Frogner Park.  in Oslo, Norway

Frogner Park

in Oslo, Norway

Frognerparken Photo © Dora Hon

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Frogner Park

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The
	brothers - Frogner Park
The brothers - Frogner Park. Photo by Forest Runner
Frogner Park is a public park in Oslo, made famous as the host of Vigeland Sculpture Arrangement, the world's greatest sculpture arrangement made by one artist: Gustav Vigeland (Wikipedia
	Article). It is sometimes referred to as the ‘Vigeland Park’, though the name belongs to the artist, not the park. The arrangement is famous because of its avant-garde style and the statues representing the author's take on life.

The sculptures, numbering 212, are spread along an 850-meters-long axis and split into five areas: The Main Gate, the Bridge with The Children’s Playground, The Fountain, The Monolith and The Wheel of Life. The Monolith is the most recognizable piece, being 14 meters high and made from a single stone block. On it there are carved 121 human figures, and at the top there is an urn containing Vigeland's ashes.

It was conceived in 1928, and it took Vigeland 10 months. The block itself, weighing several hundred tons, was brought to the park in 1927 and was erected a year later, while construction began in 1929 and took no less than 14 years. It represents man's aspiration towards the divine.
The most famous statue is the Angry Boy, unique because of its particular expressiveness. With the exception of the author's self-portrait, all the statues are nudes.
Another well-known sculpture is The Fountain, cast in bronze and adorned with children and skeletons held by giant trees. It represents the cycle of life and death.

Frognerparken, autumn - Frogner
	Park
Frognerparken, autumn - Frogner Park. Photo by MagneG


Arms crossed - Frogner
	Park
Arms crossed - Frogner Park. Photo by Forest Runner
At the end of the 850-meters-long axis there is a sundial, built in 1930 (not to be mistaken with the 1830 sundial outside the Manor House), and the Wheel of Life, another famous sculpture, erected in 1934. It represents four men and a child held together by arms and legs in a circle, and symbolizes eternity, much like many other sculptures in the park and it the same sense: the cycle of life, death and birth.

The Main Gate of the park is forged in wrought iron and granite and it was designed in 1926 and built in 1942. It provides access to the eastern side of the park, leading to the Fountain, the Monolith, and finally to the Wheel of Life.

While the park is known mostly for its statues, it also hosts the largest collection of roses in Norway; over 14,000 plants of 150 different species.

History

The park originally belonged to Hans Jacob Scheel (Wikipedia Article), the owner of Frogner Manor. During the 18th century he had a garden built in the Baroque style, later extended by the successive owners of the estate - Bernt Anker, who was the richest man in Norway at the time, and Benjamin Wegner. The latter had additional buildings erected, such as the Coachman House at the main gate, and the pavilion, which was a wedding gift for his wife. This was a classical octagonal temple with a colonnade, with a ceiling replica of the Pantheon. In 1836, Wegner transformed it into a park which was acquired by the Oslo City Hall in 1896. As development continued, the architect, Henkik Bull, designed the buildings in the park, for the Jubilee Exhibition in 1914. In 1921, Vigeland's House was demolished by the City Hall to make place for a library. As a compensation for the new house he received from the state, Vigeland donated his works to the city, which were subsequently placed within the park.

The building of the manor has become the Oslo City Museum. Outside the manor, there is a one hundred year old café (Frogner Park Cafe, opened in 1918), and the Manor House Restaurant, which dates back to 1960.

Visiting

The Sculpture Arrangement is mostly visited in summer, but if you want to get more artistic pictures and a little bit of space, you should visit it during winter, especially at dusk. There is no entrance fee, and the visit takes about two hours at a low pace.

How to Get There

The best way to reach the Frogner Park is with tram 12. You can take it from the city center to the Frogner station and it will leave you at the southwestern side of the park. The tram comes every 10 minutes during daytime and every 20 minutes at night. Alternatives include bus 20 from the city center to Vigelandsparken, and taxis but they are rather expensive.

What Else to Visit

There is also a Vigeland Museum, located in the old studio of the artist, in the vicinity of Oslo Municipal Museum. It contains the plaster models of the arrangement in Frogner Park and various other sculptures. Other attractions worth seeing in Oslo include the Oslo Opera House, located in the city center on the harbor pier, the Royal Palace and the Askerhus Fortress in the same area, the Viking Ships Museum for history lovers, and the Oslo Winter Park for sports amateurs.

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Author: aelumag. Last updated: Apr 05, 2015

Pictures of Frogner Park

Frogner Park - Frogner Park
Frogner Park - Photo by psychopyko

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