A scenic tour of the Nor­we­gian cap­i­tal

Marisa Can­non wan­ders the Nor­we­gian cap­i­tal, tak­ing in stun­ning ar­chi­tec­ture, his­toric ho­tels and sculp­ture-strewn parks

Business Traveller - - LIFESTYLE CONTENTS -

1 OSLO OPERA HOUSE Perched on the edge of Oslo’s wa­ter­front, the opera house is one of the city’s most strik­ing land­marks, and a good place to start a tour of the Nor­we­gian cap­i­tal. A fortress of gleam­ing white Car­rara mar­ble and pol­ished glass, its harsh an­gles and geo­met­ric shape pay homage to the coun­try’s land­scape, re­sem­bling a craggy, snow-capped moun­tain or an ice­berg float­ing on the Oslo Fjord.

Built in 2008 by lo­cal ar­chi­tec­tural firm Sno­hetta, a num­ber of the build­ing’s fea­tures were de­signed to en­cour­age pub­lic in­ter­est in the arts, such as the floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows along its flanks, invit­ing you to peer in and watch set and cos­tume pro­duc­tion un­fold. If you have time to spare, sign up to one of the 50-minute guided tours (kr 100/£9.60), or take a packed lunch to the rooftop for views across the wa­ter and sur­round­ing is­lands. Kirsten Flagstads Plass 1; op­er­aen.no/en

2 GRAND HO­TEL OSLO A 15-minute walk west­ward will take you to the Grand ho­tel, the an­nual host of the pres­ti­gious No­bel Peace Prize ban­quet, which has re­cently un­der­gone a ma­jor ren­o­va­tion. Opened in 1874, the prop­erty was a reg­u­lar haunt of play­wright Hen­rik Ib­sen, who was known to dine in its Grand Café ev­ery lunch and din­ner­time.

This is where Oslo-ites go to be seen, ei­ther for lunch in the café or dusk cock­tails at Eight, the chic rooftop bar on the eighth floor. Decked out with smart cush­ioned beds and sul­try art­work, it of­fers fin­ger food, lo­cal beer and a range of rein­vented clas­sic cock­tails, along­side lovely views of the nearby Nor­we­gian Stort­ing par­lia­ment and Na­tional The­atre. Try the “Nor Way” for a twist on the ne­groni, made with aqua­vit

and lo­cal bit­ter di­ges­tif Marka, or the “Gin­ger Club” – an up­date on the Clover Club with rasp­berry liqueur and a rasp­berry spirit, both dis­tilled in Nor­way. Karl Jo­hans Gate 31; grand.no

3 NO­BEL PEACE CEN­TRE A ten-minute stroll to­wards the wa­ter­front will take you to the No­bel Peace Cen­tre. While all other No­bel prizes are awarded in nearby Stock­holm, the Peace Prize cer­e­mony is held in Oslo. A trib­ute to this tra­di­tion is the Peace Cen­tre, which charts the work and lives of for­mer win­ners through a se­ries of com­pelling ex­hibits.

At its heart is the story of the in­cum­bent lau­re­ate Colom­bian pres­i­dent Juan Manuel San­tos, whose land­mark peace deal with Farc armed rebels in 2016 ended a bloody 52-year war. Run­ning un­til Novem­ber 26, the “Hope Over Fear”photography ex­hi­bi­tion shows the re­al­ity of the Colom­bian con­flict, de­pict­ing sol­diers work­ing to clear ar­eas of land­mines, Colom­bian coca pick­ers and Farc mem­bers pre­par­ing to tran­si­tion to nor­mal life. Open Tues-Sun 10am-6pm dur­ing win­ter (daily in sum­mer); kr 100 (£9.60). Bryn­julf Bulls Plass 1; no­bel­peace­cen­ter.org 4 NORSK FOLKEMUSEUM From the pier op­po­site, take a ten-minute ferry ride (th­ese run March to Oc­to­ber) to Byg­doy, on the western edge of the penin­sula. This is one of the city’s more well-heeled neigh­bour­hoods, with wide-set Amer­i­can-style av­enues and grand homes. A five-minute walk from the jetty is the Nor­we­gian Folk Mu­seum. Its in­door and out­door col­lec­tions show how peo­ple lived be­fore the In­dus­trial Rev­o­lu­tion, fea­tur­ing arte­facts from Nor­way’s in­dige­nous Sami peo­ple and re­pro­duc­tions of tra­di­tional 18thand 19th-cen­tury homes, with in­te­ri­ors fur­nished as they would have been at the time.

Ex­hi­bi­tions in­clude “Queer­ing Sapmi”, a photography project about LGBT iden­ti­ties among the Sami, on un­til Oc­to­ber 15. Open week­days 11am-3pm, week­ends 11am-4pm from Septem­ber 15 to May 14 (oth­er­wise daily 10am-6pm); kr 130 (£12.50). Mu­se­umsveien 10; norsk­folke­mu­seum.no

5 VIGELAND PARK Parks are an im­por­tant part of Oslo’s land­scape, and a num­ber fea­ture art in­stal­la­tions by in­ter­na­tional and lo­cal artists. A ten-minute drive from the mu­seum, in the north-east­ern sub­urbs, is one of the most no­table, Vigeland Park, which is the world’s largest sculp­ture park by a sin­gle artist.

Cre­ated by Nor­we­gian sculp­tor Gus­tav Vigeland in the 1940s, the park en­com­passes 32 hectares of land­scaped gar­dens and lakes, strewn with more than 200 gran­ite, bronze and cast-iron sculp­tures of hu­man fig­ures, por­tray­ing dif­fer­ent stages of life. The most ar­rest­ing is a mono­lith of stone-carved bod­ies, knot­ted and clam­ber­ing over one an­other, to­ward the pil­lar’s high­est point. It’s an in­tense, even un­set­tling sight, but it makes for a stun­ning photo. Free en­try; No­bels Gate 32; vigeland.mu­seum.no

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from International

© PressReader. All rights reserved.