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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.
One place where you cannot miss going to whilst in Oslo is Bygdø Kongsgard. This royal house with spectacular architecture dates back to the over a thousand years. Originally the property of the Cistercian monastery on Hovedøya, it was later purchased by King Haakon V of Norway and subsequently passed through numerous royal hands. The royal and guided tours are held every 20 minutes and lasts for approximately an hour, for the public in the summers.
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.
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.