The History of Martnan
«Martnan» means market, and the market in Trondheim has a long history. You can read about it in the city encyclopedia «Trondheim byleksikon» by Terje T. Bratberg (scroll down to see pictures):
«Martnan, an annually recurring market, which is held in late June, around Midsummer’s Eve. Martnan originated far back in the Middle Ages, but it is not mentioned until 1540, when it was decreed that market stalls should be mounted on the city square, which then lay south of Vår Frues kirke. There was also held a fall market. The markets were great events and were traded all kinds of goods, from salt to silk scarves. From 1681 Martnan has been held at the current market square and occasionally Ravnkloa was used. Munkegata was before 1796 often called the Market Street, when market stalls under Martnan was erected here.
After 1796 the market was moved to Midsummer’s Eve and as it is to day. Martnan was and remains associated with elaborate festivities. During the 1840s, the market lost its economic importance, but it continued to be major folk festival. The annual Martnan currently has space at the market square and in Munkegata between Market and Bispegata. The product range is much influenced by sausages, clothing, leather, various ornaments and many types of cuisine and drinks. Martnan was in 1902 in danger of being closed down as editor Hakon Loken spearheaded an attack on it. He believed that Martnan was only a forum for crudeness, drunkenness and filth and that it therefore should be abolished. This did not happen and the traditional market still attract both shoppers and the public.»
Text quoted from Trondheim byleksikon written by Terje T. Bratberg.
Here you can see pictures from Martnan from approximately 1900 to 1964. Photo credit: Schrøderarkivet / Sverresborg