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Top Rated Attractions in Oslo

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Vigeland Park

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.

Akershus Fortress

This striking waterside fortress was originally conceived as an opulent royal residence, but later fortified for military needs. The magnificent Akershus Fortress was originally built in the 1290s to guard Oslo's vulnerable eastern waterfront against invaders while accommodating the royal family of Norway. Over the years it has performed crucial roles like operating as the country's primary military base and seat of the government with distinction; however these days it is mainly used for hosting important official functions. Some of the fortress' most popular attractions include Akershus Castle church, the armory door and the royal mausoleum where King Haakon VII and Olav V were buried alongside Queen Maud and Märtha.

Oslo Cathedral

Many of the cathedral's contents date back to 1697, the year the building was consecrated. Alexis de Chateauneuf, the architect of the Trefoldighetskirke, restored the cathedral between 1849 and 1850, and further work was done on the structure from 1948 to 1950. The cathedral is located close to Stortorget in the center of Oslo. King Harald and Queen Sonja were married here, as were Crown Prince Haakon Magus and Mette-Marit. The cathedral is also used for concerts and the crypt house exhibitions. Admission is free.

Royal Palace and Gardens

A symbol of Norwegian opulence, the Slottet og Slottsparken or the Royal Palace and its imperial gardens have been the centerpiece of Oslo's sweeping cityscape since 1849. Constructed in the Neoclassical style, the lavishly-decorated palace has been the primary residence of Norwegian monarchs. Designed by celebrated Norwegian architect Hans Linstow, the palace features a grandiose facade with Corinthian columns. A magnificent statue of a horse-mounted King Charles III stands high on a pedestal on the square in front of the palace, completing the regal setting. The annual National Day parade in Oslo, that passes the Royal Palace on its way is one of the few times when the royal family makes a public appearance to greet the proud Norwegians on the happy occasion.

Storting

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.

Båtservice Sightseeing

Båtservice Sightseeing organizes fantastic sightseeing excursions by boat and coach. You can do anything from a mini-cruise on the fjord (50 minutes) to all-day combination tours by boat and coach, covering most of Oslo's attractions and landmarks. There is a tour for everyone! All tours depart from Pier 3 in front of the Town Hall. The season goes from May to September. The price varies depending on the tour. See their website for further details on times and prices, or call for a brochure.

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