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For the Sverresborg situated in Bergen, see Sverresborg .

Sverresborg (Norwegian:Sverresborg i Trondheim) or Sverre Sigurdsson's castle (also named Zion after King David’s castle in Jerusalem) was a fortification built in the medieval city of Nidaros (later Trondheim) by Sverre Sigurdsson.It is now known as an open air museum for the region of Trøndelag, comprising the counties of Sør-Trøndelag and Nord-Trøndelag.


Defense of the city and the location of Sverresborg was based on three key topographical features:
  1. The city lay on a peninsula bordered on the east and south by the River Nidelva and on the north by Trondheimsfjord
  2. The neck connecting the peninsula to the mainland was quite narrow and could be easily fortified
  3. A glacially-carved-rock hill just to the south dominates the city and provides an easily fortified site (location of Sverresborg)

The Heklungs War

In 1177, Sverre Sigurdsson, who was king of Norway from 1184-1202, led the rebel Birkebeiners to Trøndelag where in June, Sverre was hailed as king at Øretinget, the Thing for Trøndelag. This was an important symbolic event, since traditionally new Norwegian kings were chosen there. After this, the Birkebeins moved south and wintered in Østerdalen. The next spring, the Birkebeins went back to Trøndelag, attacking the city of Nidaros (now Trondheim). Defeated, they fled south until they met and beat reigning King Magnus’ army in Ringerike. Encouraged, the Birkebeins moved north to...
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