29 Nov 2008 - Oslo (Norwegian Folk Museum), Norway
Last week was my first visit to Belgium and this week also saw another first with Norway being the target. Oslo in a weekend is challenge especially if it is cold and wet - an energy sapping condition made worse with a soggy map. Despite the inclement weather, much was done but with Oslo having so much to offer, there was inevitably much that was missed and I would have liked to have had a crack at being the latest to steal Edvard Munch's The Scream.
What was taken in though was the Norwegian Folk Museum which is more interesting than it sounds and the Akershus Castle and Fortress amongst other sights.
Oslo - Norwegian Folk Museum I
Norway's largest open air museum and one of Oslo's premier attractions is this, the Norwegian Folk Museum. The museum includes more than 140 buildings, mostly from the 17th and 18th centuries, gathered from around the country, rebuilt and organised according to region of origin.
Oslo - Norwegian Folk Museum II
Paths wind past old barns, elevated stabbur (raised storehouses) and timbered farmhouses with sod roofs sprouting flowers.
Oslo - Norwegian Folk Museum III
Many of the buildings are also date in style from the Medieval era. Each of the timbered buildings has a panel indicating which century it dates from.
Oslo - Norwegian Folk Museum IV
More elevated stores and a fine view of the earthen roofs.
Oslo - Norwegian Folk Museum V
The exhibition hall near the main entrance includes displays on Norwegian folk art, historic toys, national costumes, domestic and farm tools.
Oslo - Norwegian Folk Museum VI
This section is a reproduction of an early 20th century Norwegian town and includes a village shop where a few period type items can be bought.
Oslo - Norwegian Folk Museum VII
In this section of the museum the buildings also have authentic interiors complete with furnishings. Whilst the older style buildings can be entered, these are just empty shells.
Oslo - Akershus Castle and Fortress I
Dominating Oslo's harbour front are the medieval castle and fortress, probably Oslo's architectural highlight. It was originally developed in 1299 but damage and the progression of technology has resulted in modification through the centuries. This is one of two entrances to the fortress.
Oslo - Akershus Castle and Fortress II
The castle inside the fortress was renovated into a Renaissance palace in the 17th century although from the outside it still remains medieval. Miserable dungeons can still be found whilst in the upper floors, sharply contrasting lavish state rooms and banquet halls can be seen. This picture is not one of the castle.
Oslo - Akershus Castle and Fortress III
Looking across the harbour from the walls, the tower on the left houses the Norwegian Resistance Museum covering the dark years of life under German occupation in World War II. This is considered a must see for WWII history enthusiasts.
Oslo - Akershus Castle and Fortress IV
The view from the fortress walls towards the harbour front.
Oslo - Narvisen Outdoor Ice Rink
When it is cold enough you can skate here for free. On this particular there was a show with a large number of skaters going through a long choreographed routine. I have never seen live skating before and I was taken with the grace of the skaters and the ease that they made skating look.
Oslo - Norwegian Parliament, the stortinget
Built in 1866, Norway's parliament building is right in the city centre, opposite the Narvisen Outdoor Ice Rink and the Royal Palace. Guided tours are available but time constraints prevented such a tour from being taken.
Oslo - Royal Palace or Det kongelige slott
The Royal Palace was built in the first half of the 19th century as the Norwegian residence of Norwegian and Swedish king Charles III (Carl Johan, Charles XIV of Sweden. 1905 was the year of the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden) and is used as the official residence of the present Norwegian Monarch.
Oslo - Royal Palace, Changing of the Guard
The changing of the guard ceremony is an exhibition of parade ground drill. Though good, I expected more and do not believe it to be any more impressive than drill that I've seen in TA units of the British Army.