Hamarkaupangen

At Domkirkeodden stand the remains of Hamarkaupangen, Norway’s only inland market town in the Middle Ages.

 

Its roots can be traced back to the 7th century as a trading centre under the jurisdiction of the powerful chieftains of Åker Farm at the far end of Åkersvika.

 

In 1537, during the Reformation, Mogens, the last Catholic bishop of Hamar, was taken prisoner and forced into exile. The bishopric was put under the jurisdiction of Oslo. The Bishop’s Palace became the residence of the chief county official. In 1597, during the Nordic Seven Years’ War, the building was besieged by the Swedish army and razed to the ground. The cathedral itself also caught fire and was extensively damaged.

Today, Domkirkeodden is the site of Hedmark Museum, which is both a mediaeval museum for Hamarkaupangen and a folk museum for the regional districts of the county of Hedmark. The ruins of the cathedral have been covered by a glass casing to protect them from the eroding effects of rain, snow and frost . This new “glass cathedral” is now one of Norway’s most interesting architectural constructions. Domkirkeodden is the “thousand year site” both for the county of Hedmark and the borough of Hamar.

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