Visiting Oslo – Norway – Photos

Visiting Oslo - the fortress

Visiting Oslo – the fortress

Visiting Oslo last week was an amazing experience.  It was my first visit to any Scandinavian country and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  I couldn’t decide which photo to use to head up this article but finally decided that this one of the fortress defined Oslo for me.

King Christian's glove

King Christian’s glove

History of Oslo

Oslo was a Viking settlement founded in about 1040.  Through the centuries it was often ruled by other nations but in the 17th century there was a fire that destroyed most of the city.  King Christian of Denmark (who ruled Norway at the time) visited the ruins of the city.  He threw down his glove at the point where now there is a statue, and declared that the new city should be built around that point.

City of beautiful buildings

City of beautiful buildings

He stipulated that the streets should be wider to act as fire breaks and that the buildings should be built of bricks rather than wood, again for fire prevention.  He also slipped in the fact that the city would then be called Christiana after him!

In the photo I think you can just see that the water of the fjord was covered in ice.

City hall Oslo

City hall Oslo

Visiting Oslo – City Hall

The city hall dominates the harbourfront area.  Many statues stand around the building – and on the building itself.

Inside the Peace Hall

Inside the Peace Hall

I hadn’t realised that four of the five Nobel prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, but the Peace Price is awarded in Oslo.  This ceremony takes place in the City Hall – and what a fitting place it is.  Totally gorgeous quilting designs everywhere!

Summer house outside Oslo

Summer house outside Oslo

Oslo Fjord

We took a boat trip up the fjord – giving lovely views of both the city and the surrounding areas.  We saw many, many summer houses – the one in the photo has been restored recently – what a grand design for a summer house.  Personally I can’t imagine those waters ever being warm enough to swim in, but apparently it happens.

Vigeland Park

Vigeland Park

Statues in Oslo

Oslo city is full of statues.  There are new statues to see around every corner throughout the city as well as two parks devoted to statues and sculptures.

Vigeland Park is the largest sculpture park in the world devoted to the sculptures of one artist.  Gustav Vigeland died in 1943 and this park contains 200 of his sculptures in many different materials.  Very impressive.  We also found an extremely good and inexpensive restaurant a short distance away from the park.  I had been warned that Oslo is a very expensive city and I’d certainly agree with that.

Bronze tiger

Bronze tiger

This tiger seemed an odd choice for one of the main squares, but there is a reason.  It is best described on the Visit Oslo website:

The reason Oslo wanted a tiger, is the city’s nickname Tigerstaden (“The Tiger City”), which most Norwegians are familiar with. The name was probably first used by Norwegian poet Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. His poem “Sidste Sang” from 1870 describes a fight between a horse and a tiger; the tiger representing the dangerous city and the horse the safe countryside. 

Since then Oslo has been known as “The Tiger City”, but these days it’s not necessarily meant as a negative thing. “The Tiger City” can be an exciting and happening place rather than dangerous.

A building in the fortress area

A building in the fortress area

Quilting designs in Oslo

I found the city to be a real treasure trove of design ideas for quilts.  On this building the bricks in the central area are placed vertically rather than horizontally.  This made a lovely contrast which I can visualise in a quilt.

Seating in the Peace Hall

Seating in the Peace Hall

Seating in the Peace Hall gave further inspiration – as did the flooring.  In fact there were new ideas everywhere I turned!

Quilt shop in Oslo

Quilt shop in Oslo

I wouldn’t have expected to find a quilt shop just five minutes from our hotel – thanks to Viv for alerting me to this.  It was an interesting shop well stocked with fabrics, patterns and completed quilts.  Most of the fabrics seemed to be Moda – and quite expensive compared with fabrics in the UK.

Opera House Oslo

Opera House Oslo

Opera House

I couldn’t leave you without mentioning the Opera House.

This is an amazing building designed to represent an iceberg.  It’s possible to climb up the outside and see the whole panorama of the city.  We did this but had to step very carefully owing to all the ice.  One slip and you might end up in the water!

Overall a wonderful week with my daughter – somewhere completely different from our normal trips.

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