Outdoor Sculptures in Oslo

One of the lovely surprises of Oslo was the apparently never ending array of outdoor sculptures which adorned the city. All shapes and sizes could be seen from the great and good to the common man and woman.  The Royal Palace, as expected has its fair share of statues.  First up is the obligatory king on his horse in full military regalia. This though is followed by a gentler statue of Maud, the English princess who became the first Queen of the newly independent Norway in 1905.P1060463 P1060467Away from the Royal Palace most of the other statues celebrate the lives of ordinary people who did extraordinary things.  Here are four lovely examples. The first one shows Gunnar Sønsteby as a young man with his bicycle. He is watching the German troops as they occupy Oslo. After this event Sønsteby decided to join the growing resistance movement and he is now regarded as a hero of that struggle against the Nazis. The following two photos show the two sides of a sculpture by the waterfront. This commemorates the actions of the Pelle group, a communist led sabotage group from the 2nd World War.  The final photo in this group is of the war memorial to Norway’s sailors. It is located on the Bygdøy peninsula next to the Fram and Maritime museums.P1060478 P1060498P1060501P1060611Other statues celebrate what might be termed the beautiful and the outrageous. Here for example is a very tender statue of an embracing couple, followed by a rather frightening Bacchus. P1060454Not all the statues and sculptures are of people of course. We came across a few abstract sculptures during our visit. Here are a couple and as befits a city by the sea, both are in the water. The first is a thank you from the Vietnamese boat refugees and their families for the help they received from the people of Norway. The other is a strange looking structure which juts out of the water beside the new Opera house. It is called She Lies, and is a monumental sculpture built out of stainless steel and glass panels that measure approximately 12 x 17 x 16 m. The piece is permanently installed and floats amidst the fjord on the water. P1060605P1060839No post on sculptures in Oslo would be complete without a mention of the Vigeland Park, which is the world’s largest sculpture park made by a single artist. This amazing park features over 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron, all by Gustav Vigeland.  The park was mainly completed between 1939 and 1949. The sculptures are simply breathtaking and show a rich variety of children, women and men in different ages, some alone, others in groups. Below is a selection of some of my favourites.P1060533P1060544P1060536 P1060538 P1060540 P1060543

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