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Best Local History & Culture in Oslo

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Museum of Cultural History

The Museum of Cultural History focuses on the period from the last Ice Age (10,000 years ago) until the end of the Middle Ages. The earliest period is covered by archaeological findings. Lots of objects from the Viking age are also exhibited; the weapons, ornaments and different tools give an impression of the Vikings' days of prosperity. This museum is home to the Historical Museum, and it also manages the Vikings Ship Museum, both reflect Norway's glorious past. During the year there are also two or three temporary exhibitions.

Oslo, Norway
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Nobel Peace Center

Nestled in Oslo's southeastern frontier that overlooks the azure waters of the Pipervika, the Nobel Peace Center seeks to create a lasting legacy for the prize laureates beyond ceremonial award function. Inaugurated by the king of Norway Harald V in the year 2005, the center occupies a historic train station with a beautiful facade. Interactive exhibits and innovative use of technology characterize the center's temporary exhibitions persuading visitors to contemplate on a slew of topics related to ideas of war and peace. At the heart of the center is The Nobel Field, a striking permanent installation that is a beautiful tribute to all the Nobel laureates and their stories. Other prominent highlights include the Magical Book, which offers an intriguing insight into the life of Alfred Nobel, and The Peace Cloud, an installation that pays tribute to all the laureates thus far.

Oslo, Norway
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Oslo City Museum

Located in Frognerparken by the Vigeland sculpture park, this museum takes you through Oslo's 1000 years of history. As capital of Norway, though, its history is much shorter. You will find models of the old city (when it was called Christiania and Norway was part of Denmark) and of Akershus Fortress. The museum has its own multimedia show and also arranges guided tours. Get a glimpse into Norway's past at the Oslo City Museum.

Oslo, Norway
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Fram Museum

Fritjof Nansen, Roald Amundsen and Otto Sverdrup all sailed this 100-year-old ship (called the Fram) on their daring Arctic expeditions. Covered by a uniquely-shaped building on the Bygdy peninsula, the ship lends weight to the museum's focus on Norway's crucial role in the history of Arctic exploration. Visitors can now visit the ship's interior and see all its original contents and, best of all, can be sure to leave the ship without feeling seasick!

Oslo, Norway
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Kon-Tiki Museum

Kon-Tiki Museum focuses on explorer and scientist Thor Heyerdahl's amazing expeditions all over the world. In addition to the original Kon-Tiki raft, the museum contains vessels like Ra II, a model of the Tigris and countless relics from Heyerdahl's expeditions. A cinema hall here shows films about Heyerdahl's scientific research; there is also a multimedia program. Various exhibitions at the museum include an underwater exhibition featuring a giant whale-shark, a cave tour and a display of rare kinds of boats.

Oslo, Norway
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Norwegian Maritime Museum

The Norwegian Maritime Museum is located near the Kon-Tiki Museet and Frammuseet at Bygdynes. The permanent exhibition features a host of nautical objects and models as well as everyday Norwegian boats, while the video center shows the documentary film Norway from Coast to Sea several times a day. Its a great place to learn about Norway's maritime history and coastal culture. Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen's polar ship, the Gja, is moored at the quay and can be visited during the summer. You also get excellent souvenirs such as salute cannons, pirate games,mugs with useful knots and more at the museum's shop and dine at the cafe after the museum excursion.

Oslo, Norway
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Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

Norsk Folkemuseum, the open-air museum that has been giving visitors a peek into a life-sized past for over a century, contains more than 150 authentic buildings from different regions. The buildings date from as far back as medieval times, including the 13th-century Gol Stave Church. The permanent exhibition features sections on handicrafts, traditional clothing and the culture of the Sami people. A souvenir shop, cafe and restaurant are located on the grounds.

Oslo, Norway
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Viking Ship Museum

The brainchild of Professor Gustafson, the Viking Ship Museum or as the locals call it Vikingskipshuset was established after a considerable number of ancient ship wreckages and archeological findings were discovered at the legendary Nordic burial sites of Tune, Gokstad, Oseberg, and Borre during the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. The museum's talking point is definitively the magnificent Oseberg Ship, which was excavated in its entirety, making it extremely rare. Two more Viking ship remains apart from Oseberg form the focal point of the museum. Other things to look out for include art and artifacts from the Viking age, most of which were found as part of the wreckage. An on-site shop offers attractive souvenirs and books.

Oslo, Norway
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