My Walking Tour, with map in hand, took me today from Sentralstasjon (Central Train Station) to walk the full distance of Karl Johan’s Gate, named for the King from 1763-1844. The station is in the East and the Royal Palace is in the West end. It is the most famous street in Oslo and is pedestrianised.
A slight diversion to visit the Oslo Domkirke. This 17th century Cathedral is decorated with outstanding works by Norwegian artists. The pulpit and Royal Box are very elaborate in detail.
Back on the main street there were crowds and much activity with buskers and a music group. Being 21st December would account for the busyness and festive atmosphere.
A Christmas Market (Julemarked) and Ice Skating Rink ran alongside the main thoroughfare.
The Royal Palace (Slottet) holds a commanding position on a hill at the end of the very long Karl Johan’s Gate. This is the residence of the King of Norway and his family. The public is permitted access only to the Park. The Palace Park was laid out between 1838 and 1860 by the first gardener. Originally more than 2,000 trees were planted in 1842. Today the park is characterised by sweeping lawns and trees, but the number of trees has halved due to old age.
Nobel Peace Centre. More than 120 Nobel Peace Prize laureates have been awarded the prize since 1901. The Wallpapers present all the laureates and there are changing exhibitions which focus on themes of war, peace and conflict resolution. The current exhibition is about Food costs and consumption for a Family for one week in a variety of countries around the world with a large photo of each family and their food – most interesting and beautiful photography. The Australian family come from Brisbane and their average food bill is $303 per week -not the most and certainly not the least!
Now to Aker Brygge ( the wharf next to the City Hall). This steel and glass complex is a rebuilt district of shops and restaurants that was developed from Oslo’s old shipbuilding grounds. A harbour is always an interesting place. There is a fine view of Akershus Castle and Fortress. This structure dates from 1300 but was rebuilt in the 17th century.
Kafe Celsius at Christina Torv is Oslo’s oldest residential house (1815) and is in a very small area of Old Town.
Once again the day has been a beautiful one with blue skies and white fluffy clouds and walking a city gives the best introduction.