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Museum Blog January 17, 2019

January 20, 2019

Gifts come to the Trondhjem History Museum from time to time. Last fall Earl Krigbaum, a member of the Trondhjem Lutheran Church presented a beautiful commemorative brooch to Sandy Valek. He had inherited it from his aunt and considered our museum to be the best place to preserve and display this fine artifact.

Historic  Brooch

Cast metal

Early 20th Century, circa 1914.

Donated by Earl Krigbaum.

“Birkebeiner men bring the young Haakon Haakonsson on skis to Trondheim”  Translation of text


This brooch shows a scene of the rescue of the infant future Norwegian king Haakon IV following the death of his father. In the winter of 1204-1205 two warriors called Birkebeiners saved him from hostile forces in Eastern Norway who wanted to kill him.  They skied across the mountains, carrying him to loyal supporters in Trondhjem. This scene is a representation of a painting by Knud Berslien dated 1869.

Birkebeinerene painting.jpg

“ Birkebeinerene”  Painting by Knud Bergslien, 1869    Norwegian National Gallery

 The scene depicts the skiers crossing the mountains to save the infant king. Birkebeinerene was the name for a rebellious party in Norway, formed in 1174. The name had its origins in propaganda from the established party that the rebels we so poor that they made their shoes from birch bark. Although originally a pejorative, the opposition adopted the birkebeiner name for themselves and continued using it after they came to power in 1184.

One Comment leave one →
  1. January 23, 2019 3:12 am

    Thank you. What a wonderful piece of Norwegian history.

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