Trondheim, Norway's third largest city, is also one of the country's oldest. Founded as a trading post by the Vikings in 997 AD, it has the distinction of having been Norway's capital until 1217. Built on a peninsula and linked to the mainland at its west end, Trondheim is the main town of the county of Sør-Trøndelag in central Norway. Popular as both a cultural and shopping destination, the city's downtown core is scattered with quaint specialty shops as well as larger retailers around the pedestrian-only Nordre and Olav Tryggvasons gates (or streets). Like much of Norway - at least the northernmost regions - Trondheim experiences no darkness from mid-May to mid-July, and while it benefits from a mainly mild maritime climate, good skiing can be had in the surrounding areas.