St. Olav’s Pier (St. Olavs Pir), Trondheim’s Hidden Jetty

A pair of beach chairs overlooking Trondheimsfjorden in St. Olav’s Pier, Trondheim

photography by: Omri Westmark

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In recent years, the industrial waterfront of Trondheim has shifted away from its one-dimensional role, embracing street art, hotels, offices, restaurants and a host of leisure activities. Named after the former Norwegian King who Christianized the nation, the derelict St. Olav’s Pier is not a tourist attraction per se, yet its location along the coastline offers a glut of sweeping views, occasionally accompanied by incoming cruise ships and plucky sauna-goers who swim in the area’s frigid waters.

While still predominantly industrial in nature, the artificial island of Brattøra along Trondheim Fjord experienced a series of urban renewal projects during the last decade, replacing some of its storage facilities with office space and recreational complexes. As a popular stopover for cruise ships and ferries alike, the island’s Hurtigbåtterminal is one of the city’s main entry points for visitors. The terminal building is situated next to a rectangular harbor, whose western pier is not functioning for quite a while.


The pier, which owes its name to King Olaf II of Norway who introduced the Christian faith to the country, sits idly by as tourist-infested ships are passing by every hour or so. A few years ago, the jetty was occupied almost entirely by a large hangar which was later demolished. Since then, the dilapidated pier serves as a placid lookout, where visitors can have a glimpse of the area’s maritime traffic.


In addition, the nearby bathhouse of Søbadeindretningen i Trondhjem is often frequented by locals who bath in the fjord’s ice-cold waters. In some cases, you might even witness the mass-jumping of bathers from the sauna’s two-story springboard.


In 2015, “Upside Down“, the oddly-shaped sculpture by the artist Hilde Angel Danielsen was installed in the middle of the pier. Made of 60 wooden frames that deviate slightly around a single axis, the wormy sculpture was eventually dismantled after succumbing to the strong winds and constant sprinkle of saltwater. You’ll be glad to know, however, that the diligent sculptor has committed herself to embellish the jetty with a new work of art somewhere in the near future.