Vigeland Park is the world's largest sculpture park dedicated to the work of a single artist, and an ode to one man's obsession with the human form. The park displays over 200 sculptures fashioned from granite, bronze and wrought iron by the Norwegian artist, Gustav Vigeland, created over a period of 20 years from 1924 to 1943. In fact, the park itself was designed by the famed sculptor and is actually a mammoth installation in Frogner Park. Vigeland's work varies from depictions of humans engaged in everyday tasks, to more symbolic and abstract works like The Monolith, a 14.12-meter (46.33-foot) high sculpture composed of 121 human figures intended to represent the human desire to reach out to the divine. Other notable sculptures include The Wheel of Life and The Fountain. Although each is a masterpiece in its own right, the interplay with the layout and architecture of the park creates a whole that is more amazing than the sum of its parts. Today, Vigeland Park is one of Oslo's most popular attractions, visited by over one million tourists each year.
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.
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 with great knowledge about marine exploration.
Sognsvann Lake, and its surrounding countryside, is one of the most popular choices for a city-dweller's day out, both in summer and winter. During the hottest months, the lake is excellent for swimming and sun-bathing, and when the lake freezes over later in the year, it becomes a huge, natural ice rink, popular with skaters of all ages. Sognsvann is the terminus for the Sognsvann branch of the underground, so it is very easy to get to, whether you come from the city center or from Majorstuen. Marked trails take you straight into the woods, with a variety of alternatives for short and long walks. In the winter, the same paths, now snow-covered, are used for cross-country skiing.
Bygdy is a peninsula packed with leisure activities for everyone. Many of the city's museums are situated here, and you can easily spend the whole day visiting them. The Vikingskiphuset are a must. There are also great beaches, which are excellent for swimming and sun-bathing. You could see the King's farm, or visit a small castle used as a summer residence by a previous king. Alternatively, take a pleasant stroll among the many magnificent houses of this affluent residential area (home to former prime minister Gro Harlem Brundtland). The best way to get there in the summer is by ferry from the pier in front of the Town Hall. Bus number 30 will get you there all year round.
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 wrecks and archaeological 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.
This is Oslo's main street, a pedestrian area leading from the central station to the palace. Visitors can watch the world go by at one of the street's numerous watering holes or simply follow the crowds down the road, past street vendors and entertainers, past the parliament, national theatre, Grand Hotel and the university. With hundreds of different shops, the street is also a Mecca for shopaholics. The park between the parliament and national theater is turned into an ice-rink in the winter.
Three attractions share the same house. Edvard Munch, the painter, was born at Pilestredet 29 and lived here as a child. The mural of The Scream, based on Edvard Munch's painting and recreated here in black and white, is very impressive and was made by architecture students when the buildings were threatened by demolition. This is one of Oslo's few murals and should be seen. Close by is the Blitz building, which offers punk concerts and various political activities, as well as tasty waffles and cheap vegetarian food.
Eidsvolls plass is located in the capital city of Oslo, Norway. It is also known as the National Mall of Norway owing to a large number of national symbols that are found here. It was a marshy land earlier, but with the number of buildings that developed around this place, it was converted into a park. In the year 1956, a water pool was added to the park. This pool is used for ice skating during the winter season and has become a major attraction here.
The Parliament building houses the Norwegian Storting (Parliament) and dates back to 1866. The magnificent building was designed by the renowned architect Emil Victor Langlet. The facade is a beautiful blend of styles, mainly inspired from Italy and France. Visitors can enroll themselves for a guided tour of the entire structure. Private tours for groups can also be arranged upon request. The tours last approximately one hour. Admission is free.
Sehesteds plass is located in the city of Oslo, Norway. It has derived it's name after the Norwegian Governor, Hannibal Sehested. It was designed to look like Vendome Place that is situated in Paris. The square displays a beautiful water fountain. The square is flanked by two major publication houses' headquarters.
Wessels Plass is located in the capital city of Oslo, Norway. The square originally included a knoll and a house. The Parliament building was constructed in the year 1866. The Knoll was destroyed in the year 1880 and a park was built on the square. The square has been given it's name after the local poet Johan Wessel.