Visit the Norsk Folkemuseum
The Norsk Folkemuseum is an open air museum of rural and urban Norway from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. It shows how people lived in Norway for the past five hundred years in various parts of the country. The buildings you can see there all represent various regions and different time periods.
13th century Stave Church and farmer’s living room
A true gem is definitely the Gol Stave Church dating from the 1200s. Just look below to have a glimpse at the church’s rich wood carvings and beautiful interior.
There is also a pretty modern section where you can see what the daily life was like for a well-to-do farmer in the ‘50s. The museum provides also exhibitions and runs a variety of research projects documenting the country’s rich cultural history.
I especially loved all the houses that were built in such a way that the upper part was much bigger than the lower. I was reminded of the childhood fairy tale of a Baba Yaga witch living in a house on a chicken foot 🙂
You can enter some of the houses to see what people used to live like – see their beds, tables or cooking fires. What a beautiful way to let your imagination fill in what the history provides. I loved how even the simplest daily items like benches or beds were decorated with carvings to make the surrounding more beautiful. Isn’t it the most human thing? Where ever we live, rich or poor, apartment or a cave – we try to make our homes beautiful.
Culturally-rich Bygdøy Peninsula
When I visited it was still before the main tourist season and I have heard that normally there is much more going on: people dressed in traditional garb presenting various tasks or running workshops. Unfortunately – I missed that.
It was the first time in my life that I saw roofs covered with soil and grass. I thought it was a thing of Norway’s past – but then I saw it many more times on houses still in use and even obviously new ones! It looks beautiful but is also quite practical.
I was in Oslo for just two days – but one of them I fully spent on the Bygdøy peninsula. And believe me – there was plenty to do for almost a whole day!
I visited the Folkemuseum, the Vikingskipshuset (The Viking Ship Museum) and Frammuseet (The Polar Ship Fram Museum). From those three I liked the first two the most. But who knows? If I wasn’t so tired by the time I got to the Frammuseet, maybe I would have liked it more 😉
I was lucky the weather was unnaturally warm and sunny for late April in Oslo, so site seeing an open air museum was just the thing to do.
I really loved walking around the place, as everything was very well described and I could read all on a particular building’s history or style. The houses look so real, you don’t feel like in a museum… Well, they are real, just moved but they look like they have been always been standing there!
I will not bore you with too much info… you can find it all here. I would rather convince you to visit the place through the photography I’ve taken there. I’m sure they will speak more clearly than any words!
Visiting the Museums on a budget
Just a practical tip: I bought the OsloPass for 24h and had bus, ferry and museum entry for free. I took bus no. 30 to get there, but returned by a regular ferry which gave me stunning views toward the modern and famous Aker Brygge as well as to the Akershus Festning – a great place to spend your time around the sunset.
Views from the ferry:
So – did I convince you?
Check out my other posts about traveling in Norway:
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