Top Oslo Sightseeing tips: Museums at Bygdøy Island

.Fram & Maritime museums in NorwayOslo’s Bygdøy island museums present; The Kon-Tiki Museum showing the legendary expeditions of Thor Heyerdahl; the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History; the Viking Ship Museum; the Norwegian Maritime Museum and the ship Fram, used by Roald Amundsen on his polar expeditions. Bygdøy is one of Norway’s oldest cultural landscapes with a rich history. It has beautiful parks and forests and some of Oslo’s most popular beaches, including the Huk ordinary and nudist beach. Actually a peninsula, its only 20 min bus ride or a quick ferry ride from Oslo’s Warf:
Leaving Bygdøy island by boat
Boat trip from Bygdøy back to Oslo takes about 20 min.

Sightseeing Oslo Fjord in Spring #20Two of our blog friends, Ginnie from Georgia, US and Astrid from the Netherlands, could not make it to the Oslo Blog Gathering in August 2010. So they came in April this year instead, to explore and have a taste of Oslo and Norway; our culture, history, traditions and habits. This post is from their second day of four, exploring Bygdøy and some of the museums.
On the photo to the left you see Ginnie & Astrid photo shooting Fram Museum from the boat trip around the Oslo Fjord we had the day before (click to bigify & enjoy).

The Polar Ship Fram:
Amundsen's Polar Ship Fram #1The Fram Museum tells the story of Norwegian polar expeditions, honouring three great explorers; Fridtjof Nansen, Otto Sverdrup and Roald Amundsen. This Scottish-Norwegian-built vessel is the strongest wooden ship ever built and has been immaculately preserved, both inside and out.
It was launched in 1892 and was built by the famous ship builder, Colin Archer; a ship that would withstand the rough ice conditions on its way to the North Pole. It was built to pop up on the ice when the waters froze in instead of being crushed by the ice and drift with the ice flow until melting out again.
At the museum you can step into the ship, to visit his cabin, steam engine and discover its history. In the pic you see us on deck steering the boat : -)
Fram (meaning Forward) is the ship that brought Roald Amundsen to Antarctica in 1911 for the race against the English man Scott, to be first to the South Pole – he won! With Fram he also discovered the Northwest Passage and attempt to reach the North Pole. Famous Arctic explorer, humanitarian and Nobel Peace Prize awarded, Fridtjof Nansen also used Fram on his polar voyages.

The Kon-Tiki Museum:
It houses a collection of boats and artefacts from Thor Heyerdahl’s expeditions, an unique example of Norwegians seafaring pioneers. On exhibit is his original Kon-Tiki balsa-wood raft, used on his 1947 expedition from Peru to Polynesia to prove that the Polynesians originally came from South America.
Heierdahl's papyrus boat RA II
Blog friends beside RA II – Read below:

Another is The Ra Expeditions, across the Atlantic Ocean by papyrus boats (1969-1970): You see, during the expedition to Easter Island in 1955-1956, Heyerdahl became interested in reed boats and their seagoing properties. The archaeologists’ excavations had uncovered pictures of large reed boats with masts and sails engraved in the buried statues and painted on flagstones in prehistoric houses. It soon became clear to Heyerdahl that not only balsa wood rafts, but also reed boats, with pre-Incan sailors could have carried the earliest South Americans out over the open Pacific Ocean.

Norway Open Air Museum:
Gol Stave Church in NorwayIf you want total immersion in Norway, the best bet is The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History (Norsk Folkemuseum), giving you Norway in a nutshell, presented with 150 houses and numerous exhibitions from it’s major regions. The open-air display includes wooden barns, stables, storehouses and dwellings from the 17th through 19th centuries.
Here visitors can also go inside an 800-year-old stave church from Gol. These churches, the greatest achievement of medieval Norwegian architecture, are built with wooden planks, called “staves,” in a multi-storeyed design that soars upward. They are decorated with elaborate carvings common to Viking ships and once were a common sight in Norway. In the picture you see Ginnie & Astrid together with Diane and me in front of Gol Stave Church.
I have posted about this museum before, so just click if you want to see more: Lefse and rural farmhouse from Norway and Historical Architectural and Cultural journey in Norway

This is the last post from our Blog Friends Astrid and Ginnie’s adventures and I hope you have enjoyed reading them as well as learned something more about Norway; our history, culture and traditions. Here are the two previous posts:

1: Top Oslo Sightseeing tips: Exploring the Fjord
2: Top Oslo Sightseeing tips: Norway Opera House

Maybe you want to visit and explore by yourself too? Just give me a hint – I gladly guide you around too : -)

Bogstad Manor in Oslo, Norway

My regular readers know I still have some adventures to share from The Norwegian Computer Society’s (NCS) Annual Meeting last weekend. We wanted to give the gathered 80 representatives something historical and cultural to remember, and of course I gladly take you with us to Bogstad Gård (Manor), just 20 minutes outside of Oslo city. Let me start with a long distance view of this majestic farm (click all pics to enlarge!):


The main building (in the centre of the picture) is built between 1760 and 1790 and is an example of the classicists style. There is a lovely park, and a nice forest area right around the corner from the main building, and a bathing area just 80 meters away. I took this picture from the other side of Bogstad Lake.

The history of the estate dates back to 1649 and remained in the family till it was presented as a gift to Bogstad Foundation in 1955. This manor house is in nearly the same condition as when it was built at the end of the 18th century. It was very influenced by French Royal architecture from The Baroque style, so even if it is a wooden building, the finish on the outside is made of concrete and painted in the right colours for the period:
Bogstad Manor Front #1

I took hundreds of pics, so let me give you an idea in this movee:


PhotobucketWe are talking about the house of a wealthy merchant and industrialist Peder Anker, and the count and countess Wedel Jarlsberg. That’s why Bogstad Gård plays a central role in Norwegian history, both as the manor it is and as part of the country’s political history. Mr. Anker, landowner and proprietor, was Norway’ first Prime Minister in Stockholm following the dissolution in 1814 of the Danish-Norwegian union.

The owners were through generations’ part of the political life in Norway, and their beautiful homes are almost intact since the time of 1780. Mr. Anker and his descendants, the Wedel Jarlsberg family, have handed down to prosperity a beautiful home, with its original furniture, silverware, paintings and glassware, a home almost unchanged and today open for public.

Above you see a picture from the Ball Room. The paintings on the wall are imported from France and Italy and carefully arranged on the wall in groups. I take it you agree that pictures say a lot more again, so here you go with a movee of pics from this beautiful house:

We had a very nice, informative and educational guide. One anecdote I especially remember from her guided tour was how they got their education at that time: The travelled for 5 to 7 years with an older relative to important countries and towns like London, Paris and Rome to learn History, Art, Culture and Architecture. That’s what I call Networking! Think of all the important business contacts they made. If you wanted to make business and had a letter signed by Mr. Anker as a recommendation with you while travelling around in the world: All doors would be opened!

Bogstad Gård is more than just a museum; See the animals: Sheep, horses, cows, pigs, rabbits and hens. It also has a nice café serving typical Bogstad-rolls. They have several rooms well suited for meetings and conferences, as well as different kinds of parties. In my last post (scroll down), you can see what a wonderful dinner we had in the loft.

Stay tuned: The next post will be from The Ski Museum and then I can prove the saying: Norwegians are born with skis on their feet!