Today I spent eight hours seeing some of the sights in Oslo. Among the European capitals, Oslo certainly cannot compare to Paris or London, but I found it to be a very pleasant city.
The weather today was quite variable... quickly changing from clouds to sun and with brief spells of rain. All in all, however, it was not a bad day for sightseeing.
My hotel is conveniently located a block away from the plaza facing the railway station.
The plaza is the starting point for Oslo's main downtown avenue and shopping street, Karl Johans Gate. Much of it is pedestrianized.
A short distance down the avenue is the Oslo's Lutheran Cathedral. It was built in 1697 on the site of an earlier church.
I found the carving on the main altar to be interesting. In this depiction the main course at the Last Supper was meat (roast lamb?)
Some of the 19th century architecture along Karl Johans Gate.
As you continue along the avenue, you see that it ends at the Royal Palace.
The Royal Palace, built in the 1830s is the home of King Harald V and his wife Queen Sonja.
One of the palace guards...
From Karl Johans Gate I walked a short distance toward the waterfront to Oslo's City Hall, a brick building constructed in the 1930s.
The building's main hall is where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded each year. The hall is decorated with murals by the nation's leading artists.
The murals extol the virtues of Norwegian traditions, and depict the people working for a better society.
One long mural deals with the Nazi invasion during World War II, the Norwegian resistance and the eventual liberation of the country.
I went back to the hotel for a short while when it began to rain. I checked the forecast, and the sun was supposed to come out later that afternoon. So after some lunch I took a tram to one of the city's most important attractions, Frogner Park, also known as the Vigeland Sculpture Park.
The park contains over 200 statues by Norway's most famous sculptor, Gustav Vigeland. He worked on this park between 1924 and his death in 1943. The statues are all nude figures. Vigeland did not give names to his sculptures and he never explained their meanings, but it is thought that they represent the cycle of life with all its joy and sorrow.
When you enter the park you first come to a 300 foot long bridge adorned with 58 bronze statues.
After passing through a rose garden you then come to a fountain supported by six male figures and surrounded by twenty tree of life sculptures which represent the seasons of life.
From there you climb several terraces to reach the Monolith, which is 46 feet high, carved from a single block of granite, and has 121 human figures.
Surrounding the monolith are 36 granite sculptures.
Vigeland Park is a unique and incredibly impressive sight that is not to be missed by anyone visiting Oslo!