The St. Olav's Way - the origin, nature and trends in development of pilgrimage activity in Scandinavia

Tomasz Duda

Abstrakt

In the Middle Ages the idea of pilgrimage reached Scandinavia, for a long time regarded as a permanent mainstay of pagan beliefs associated mainly with the traditions and culture of Nordic warriors – the Vikings. The prolonged and filled with many difficulties process of Christianization of northern Europe, over time developed a rapidly growing cult of St. Olav – a warrior, king and martyr of the Christian faith. Over nearly four hundred years, thousands of pilgrims embarked on pilgrimages to the tomb of the saint in Trondheim, making the Nidaros Cathedral the most important pilgrimage center in this part of Europe.
In 1997, the first section of the St. Olav’s Way between Oslo and Trondheim was officially re-opened. After it has been signposted, described and promoted, as well as after it has been awarded with the title of European Cultural Route by the European Council in 2010, the St. Olav’s Way has become one of the largest and most important pilgrimage routes in Europe. The present study is based on preliminary research conducted by the author on the St. Olav’s Way in the last couple of years. Analysis of the available statistical data, as well as the opinions of the trail users themselves and its organizers as obtained by the author through social studies (surveys and direct interviews) allowed, however, to develop some preliminary research on the size and nature of pilgrimage movement along the routes of the St. Olav’s Way.

Słowa kluczowe: religious tourism, pilgrimage, Way of St. Olav, Norway, Scandinavia
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Web pages

Annual Rapports of Pilgrimage Activity on the Routes of St. Olav Way in Norway:

2010: http://oslo.pilegrimsleden.no/uploads/documents/Aarsrapport2010.pdf

2011: http://oslo.pilegrimsleden.no/uploads/documents/Aarsrapport2011.pdf

2012: http://oslo.pilegrimsleden.no/uploads/documents/Aarsrapport2012.pdf

2013: http://oslo.pilegrimsleden.no/uploads/documents/Aarsrapport2013.pdf,

http://nasjonaltpilegrimssenter.no/dynamic/upload/bilder/Dokumenter/Årsrapport-2013-Nasjonalt-pilegrimssenter.pdf

2014: http://oslo.pilegrimsleden.no/uploads/documents/Aarsrapport2014.pdf

http://nasjonaltpilegrimssenter.no/dynamic/upload/bilder/Dokumenter/Årsrapport-2014for-Nasjonalt-pilegrimssenter.pdf

2015 http://oslo.pilegrimsleden.no/uploads/documents/Aarsrapport_2015_godkjent_l.pdf

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