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Tag Archives: Oslo city hall

One of our favorite walks while visiting Oslo was along the harbor. Oslo now has a harbor walk that covers about five miles along the harbor.

Generally we started our walk in Sørenga. This is a relatively new area and features many restaurants and cafes. It is probably best know for its saltwater swimming pool featuring a beach, children’s pool and a large recreational area. The areas is open to the public year around.

 

Sørenga is connected to Bjørvika by a floating bridge. The Bjørvika area us undergoing a huge renovation transforming from a container port to an arts center. It is the home of the Oslo Opera House, a new library and a huge housing development.

Munch Museum

Deichman Library

Just across the fjord from the Opera House is a popular location for kayakers although most of those we saw seemed to be practicing how to get back in the kayak.

This was also an area where we notice several floating saunas that could be rented.

 

A short distance down the harbor we found SALT is a nomadic art project with pyramidal constructions called “hesjer”, which are based on traditional coastal construction methods. It appears to be modeled after traditional fish drying racks. It will be in Oslo until 2020. This area also houses the cruise line terminals.

Vippetangen used to be a fish market and now houses a food and entertainment area.

In back of the current commercial seafood market we frequently found fishermen hanging out. I don’t ever recall anyone catching any fish.

Akershus Fortress dominates the eastern side of the harbor. Outside Akershus Fortress cruise ships were normally tied up. One day we noticed a US warship tied up and guards and security all around the area.

Moving westward along the harbor we encountered Police boats, and tour boats before reaching the City Hall and Oslo City Harbor. In this area you will find the ferries that serve the island in the Oslo fjord. It also houses the Noble Peace Center.

Oslo City Hall sits at the head of the harbor. If you ever get a chance it is well worth taking a tour. This area has symbolic significance, as this is where the royal family arrived in spring of 1945, after five years as war refugees in London.

Oslo City Hall

The area also serves as a major transportation hub of the central harbor area.

Ferry Terminal serving the Oslo Fjord.

A street Performer in front of the Noble Peace Center

Oslo Peace Center

Sad to say but this passes as the Oslo public fish market.

Aker brygge was the first are development in the old dock along the harbor. It is part of the city center and is noted for its pier and eateries. In the summer most everyone is eating outdoors. Ferries also depart for the Oslo Fjord. The area also houses the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art. It offers great views of Akershus Fortress and pleasure boat docks.

Tjuvholmen is a neighborhood located on a peninsula sticking out from Aker Brygge into the Oslo Fjord. It is one of the first areas of harbor development and a very expensive area. In addition to housing it includes trendy shops, a bathing area and a sculpture park.

Continuing west on the harbor Promenade we find Filipstad. Currently Filipstad houses cruise lines, industrial facilities and a recreational boat harbor. This is the next area of the Oslo waterfront that is slated for development. The goal is to make the harbor more accessible for the citizens of Oslo and visitors.

As you reach the end of the harbor walk the area is next to a major highway and is more open. There is a park with exercise equipment and a skateboard facility. A number of adults were using it of the day we walked by.

It is possible to continue walking past the end of the Harbor Walk all the way to Bygdøy where some of the major museums are located.

 

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We have visited Oslo a number of times and on each visit we walked past the Oslo City Hall (locally referred to as the brown cheese). Our only stop was to use the restrooms on the harbor side. It never occurred to us that city hall might be worth a visit. One day I happened to read that there were free tours of city hall and we were going to be in the area later in the day so we decided to take the tour. After all city hall mentioned in Jo Nesbo’s books about Harry Hole and I’m a big fan.

More photos from Oslo City Hall can be found on my website.

The strange thing is the back of city hall faces the harbor area. We had just assumed that the back was the main entrance. Much too our surprise the main entry faces the city. One theory is that the builder had the plans upside down when they started construction and when they realized the error it was too late. Another is that the harbor was not the beautiful place it is today and they didn’t want the building facing the harbor.

On the side of the building there is a beautiful flower garden.

The facade is dominated by a beautiful clock. On both sides of the steps there are beautiful pieces of art and at the bottom of the steps a great fountain. Turns out all of this was a portent of what was to come.

Once inside the great hall we were surrounded by frescoes on all of the walls. Each telling a different story about the history of Oslo.

The second floor contains still more beautiful artwork depicting the history and culture of Norway.

This is the view of the harbor from the second floor on the back of the building.

This a free tour that should be on your list when visiting Oslo.

 

We met up with Linda’s cousin, Tonje, and toured sights around Oslo. First we took a tram up to Ekeberg Sculpture Park. On the way to the park we encountered a group of children out for a stroll.

The Sculpture Park was great place with some interesting sculptures some of them rather graphic.

 

The spring wildflowers were out in the park. They seem to be some of the same flowers I had been photographing before I left for Norway. Maybe that is why the Norwegians came to the Midwest.

The views from the Sculpture Park were very good. If we had a better day they would have been spectacular.

We walked down from the park and past Oslo Hospital. Just past the hospital we walked past the Ruins of Clemenskirken.

As we entered the harbor area there were construction cranes everywhere. The harbor area is undergoing a major revitalization. The goal is to create an environment where people can live and work in the area as well as a place that tourists will want to visit. In addition to the new buildings that are going up the city is removing parking ramps. The goal is to discourage people from bringing their car into the city. The major roads through the city are being placed underground.

The next stop was the Oslo Opera House. For some reason Scandinavians love large glass building for their opera houses. It is a great place for outdoor concerts although I would think it would be a little warm during the day.

A renovated office building with walkways, shops and restaurants nearby.

A sculpture in the harbor next to the Opera House.

We walked through part of the Akershus fortress complex. It is still a military base but the public is welcome. There are museums and war memorials as well as a prison and castle on the grounds.

There was a large cruise ship next to the fort. I had to take a panorama in order to get the full ship in the photo.

Oslo city hall which is often referred to as the “brown cheeses” due to its blocky exterior (Norwegian geitost or goat cheese is brown and blocky).

We took at ferry out to one of the many islands in Oslo fjord. This is Hovedoya (Main Island). The Cistercian monastery, Hovedøya Abbey, was built on the island, and opened on 18 May 1147. These are some of the ruins.

Cannons on Hovedoya Island with Oslo in the background.


Lindøya island Idyllic island in the Oslo Fjord with around 300 summer cottages in red, yellow and green. I suspect they are quite pricy since they are just a short ferry ride from Oslo.

On the ferry ride back to Oslo we had a great view of a cruise ship in the harbor as well as some nice views of the harbor.

When we returned to Oslo Tonje headed home to make our dinner and we headed back to our Airbnb. Before parting Tonje suggested an app that allowed us to access public transportation schedules. Wow did it work great. Wherever we were in the city we could indicate where we wanted to go and it listed all of the transportation options, where to connect with them and their schedule. With one exception, we only had to wait 5 minutes to catch a ride to our destination. Good public transportation is great!

In the evening we took the train out to their Tonje’s condo. Really nice. Their condo was at the end of the train line. All we had to do was walk up to the Plaza and their place was right there.