Pilgrim's passport and The Olav Letter

There is an attractive Pilgrim`s Passport for the St. Olav Ways - the Pilgrim paths to Trondheim, with space for personal details, words to the pilgrim and plenty of room for stamping. When arriving in Trondheim and Nidaros Cathedral long distance walkers will receive the Olav letter as a proof of their completed pilgrimage.

  • Pilgrim passport from pilgrimage on the Rombo path

Pilgrim's Passport - St. Olav's passport
The tradition of the pilgrim`s pass comes from the Middle Ages. The pass was to prove that the bearer was a genuine pilgrim when he⁄she arrived as a stranger. This tradition of the pilgrim`s passport has been updated and the pilgrim can use it as a record of his⁄her pilgrimage with stamps from places along the way. If you have walked the last 100 kms to Nidaros you are obliged to the pilgrims certificate or the 'Olav Letter'. The text in the pass is written in Norwegian and English.

Stamps along the way
A pilgrim`s passport is a precious souvenir for many people. Behind each stamp is a story from the journey! But to get your pilgrim's pass stamped on the way can sometimes be a challenge! Sometimes the parish office is closed, at other times they don`t have the stamp. But stamps or endorsements from lodgings, cafes and petrol stations can also be useful. A good principle is to get a stamp or endorsement at every lodging you visit. You can buy the pass at the regional pilgrim centres. (See contact information on the bottom of the page)

The Olav Letter
Long distance walkers/pilgrims to Nidaros Cathedral receive a diploma when arriving at Nidaros Pilgrim Center. It has been given the name 'Olav Letter' ('Olavsbrevet'). The Olav Letter is given as a confirmation that one has walked along the pilgrim way to Nidaros. To qualify you must have walked the last 100 kilometers into Trondheim. To document your trip you use the pilgrim pass.

The Olav letter is a gift from Nidaros Cathedral to pilgrims who have walked to Trondheim and is not for sale.

The Olav letter is designed in the same format as other European pilgrim diplomas. The text is based on a similar document that was issued to pilgrims who walked to Rome. The Latin text has got a parallel Norwegian text. The figures on the diploma originate from the 'Hedalsskrin' (shrine or casket) from 1250 AD. They show St. Olav and the pilgrims' apostle St. James, in Spanish Santiago. St. James is the universal Christian pilgrim. He is portrayed on the front of Nidaros Cathedral with his typical pilgrim's outfit, hat, staff, bag and shell.

In contrast to the other diplomas the Olav Letter includes a simple map with a small selection of pilgrimage centres. This has been done to give the diploma an international character and to show that Nidaros (Trondheim) stood – and still stands – in a greater context. The illustration on the Olav Letter includes the important pilgrimage centres Rome and Santiago de Compostela as well as a selection of other centres like Vadstena (Sweden), Viborg (Denmark), Canterbury (England), Cologne and Aachen (Germany), and Vezelav (France). Rome was also an important port for pilgrimages to Jerusalem.
Today it is Nidaros (Trondheim) in the North, Santiago in the West, Rome in the South and Jerusalem in the East that are the main goals for the modern pilgrim.

The text in the Olav Letter is in Norwegian and Latin:

Testimonium Peregrinationis Peractae ad Limina Sancti Olavi

Vi gjør kjent at til denne domkirke bygget ved Kong Olav den Helliges grav og viet Guds ære
og Kong Olav den Helliges heder, har (pilgrim's name) gudfryktig vandret pilegrimsveien Nidaros (dato)

Notum facimus hanc ecclesiam cathedralem apud Sancti Olavi regis corpus aedificatam atque ad dei gloriam
et ipsius Sancti Olavi regis ho – norem dicatam dom (pilgrim's name) pietatis causa ac peregrinationis visitasse.Datum Nidrosia (date)


English translation:

We declare that to this Cathedral built over King Olav the Holy's grave and dedicated to God's glory
and the honour of King Olav the Holy (pilgrim's name) has devoutly walked the pilgrims' way. Nidaros (date)


The Pilgrim passport costs NOK 50. It may be issued at one of the following locations along the pilgrim route:

Nidaros Pilegrim Center
Kjøpmannsgt. 1
7013 Trondheim
tel: + 47 73 52 50 00

Oslo Pilgrim Centre
Box 2702 St.Hanshaugen, 0131 Oslo.
Visitng adr: Akersbakken 30, 0172 Oslo
Phone +47 48052949

Hamar Pilgrim Centre
Storhamargata 125, 2305 Hamar
Phone +47 47 47 82 66

Dale-Gudbrands Gard Pilgrim Centre
2647 Sør-Fron
Phone +47 45 60 46 08

Dovrefjell Pilgrim Centre
2661 Hjerkinnhus
Phone +47 92 48 31 47

Granavollen Pilgrim Centre
Kommunehuset Granavollen
2770 Jaren
Phone +47 40 60 01 77