04 July 2017

A Long Weekend in Oslo: Norsk Folkemuseum

I have been looking forward to visiting the Norsk Folkemuseum, also known as the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History. It's located in the Bygd√ły Peninsula, and is an open air museum about almost every aspect of Norwegian culture. This I must say, was one of the more educational places I have visited during our short stay.

We got there first by taking a ferry: there is a bus but it takes a roundabout way of getting there, so we opted for the ferry that takes people from the harbor near the center, to the edge of the peninsula. And from there, we just walked for about 5 minutes and then we found this place. We made a beeline to the outdoor exhibits, saving the indoor exhibits for later.

The pictures above show you the Gol Stave Church. It is one of the highlights of the museum, as well as one of the oldest things they have on exhibit. The church is a stave church, or a wooden church that has a distinct architectural style, mostly common in northern Europe, primarily in Norway. This church was actually built in 1157-1216, and is therefore quite historical and precious. It is a small building, with a small hall inside for worship. The woodwork is definitely something that I found amazing.

Another very cool part of the museum is their collection of log houses and other wooden houses from various parts of Norway. There are plenty of items here, and the museum does a good job of having a broad selection of these large items. At some level, they all look the same. But if you look closely, there are differences, and I suppose if you are an anthropologist and you specialize in historical Norwegian dwellings, then you'll be able to see the minute differences that these wooden houses display.

The museum also has a substantial indoor exhibit. I especially liked the reconstructed apartment buildings from Oslo, depicting several generations of Norwegians who lived in the same building across the ages. The period pieces were very accurate in detail, and so if you're someone who is interested in seeing how furniture, living quarters, and general lifestyles have evolved during the years, then this is something for you.

Additionally, there are religious objects displayed in a wing, and again, you can see how religious depictions have changed over time.

Overall, like I said in the outset, this was a very comprehensive museum on Norwegian cultural history. We spent the whole morning and a few more hours in the afternoon just learning about Norwegian culture here. I definitely recommend it.

Oh, you can bring a picnic, by the way. I have seen plenty of people pack out their lunches during lunch time, and that seems to be a good idea that we didn't think about.


  1. The buildings are awesome! That alone is worth a visit, I guess. It feels completely lost in the woods!

    1. Zhu,

      I know! It is so different from the rest of the traditional houses I have seen in other parts of Europe!

  2. I was planning to visit norway this christmas and stay at my friend's house. my kids want to see snow. Unfortunately, my friend is back for good :)). Anyway, greeting from Jakarta, i know your blog drom Zhu's

    1. Ceritasikiky,

      Ah, Norway is indeed a good place to see snow, plus the northern lights if you're interested in that one too!