The Chronicle of The Kings of Norway

by Snorri Sturlson | c.1179-1241 | 320,198 words

The "Heimskringla" of Snorri Sturlason is a collection of sagas concerning the various rulers of Norway, from about A.D. 850 to the year A.D. 1177....

Part 11 - King Olaf's Shrine

King Magnus had a shrine made and mounted with gold and silver, and studded with jewels. This shrine was made so that in shape and size it was like a coffin. Under it was an arched way, and above was a raised roof, with a head and a roof-ridge. Behind were plaited hangings; and before were gratings with padlocks, which could be locked with a key. In this shrine King Magnus had the holy remains of King Olaf deposited, and many were the miracles there wrought.

Of this Sigvat speaks: —

"For him a golden shrine is made,
For him whose heart was ne'er afraid
Of mortal man — the holy king,
Whom the Lord God to heaven did bring.
Here many a man shall feel his way,
Stone-blind, unconscious of the day,
And at the shrine where Olaf lies
Give songs of praise for opened eyes."

It was also appointed by law that King Olaf's holy day should be held sacred over all Norway, and that day has been kept ever afterwards as the greatest of Church days.

Sigvat speaks of it: —

"To Olaf, Magnus' father, raise,
Within my house, the song of praise!
With joy, yet grief, we'll keep the day
Olaf to heaven was called away.
Well may I keep within my breast
A day for him in holy rest, —
My upraised hands a golden ring
On every branch [1] bear from that king."

Footnotes and references:


The fingers, the branches of the hand, bore golden fruits from the generosity of the king. — L.

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