


About the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

Capital: Luxembourg
Largest city: Luxembourg

Total area: 2.586 km²
Population (2011): 502 066
Official languages: Luxembourgish, French and German
Currency: Euro

Form of government: Constitutional monarchy
Head of state: Grand Duke Henri

Diplomatic ties between Norway and Luxembourg were established on 15 April 1931. King Harald and Queen Sonja made a State Visit to Luxembourg on 18-19 April 1996.

Key industries: Banking and finance
Exports to Norway (2010): NOK 507 million
Imports from Norway (2010): NOK 173 million


Source: Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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