The adventures of Kurt, Sarah, Ethan, Reid & Leah

Ye Olde Oslo

[We are off to Bergen for a few days and will post again when we are back, til then, some Norwegian history …]

There are a plethora of museums throughout Oslo, some expected ones: Museum of Natural History, Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Science & Technology  and some that have peaked our interest: International Museum of Children’s Art, Kon-Tiki Museum, and the Viking Ship Museum. We have our fair share of cultural attractions to visit while here.

But this past weekend was beautiful and we wanted to spend Sunday outside, so we opted for the Norsk Folkemusum. We took a lunch over, rode the ferry that was covered by our subway passes, and were able to qualify for a family rate, making the whole day quite affordable.

The Norsk Folkemuseum is Norway’s largest museum of cultural history. With collections from around the country, the museum shows how people lived in Norway from 1500 to the present. The more than 150 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 one of five medieval buildings at the museum. The contemporary history is presented through exhibitions and documentation projects focusing especially on children, youth and the multicultural population.

The museum did not disappoint. We all found it very well-organized and easy to navigate and a good use of our day.  My mom, who almost annually dragged us to Williamsburg despite ardent protests from 4 kids, would love this place.

Lots of pictures below of the grounds made into smaller galleries to make it easier to view.

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Stave Church
The Stave Church was certainly one of the highlights. To get it you had to walk up a fairly steep grade which made reaching the top all the more magical. It was built in the 12th century and in 1881 moved and reerected on this site for preservation making this, and the 5 buildings that came with it, the first ‘open-air’ museum in the world. We think it is all pine as it had this wonderful smell throughout. Our pics inside give some idea as to what it looks like, but for a really detailed 360, look here.

 

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Kids games
At one point we came upon an area with several kids activities straight from Little House on the Prairie. Ethan failed at the stilts at first but mastered the hoops while Reid was the opposite. Leah was right in the mix.

 

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Dentistry
This room was fascinating with all sorts of gadgetry and utensils and great human anatomy ephemera. It was divided into 4 sections, each displaying  the practice of dentistry during a specific time period. Since the dentist was ‘in’ (an actor), all of the chains to the displays were down and we could get up close and personal with the rooms content. We can be thankful we live in an era of modern dentistry. (extra pics included for Dr. Lupenheimen)

 

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Apartment Building
One of the more interesting exhibits was an old apartment building that had been transformed to display Norwegian apartment living through the past 150 years. Each floor contained several rooms, displaying the decor of a different time period up to a Pakistani living room circa 2002. Several apartments had era specific music playing. One apartment even had an old working television featuring a show from the period. Each of these rooms was behind plexi, but still quite accessible. Leah wanted so much to play with the dolls and the dollhouse, “Mommy, when we live here can I go in this room and play with those dolls?”

 

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Gallery of Domestic Technology
In the basement of the apartment building was an homage to all sorts of domestic technologies through the years. Collections of TVs, phones, radiators, fridges, etc … a great use of this basement space.

 

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Banking
There was also a bank in Enerhaugen, which was the replica of a working class suburb from the early 1900’s.

 

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Older Buildings
Scattered throughout the property were various farm and homestead structures, some dating back to medieval period.

 

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Artisans
This was probably the area we were most disappointed with. We had read that there would be artisans practicing silversmithing, weaving, and pottery. And there were areas for these and the artisans were there, however they spent more time managing the shop full of work for sale than they did any demonstrating. We left this area pretty quick as little fingers in shops of handmade work don’t often go very well together.

 

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Misc
There was quite a bit more that we saw including a farmyard and barn,  a grocery where the kids got handmade lollipops per the style in 1900, and a musical performance put on by local children dressed in period clothing from which Leah could not tear herself away. “Mommy, when I live here I want to dance on that stage.”

 

 

 

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