Good news for St. Olav pilgrims starting their journey in Selånger: a new pilgrim centre is being built at the place where Viking king Olav started his journey towards Norway almost 1.000 years ago. We spoke with deacon Helene Westerlind.
“Over the past thirty years we have been busy building two new churches and a restaurant near the main church in the Selånger parish. But something was lacking. After receiving a lot of suggestions and questions about constructing a pilgrim centre over the past years, we finally decided to start the process of building one in Selånger. Selånger is the place where it all begins: the start of your journey along St. Olavsleden. We would like to welcome everyone starting this journey with warmth and a joyful spirit at our new centre. We will answer all questions pilgrims have about the journey, about accommodation and everything they can meet on their way to Trondheim.
The centre itself is situated in an old barn of about 1200 square meters, built in 1907 for 27 cows and 4 horses. It will host a front desk, a conference area, a café, and a beautiful medieval garden. On the first floor there will be exhibitions about Olav, the pilgrim way of life, and the history and culture of Selånger.
Without a clear start and end of St. Olavsleden, there’s not really a path. Without a path, there’s no clear start and end. We think that all of us who live and work along St. Olavsleden belong together and need each other. We embrace the future of this beautiful path, with all the people living alongside it and traveling on it.”
A part of the centre will open on the 17th of June 2018, but the big opening is in 2021, when Sundsvall celebrates its 400th birthday.