The Coastal Path in Norway – Vigelandsparken Part I: The Bridge

Norway!  What a country!  We flew into Oslo’s Gardermoen International Airport.  We got the quick, clean FlyToget train into the city.  From there we walked over to our hotel in a blistering 30 degree heat, wondering if we were in the right country.  We dumped our bags, walked back to the station and got a T-bane straight over to Vigelandsparken.

VigelandGustav Vigeland (1869-1943) is Norway’s most famous sculptor.  Born to a farming family in the south of the country, he apprenticed in Norway, before training further in Copenhagen, Paris and Italy.  The Vigelandsparken in Frognerparken lies to the northwest of the City Centre.  It contains a massive display of his work – 212 pieces in total along an 850 metre axis.  Its central theme is the circle of life.

Immediately upon walking through the park gates, a monolith in the distance beckons you, but there is a lot to see on the way.  The first section of the display is the Bridge, lined on both sides with bronze sculptures.  The figures are of men, women and children of all ages.

The BridgeI identified with a lot of the sculptures.  As a father of twins I certainly identified with this one:

Bridge SculptureAnd at times I have most certainly felt like this:

Bridge SculptureI wasn’t the only one who identified with the sculptures here.  Deb most certainly identified with her doppelgänger.

Bridge Sculpture Deb PosingOh let me try that!

Bridge Sculpture Nic PosingHmmmmmm.  And  there I was thinking my body would look exactly like his…

“Hey kids, your turn!” we yelled, but they were nowhere to be seen.  They had stormed off in embarrassment, disowning us.  The Vigelandsparken is one of the top tourist attractions in the entire country, after all.  There are a lot of people to witness the excruciatingly painful antics of your parents and our kids wanted none of it.

“Oh come on, Ben,” I said, “try this one”.

Angry BoyOf course, there was no way Ben was going to try any of the poses, and particularly not this one.  This was Sinnataggen (the Little Hot-Head or the Angry Boy), supposedly modelled on a child Vigeland had seen in London.  It is one of the most popular sculptures in the park and there were a lot of people admiring it.  In fact we struggled to get close.  We went off instead to admire some of the others.  The depth of feeling in some of those faces was beautiful.

The Bridge MosaicWhen on the Bridge it is not just the sculptures you want to look at.  Wander down to the river below else you might miss the waterfall.

Bridge and WaterfallHave a sit down.  Leave the throngs of tourists on the bridge and take some time out.  Nobody seems to come down here (even in the 30 degree heat).

Gardens by BridgeWe sat down and rested for a while before heading on to the next stage of Vigeland’s passage of life.

Date of Visit:  17 July 2014

The Bridge (copy and paste the co-ordinates into Google Earth):

  • The Bridge:  N 59° 55.560 E 010° 42.235

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1 Response to The Coastal Path in Norway – Vigelandsparken Part I: The Bridge

  1. Pingback: The Coastal Path in Norway – Vigelandsparken Part II: The Fountain | The Coastal Path

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