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.
Gustav 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.
“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”.
Of 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.
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