The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History comprises a huge park containing examples of all the major folk architectural styles from throughout Norway. It’s the oldest open air museum in the world (established as early as 1894) with 158 buildings representing different regions and time periods in the Norwegian history dating back to the 16th century. They are carefully taken apart, transported from their location and put back together again on the site:

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The Farmstead of Numedal; extends from the Hardanger plateau down to the town of Kongsberg.

So the placement of these buildings in relation to each other followed regional patterns. The loft and bur in Telemark were commonly placed side by side:
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The loft has a gallery on three sides on the upper floor and is decorated with carved floral motifs.


Not only are you able to see the houses outside, but inside it’s furnished too:
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Farmhouse from Hallingdal – 1750.


Throughout the year there are activities and exhibits of all kinds, as well as various reconstructed activities of everyday life:

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How about horse &carriage rides through the open-air museum?
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You can participate in spring cleaning or buy authentic lefse, a kind of soft flat bread baked on the open fireplace like it was 200 years ago:
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Inside an old farm house, two girls were demonstrating making the dough and baking and all gets a taste:
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They willingly shared the baking tradition and recipe – Hardanger Lefse: 2 egg, 250 gram sugar, 125 gram melted butter, ½ litre milk, 1 teaspoon of baking powder and 1 kilo flour.
Mix egg, sugar & butter and stir in milk. Mix baking powder with some flour and blend. Mix enough flour so it’s easy to roll. Bake on a griddle or a dry pan:
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The Old Town part of the open air exhibition contains buildings from the 1600s and upwards. There is a Historic Playground and an old fashioned Grocery Store from the beginning of the 1900s as well:

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Colonial – Milk – Delicacy
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This historical museum is enjoyable for the entire family. They plan activities for the children as well, and this was always a popular place when my children were small. They loved to go in and out of these fascinating buildings, they loved to pet the horse drawing the wagon and maybe give him some hay, and they loved the children’s activities. This weekend the theme was fastelaven, or the Sunday before the Easter fast, which the Catholics call Lent. As in Mardi Gras and Carnival, the rich foods like eggs, crème and butter were supposed to be used up so we have a tradition with crème filled sweet rolls. At the museum they had mask making for a kind of Carnival experience which as you can see here the children really enjoyed!
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There is a lot more to explore and learn about Norway, our culture and history: The permanent exhibits include Folk Art, first half of the Parliament, Norwegian Folk Costumes, toys and more. The Norwegian Evening is an event held here in July and August where music, traditional dance, singing and other activities take place. I hope you will join us sometime – maybe at the Oslo Blog Gathering in August??

Update: I shared this adventure with my wife – hop over and read her report too: DianeCA

This post is part of Reiseblogg2010 – A Norwegian Travel Blog Competition.

This post is part of Reiseblogg2010 – A Norwegian Travel Blog Competition.

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