The Norsk Folkemuseum (The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History) in Oslo shows how people lived in Norway from 1500 to the present.The museum has collections from around the country and presents a wide varietyof experiences.
The 160 historic buildings in the Open-Air Museum represent different regions in Norway,different time periods, as well as differences between town and country, and social classes. The Gol Stave Church dating from 1200 is a major attraction for visitors to Oslo and is one of five medieval buildings at the museum. Permanent indoor exhibitions include folk art, folk costumes, Sami culture, church artand toys. There are also a variety of temporary exhibitions and audienceprograms all year round.
Norsk Folkemuseum is part of the Norsk Folkemuseum foundation, including also Bogstad Manor, Bygdø Royal Manor, Eidsvoll 1814, The Ibsen Museum and the Norwegian Maritime Museum.
The Open-air Museum
Norsk Folkemuseum has one of the largest Open-Air Museums in Europe, and includes the world’s first Open-Air Museum. The Open-air Museum’s “Rural District”, with its authentic buildings and artifacts, features traditional life in the Norwegian valleys, fjords and coastal regions. The "Old Town" features traditional life in Norwegian towns. Some of the highlights in the Open-air Museum are:
Gol StaveChurch was built around 1200, and it is one of less than 30 remaining stavechurches in Norway.
The church was built during the age of Catholicism in Norway. After the Reformation in1537, it was altered over time in order to accommodate the Lutheran liturgy.
The term“stave church” refers to the staves, or posts, that support the roof. Thechurch was moved from Gol in Hallingdal to Bygdøy where it underwent extensiverestoration. Borgund Stave Church served as a model for the restoration. Thehand carved ornaments on the south and west portals has plant and dragonmotifs. The runic inscriptions on the choir wall presumably date back to thetime when the church was originally built. The paintings on the choir and apsewalls date back to 1652.
The Old Town
The Old Town has buildings from Christiania (now Oslo) and suburbs as well as other Norwegian towns. King Christian IV founded Christiania in 1624 after the old city of Oslo burned to the ground.
The newtown, Christiania, was planned according to a grid system. As a fireprecaution, all buildings had to be built in brick or as timber framed brickstructured. Norsk Folkemuseum’s “Old Town” has preserved some of the best andarchitecturally most pleasing structures from Christiania, as well as morehumble houses, including parts of the working class suburb of Enerhaugen.
The Setesdal Farmstead
The farmstead from Setesdal has two households. It has two “årestuer” (a dwelling with open fire and no chimney) in medieval style, and two lofts from the 17th and 18th century. One is a three stories log structure. These lofts served as the guestrooms, and were often the most attractive buildings. Before industrialization, Setesdal was fairly isolated. Elements of medieval style were commonly used in folk art and architecture as late as the 19th century.
The Apartment Building from Wessels gate 15
Theapartment building from Wessels gate 15 was built in 1865. In 1999 thethree-story brick building was rebuilt in the Old Town of the NorskFolkemuseum, with support from OBOS. Today it shows six apartments presentinginterior styles of different periods of the 20th and 21st century.
Norsk Folkemuseum also presents comprehensive indoor exhibits.
One of the permanent exhibits displays folk dress from different regions of Norway. The exhibit on folk art features the rich heritage of Norwegian wood carving anddecorative painting. Renowned folk artists are represented. The Sami exhibit provides a glimpse into the life and culture of the Sami people. Visitors may also enter the interior of Norway’s first Parliament Building (The Storting).
Inaddition, visitors will find alternating exhibits on current themes.
NorskFolkemuseum offers a varied and entertaining program throughout the year. This includes family activities, folk dancing, and guided tours. Hosts in folk dress welcome visitors during the summer season. One of the highlights is the annual Christmas Market in December.
Norsk Folkemuseum was founded in 1894. The period was marked by strong national fervor and a desire for a more independent position in the union with Sweden. Thenew museum was permanently established in 1898 on the Bygdøy peninsula near Oslo, where the first comprehensive exhibit was opened in 1901. The World’s first open-air museum established in 1881, King Oscar II’s Collection, was incorporated in 1907. Thus Gol Stave Church and four other buildings were added to Norsk Folkemuseum.
Anambitious plan for further expansion was successfully completed in 1934, addingnew exhibit and storage areas. The museum played a central role as a researchinstitution and issued its own publications. During the 1950s and -60s thistrend continued, and the research branched out to include many academic fields.
Efforts toimprove the museum's economy in the 1990s were successful and gave way to newresearch projects, new exhibits and new audience attractions. The focus ofresearch shifted to center on the 20th century, adding 20th century buildingsand artifacts. Documentation projects conserved knowledge about thecontemporary society, focusing especially on children, youth and themulticultural population of Norway.
Norway underwent a process of consolidating museums during the first decades of the 21Century. In this regard, Norsk Folkemuseum merged with Bogstad Manor, BygdøRoyal Manor, Eidsvoll 1814, The Ibsen Museum and the Norwegian Maritime Museum formingthe Norsk Folkemuseum foundation.
Based on a solid foundation of research and audience development, Norsk Folkemuseum is continuously upgrading its collections and exhibits, and thus defining its position among the great museums of Europe.
P.O. Box 720 Skøyen
Phone: (+47) 22 12 37 00
How to get there
NorskFolkemuseum is located at Bygdøy peninsula, ca. 4 kilometers west of downtown Oslo. Other museums are also located here: The Viking Ship Museum, The Kon-TikiMuseum, and The Fram Museum.
Use bus no.30 to Bygdøy from downtown Oslo. Or take theferry from the Town Hall during the summer season: April - October.
By car: Highway E18 westbound from downtown, – Exit ”Bygdøy” approx. 4 kilometers fromdowntown.
Adults NOK 130
Reduced fee* NOK 100
Children NOK 40
Children under 6: Free admission
*Groups over 15 persons and students.
** (Grand) Parents with children