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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Founded by Norwegian monarch Harald Hardrada in 1049, Norway's capital city is wrapped around the craggy terrain of the Oslofjord at its foreground, while its backdrop is shrouded in lush forested hills. Between these natural landscapes, Oslo has flourished to represent an environmentally aware nation, a rapidly developing European metropolis that wholeheartedly supports a green atmosphere. A row of breathtaking modern architecture crowds its stellar skyline, while a rich cultural spirit holds you in perpetual awe. Oslo is also home to an impressive line-up of illustrious museums that house everything from regional and international art, and riveting accounts of Nordic history and culture. The annually held Oslo Jazz Festival and a repertoire of world-class concert halls and theaters indicate its passionate inclination toward the arts. One of Norway's most livable cities with a commendably low crime rate, Oslo offers its residents a safe haven in which to live and thrive.
One of the most important municipal buildings in the Norwegian capital, the Oslo Town Hall can be spotted standing next to the iconic Akershus Fortress on the famous Rådhusplassen that overlooks Oslo's picturesque harbor and waterfront. Its soaring twin towers, measuring 216 feet (66 meters) and 206 feet (63 meters), make it one of the more unique edifices in the city. Completed in 1950, the building was designed by the renowned Norwegian architects Magnus Poulsson and Arnstein Arneberg, and built primarily using red bricks that give it a distinctive hue. Some of the building's main attractions include Henrick Sorensen's wall decoration, the astronomical clock, and the north side entrance. The city hall has had the privilege of hosting the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize ceremony every year since 1990.
Nestled in the central part of Oslo city, Palace Park is also known as Royal Palace Park. The park envelops the magnificent Royal Palace and was built in the 1820s. Hans Linstow, the palace architect, also designed the mesmerizing Palace Park. Over 2000 trees had been planted and most of it still remain intact. One of the most arresting features of Palace Park is The Royal Palace. Norwegian royalty's formal residence, the palace is currently occupied by Herald V. During summers, the palace as well as the park can be explored through guided tours.