I’ve decided to start blogging about the development and everyday life of the pilgrim trail S:T Olavsleden. It’s one of several St. Olav Ways, all leading to Nidaros Cathedral, where St. Olav is buried. Stiklestad Pilgrim Center’s job is to delevop this ancient pilgrim path, mainly on the Norwegian side of the border, but in close cooperation with our Swedish neighbours. 2/3 of the path is in Sweden.
And there is good news from our Swedish neighbours! A new pilgrim center is on it way in Selånger. There used to be a harbour here in medieval times, but the place is now, due to land rise, a few kilometers inland from the city of Sundsvall. It was in Selånger Olav Haraldsson (St. Olav’s name before he became a saint) landed in 1030 AD with his ships and men, returning from a 2 year long exile in Novgorod. His aim was to reclaim his kingdom from the Danish king, king Knut the Great, who ruled Norway. The trail follows in king Olav’s footsteps to Stiklestad, where he died in battle on July 29th in 1030. His body was transported to Nidaros where he was declared a saint the year after. You can read the whole story her.
Selånger is the starting point of S:T Olavsleden, leading from the Baltic Sea in Sweden to the Atlantic Ocean in Norway. Since it’s re-opening in 2012, the S:T Olavsleden has attracted more and more pilgrims from both Scandinavia and the rest of the world. The Congregation at Selånger has now rised money and made plans for a new cultural pilgrim center at this historic site. The construction work has just started. An old, magnificent barn will be transformed to place for learning, reflection, dispatchment of pilgrims and more.
I think this is a great idea and initiative. The new center will surely add value to the whole of S:T Olavsleden and be a great resource for pilgrims.