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Title page of the saga of Olav Kyrre in Heimskringla.

Olaf III of Norway (c. 1050 – 1093), also known as Olaf Haraldsson (son of Harald) and Olav Kyrre (the peaceful or silent), was king of Norway from 1067 until his death in 1093 in Håkeby. During his reign the nation experienced a rare extended period of peace.

A son of King Harald Hardråde and Tora Torbergsdatter, Olaf took part in the Viking invasion of England in 1066 and may have fought in the Battle of Stamford Bridge. After his father fell in the battle, which marked the end of the Viking era, Olaf shared the kingdom with his brother Magnus II (Magnus Haraldsson) from 1067 until Magnus' death in 1069, when Olaf became sole ruler of Norway.

Olaf made peace with William the Conqueror of England. He also made peace with Svend Estridsen of Denmark, who held a claim to the throne, and married his daughter Ingerid. The marriage did not produce any children. However, his successor Magnus III, nicknamed Magnus Berrføtt (Magnus Barefoot), was a bastard son of Olaf's.

Olaf is said to have to founded the city of Bergen in 1070. An abstract equestrian statue of Olaf Kyrre was placed in Bergen in 1998.

Olaf was the first Norwegian king who learned how to read and write. He strengthened the power of the king and instituted the system of guilds in Norway. Also, the Norwegian law (Gulatingsloven) was probably put in writing for the first time during his reign. Olaf improved relations with the pope and founded dioceses and churches in Bergen and Nidaros (Trondheim). He was buried at Nidaros.

Around 1225, Snorri Sturluson wrote a saga about Olaf in the Heimskringla, a history of the kings of Norway.


See also

External links

Olaf Kyrre
Cadet branch of the Fairhair dynasty
Born: c. 1050 Died: 1093
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Magnus Haraldsson
King of Norway
with Magnus Haraldsson (1067–1069)
Succeeded by
Haakon Magnusson
& Magnus Barefoot


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