Karl Johans Gate and District, Oslo
Oslo's main shopping and business street is Karl Johans Gate (partly pedestrianized), which runs northwest from the Central Station (Sentralbanestasjonen) to the Royal Palace. Southeast of the station, at Oslogate 13, is the Ladegård, a Baroque building (1725) which was restored between 1957 and 1968.
Transit: Central Station.
Half way between Oslo's train station and Eidsvollplass, to the right, is the old market square, Stortorget, originally laid out in the late 17th century. In the center of the square can be seen a statue of Christian IV (by C. L. Jacobsen, 1874).
On the southeast side of Oslo's Stortorget is the Cathedral (consecrated 1697). The tower was rebuilt in 1849-50 by Alexis de Châteauneuf, a Hamburg architect, and the interior was renovated in 1948-50 under the direction of Arnstein Arneberg. The main doorway has bronze doors decorated with reliefs (1938). Notable features of the interior are the ceiling paintings (by H. L. Mohr, 1936-50; "God the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost"), the Baroque pulpit and altar (ca. 1699), the organ-case (1727) and the stained glass by Emanuel Vigeland (1910-16). In the octagonal Chapel of the Redeemer (built on to the Cathedral in 1949-50) is a sculpture in silver by Arrigo Minerbi, "The Last Supper".
Address: Stortorget 1, N-0155 Oslo, Norway
Opening hours: 10am-4pm
Useful tips: Sunday 11am and 7:30 p.m. Mass. Tuesday noon prayers. Wednesday noon organ recital and Mass, 3 p.m. Nicodemus' hour. Thursday 6:30 p.m. Vespers. Friday noon morning prayers.
Transit: Bus, tram: Stortorvet. Underground: Jernbanetorget.
The busiest part of Oslo's Karl Johansgate begins to the south of Stortorget. To the west is Egertorget, an important junction point on the city's subway system (T-Banen).
Beyond the intersection of Oslo's Karl Johansgate with Akersgate, on the left, is the Parliament Building (Storting; 1861-66). In the Chamber is a large picture by O. Wergeland of the constitutional assembly at Eidsvoll in 1814.
In Eidsvollplass, adjoining the Parliament Building, is a statue (by Bergslien) of the poet Henrik Wergland (1808-45). A short distance away lies the Studenterlund, originally a park with a bandstand, now the haunt of street musicians, with stalls selling a variety of wares.
J. H. Wessel Monument
To the south of the Norwegian Parliament Building, in Akersgate, can be seen a monument to the poet J. H. Wessel (1742-85). Opposite it is the Freemasons' Lodge.
Northwest of Eidsvollplass is the National Theater, a neo-Classical building designed by H. Bull (1895-99). The interior is partly in art nouveau style, with fine ceiling paintings in the auditorium. In front of the building are bronze statues (by S. Sinding) of Ibsen and Bjørnson; to the rear is a statue of the actor J. Brun. Northeast of the National Theater, in the gardens on Karl Johansgate, is a statue of the playwright Ludvig Holberg, a native of Bergen, who created the Danish-Norwegian comedy.
A little way south of the National Theater in Oslo, on Fridtjof Nansensplass, stands the monumental Town Hall (Rådhus; 1931-50), one of the city's great landmarks. This massive four-square building, built of concrete faced with brick, was designed by Arnstein Arneberg and Magnus Poulson. It has two towers; in the one to the east is a carillon of 38 bells. The facade is decorated with sculpture and reliefs. The interior has rich fresco decoration by Henrik Sørensen, Per Krohg, Edvard Munch and other artists.Behind the Town Hall is the landing-stage from which boats leave for Bygdøy and various islands in the fjord and also for cruises.
Opening hours: 9am-3:30pm; Sun: 12pm-3pm
Entrance fee in NOK: Adult kr2.00
Useful tips: Tours are at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. and 2 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Guides: Guided tour included with admission.
From here, majestic cruise ships depart for distant ports of call. While docked, these mighty ships are a spectacle for all to see.
Southwest of the landing-stage in Oslo, on the west side of the Pipervika dock, is the Aker Brygge, a shopping and cultural center in the former Aker shipyard (restored), with numerous restaurants. Near here is the old West Station, in which the Norwegian Information Center was established in 1991. Art and other exhibitions are also held here.
Northeast of the National Theater in Oslo, on the other side of Karl Johansgate, is the University, founded by Frederick VI of Denmark in 1811 and built between 1839 and 1854. The new University buildings are in the northwestern district of Blindern, and the old building is now occupied mainly by the Faculty of Law. In front of the central block are statues of the legal scholar A. M. Schweigaard (1808-70; on left) and the historian P. A. Munch (1810-63). The Great Hall (1911) has paintings by Edvard Munch (1926).
To the east of Oslo's Old University, in Kristian IVs Gate, is the Norske Teater, Oslo's largest theater, famed for its musicals and productions of modern works by Norwegian and foreign playwrights.
Map of Oslo Attractions