Founded in 997, Trondheim is one of Norway's oldest cities, situated midway between southern and northern Norway. Dominated by the massive Nidaros Cathedral, Trondheim is often referred to as the Royal City. Traditionally, the kings of Norway have been crowned in the cathedral, which is considered a National Shrine. Straddling both sides of the River Nid, on Trondheimfjord, much of the town was rebuilt after a disastrous fire in 1681 destroyed the majority of its original wooden structures. Some of the oldest buildings, dating to the 1700s, have survived along the river, while the wide streets of the city center boast picturesque and brightly painted houses.