The Age of Sail

Life at sea during the Age of Sail was characterized by hard work, long hours, cramped living conditions, and often bad food. And homesickness.

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The exhibition about the Age of Sail addresses two subjects: the life as a sailor and Trondheim as a maritime commercial center. The larger sailing ships needed their 10 to 30 sails to always be positioned correctly according to the strength and direction of the wind, so that the power of the wind could be harnessed. At the same time, one had to do continuous work related to the ship’s operational ability and its maintenance, as well as pumping out water that often seeped into the ship.

At the end of the 1500s, Trondheim became an important trading city. The trade consisted at first only of fish, then timber. From about 1650, copper was also being sold and shipped. Many new immigrants, impulses, and goods came to Trondheim during this period. A 150-year period started around the year 1700 where the trade was dominated by the trading patriciate in Kjøpmannsgata. The wharves along the river Nidelva have had a central position through large parts of the thousand-year-old history of Trondheim.

The School ship “Tordenskiold”

A self-made film about the life on board the school ship “Tordenskjold” is shown daily. It shows how adolescents were educated to do maritime work in the period 1900-1940. Listen to the story of one of the men who signed up in 1934.

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