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near Oslo, Oslo Fylke (Norge)
Nidaros Cathedral is the destination and goal of the Pilgrim’s Route, (Pilegrimsleden) also known as St. Olav’s Way or the Old Kings’ Road. The Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim is the site of the tomb of St. Olav. The main route is approximately 640 kilometres long. It starts in the ancient part of Oslo and heads north along the lake Mjøsa, up the Gudbrandsdal valley, over the Dovrefjell mountains, and down the Oppdal and Gauldalen valleys to end at the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim.
Mjøsa is Norway's largest lake, as well as one of the deepest lakes in Norway and in Europe. It´s the fourth deepest lake in Norway. From its southernmost point at Minnesund in Eidsvoll to its northernmost point in Lillehammer it is 117 km long. At its widest, near Hamar, it is 15 km wide. It is 365 km² in area and its volume is estimated at 56 km³; normally its surface is 123 metres above sea level, and its greatest depth is 468 metres. Its total coastline is estimated at 273 km, of which 30% is built up. Dams built on the distribuary of Vorma in 1858, 1911, 1947, and 1965 raised the level by approximately 3.6 metres in total. In the last 200 years, 20 floods have been registered that added 7 metres to the level of Mjøsa. Several of these floods inundated the city of Hamar. The cities of Hamar, Gjøvik, and Lillehammer were founded along the shores of the lake. Before the construction of railways past the lake, it was an important transport route. Today, aside from minor leisure boating and the steamship Skibladner, there is no water traffic on the lake. Most of its shores are dominated by rolling agricultural areas, among them some of the most fertile grainlands in Norway. The main train line, Dovrebanen between Oslo and Trondheim goes along its eastern shore, making stops in Hamar and Lillehammer.
Dovrefjell is a mountain range that forms a natural barrier between Eastern Norway and Trøndelag, the area around Trondheim. As a result, it has been heavily trafficked during and probably preceding historical times. Several mountain inns were established in the Middle Ages to house pilgrims traveling to Trondheim, and there are even ruins of an old leper colony in the northern area of it. The main south-north highway (E6) and railway Dovrebanen in Norway runs over Dovrefjell. The highway is a year-round highway but is at rare occasions closed for short periods during heavy winter weather conditions. The natural habitat for many rare plants and animals, it became a national park in several stages starting in 1911, when some plants were put under protection. When the railroad was built from Oslo to Trondheim in 1921, one of the marshes was preserved. In 1974, parts of the range became a national park and the park was extensively enlarged in 2002. Together with Rondane, it has Norway and Europe's last stock of wild reindeer of Beringian origin. Dovrefjell (west of E6/Dovrebanen) also has a stock of musk oxen, imported from East-Greenland in 1932.