Despite being founded in 1040, Oslo, Norway does not feel like an old city. Over the years fire, plundering by foreign troops and progress has created a delightful mix of old and new architecture in this proud European capital city. As one of Europe’s first wireless cities and one of the greenest, it should comes as no surprise Oslo is a also paragon of architectural diversity.
Oslo Cathedral (Oslo Domkirke) is an comforting 17th century Dutch Baroque style church in the middle of a modern city. Acting as gentle grandfather to the citizens of Norway, this simple structure built in 1694 proudly serves as the main church for the Church of Norway Diocese of Oslo.
The Royal Palace, home to HM King Harald V and HM Queen Sonja, is young by other royal palace standards. Built in the 1840s it sits atop a pristine park at the end of the main thoroughfare.
The boxy brick Oslo City Hall building situated on the edge of the water commanding a similar view as the medieval Akershus Fortress is a great bridge between the old and new. On its own, the building is rather ho-hum, once inside the murals make the building come alive. and provide a splendid back drop for the The Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony each year.
Oslo Operahouse, opened in April 2008, depicts a beautiful icy glacier plopped into the Oslo by award winning architectural firm Snøhetta. Walk on it (the roof), in it, around it; every view is a celebration of the perfection one can find in nature.
The Barcode development is a group of super modern skyscrapers which is greater due to the sum of its parts. Each building has their own distinct personality which highlights the linear in a unique way yet when viewed together (lightly) mimics a barcode.
Even the unmistakable 2011 redesigned Holmenkollen Ski Jump is a modern architectural wonder. Up close one can fully appreciate the contemporary design of the massive steel structure.
Modernism is a way of life in Oslo. One look at the dramatic skyline hugging the picturesque Oslofijord you know you are in a land of forward thinkers. The current surge in Contemporary Norwegian architecture looks to coexist peacefully. Oslo has found a way to embrace the best of modern architectural design while celebrating the past.