Olav Tryggvason

Olav Tryggvason had been leading Viking raids in the Baltic Sea for many years. He had married queen Geira of Vendland (Pommern, now part of Poland), who died after only three years. Olav left Vendland and continued raiding along the coasts for four years. He then came to Southampton where he stayed during the winter of 994/95. During that time he was in contact with both the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishop of Winchester and king Ethelred. This led to him being baptized – the king was his godfather. Olav was taught by great ecclesiastic scholars and was confirmed at Easter 995.

Olav Tryggvasson
Olav Tryggvason’s arrival in Norway.
Based on drawing by Peter Nicolai Arbo
At that time he was called to Norway to claim the throne. He brought with him bishop Sigurd and several priests. They landed at Moster. A church was later built at the place where they held their first mass on Norwegian soil.

Olav was chosen for king at the lagting. He then went with his army to the important chieftains in Norway and with great brutality made them accept White Christ and be baptized. He was successful in this but it is easy to imagine that the conversions did not go deep in the minds of the people.

Olaf Tryggvason died in the battle of Svolder in the year 1000.