Vigeland Park is world-famous, but did you know that the Norwegian capital is home to several more sculpture parks?
Scandinavia probably isn't the first place you'd think of when it comes to outdoor art, but Oslo is fast becoming one of the world's hotspots for the form.
From the tiger statue outside the Central Station to the Christian IV's glove fountain on Rådhusgata, Oslo is full of curious sculptures.
Read more: Fun facts about Oslo
While discovering these artworks is one of the great joys of wandering the streets of Oslo, the city's sculpture parks are great destinations. Let's start with the big one!
One of the most famous tourist attractions in all of Norway, the Vigeland installation at the heart of Frogner Park draws incredible numbers of people to the Norwegian capital every year.
More than 200 of Gustav Vigeland’s sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron are on display in the park, which Vigeland himself designed. It's essentially a showcase of his life's work.
The centrepiece of the park is the famous monolith, made from a single piece of granite. It took three masons 14 years to make, based on a clay model made by Vigeland in his Frogner studio.
The striking monument stands 46 feet tall, and depicts more than one hundred human figures climbing over each other, desperate to reach the top.
To reach the park, you can take the T-Bane to Majorstuen and walk from there in about 10-minutes, or take the tram from the city centre to the park gates. Alternatively, you can walk in 25-30 minutes from the Royal Palace through the leafy suburbs.
Royal Palace Gardens
Many tourists flock to Oslo's Royal Palace but not all of them explore the gardens. They've always been one of the prettiest parts of the city but now the park is home to some intriguing sculptures it's even more worthy of a visit.
There is a strong fairytale theme, as evidenced by these photos! Officially known as the Princess Ingrid Alexandra sculpture park, it's made up of art for and by children.
The princess herself opened the park, created to celebrate the 25th anniversary of King Harald’s reign, in 2016. More than 1,000 guests were invited, many of them children. The sculptures were a gift to the Royal Family from the Sparebankstiftelsen DNB.
Princess Ingrid Alexandra is the eldest child of Crown Prince Haakon and Crown Princess Mette-Marit. She is currently second in line to succeed her grandfather, King Harald V
International art is the focus of Ekeberg Park yet it draws a mostly local crowd given its location up away from the downtown area.
Despite this, it's easy to reach on the tram that stops right outside the park, and the grounds are always open. Thanks to this lofty location, the views across the city are well worth the trip alone.
The 31 sculptures spread over a 25.5-acre wooded area is a collaboration between the City of Oslo and a foundation owned by art collector Christian Ringnes.
Perhaps the best known piece is the Venus Milo aux tiroirs by the Spanish surrealist Salvador Dalí, while one of the most controversial is the Deep Cream Maradona by Sarah Lucas, which the park describes as “part male, part maypole”. Judge for yourself:
The park is also home to a museum of history and nature, housed inside a Swiss chalet style villa. There's also a small cafe, and an art and design shop with a good selection of art books.
Designed by world-renowned architect Renzo Piano, this small sculpture park is located in the grounds of the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art at Tjuvholmen.
The diverse range of sculptures include works by the likes of Louise Bourgeois, Antony Gormley, and Anish Kapoor.
I wouldn't say it's worth a special trip, but it's a nice spot for a wander if you're visiting the museum or you find yourself in the Aker Brygge area with nothing to do. It's also a great place for people and boat watching.
There are many more sculptures in and around the city, but this should give you enough to get started on your art expedition around Norway's capital!
If you're planning a trip to Oslo, don't miss our guide to the city's best museums and our comprehensive travel guide.
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4 thoughts on “The Sculpture Parks of Oslo”
I loved soooooo muchhh this text. I will soon visit Norway and try to visit Oslo. Thanks.
What about doing an article on the WWII bunkers? I’ve photos of one I came across on a walk at Flam. The Tourist Information Centre didn’t seem to know about it. It appeared undisturbed with a chimney on the concrete centre table. I was told it is possible to take a WWII bunker tour in Norway.
There are not a lot of bunkers that you can access in Oslo proper. I know that there are a few and there is one that was turned into a church near Nordstrand. Most bunkers here have locks on them so not much to see except the entrance. There is a bunker/museum near Solli in Oslo but I never see it as being open its under a school and connects to a hotel. It was the headquarters of the General in charge of the troops in Norway.There are plenty of bunkers in other parts of Norway and coastal guns which were part of the Atlantic wall. There is a plane museum near the airport which has some German planes, weapons and vehicles
When we were in Oslo we admired a sculpture of an older lady sitting on a bench waiting for the bus. When I returned to Oslo I couldn’t find the sculpture to take a photo. Does anyone have an idea how I might get info on. The sculpture?