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NDR has existed for 150 years

In 2019, Nidaros Cathedral Restoration Workshop (NDR) celebrates its 150th anniversary. NDR was established in 1869 to rebuild Nidaros Cathedral, which had been left partially in ruins following several fires in the Middle Ages.

Over the past 150 years, the NDR’s craftsmen, artists and academics have not only rebuilt Norway’s most iconic religious building, but have also acquired unique insight into medieval building methods and practices.

Some 30 NDR craftspeople are still working hard to bring the cathedral back to its former glory using only traditional tools and techniques. When you visit Nidaros Cathedral today, you can see the craftsmen and women at work both inside the building and on scaffolding outside.

About the organisation

Nidaros Cathedral Restoration Workshop (NDR) is responsible for the restoration, maintenance and operation of Nidaros Cathedral and the Archbishop’s Palace in Trondheim on behalf of the Norwegian state. It is also responsible for publicising its work to a variety of audiences.

NDR is a national competence centre for the preservation of historic stone buildings and comprises a unique community of highly adept craftsmen and women who are keeping alive ancient and traditional craft skills.

NDR has an active Visitor Services Department that receives around half a million visitors each year. NDR also includes Norway’s National Pilgrim Centre, which has overall responsibility for maintaining the country’s historic pilgrim routes and the St Olav Ways, which form part of the Culture Route of the Council of Europe’s Programme.

NDR is administered by a board of directors under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture. The organisation employs just over 70 full-time equivalents.

Vision and goals

NDR’s vision is to ensure that Nidaros Cathedral and the Archbishop’s Palace, as well as Norway’s pilgrim routes, retain and increase their relevance as national heritage sites and places of historic importance in a modern society. This means taking a holistic approach that encompasses Nidaros as the hallowed, symbolic centre of Christianity in Norway and place of pilgrimage, and the pilgrim routes leading to it. All of which can be summed up in the motto: “To Nidaros – the journey and the destination!”

NDR’s overarching goals

  • Nidaros Cathedral and the Archbishop’s Palace shall be systematically safeguarded, maintained and restored in accordance with researched evidence and international restoration principles.
  • NDR will maintain and further develop its position as a national competence centre for the restoration of historic stone buildings.
  • Pilgrim-related activities will contribute to value creation and positive developments along the St Olav Ways to Trondheim. The programme will have deep Christian roots, while remaining open and inclusive to people of different faiths, cultures and traditions.
  • The history of Nidaros Cathedral and the Archbishop’s Palace will be presented to a wide audience in ways that create room for reflection and understanding, using modern methods and tailored to different target groups.
  • The NDR will be a sustainable and development-oriented organisation.

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