There is a fantastic museum in Vigelandsparken park. It depicts the history of Oslo from the early times until present times. I was overwhelmed, I am such a museum nut. I could have stayed there for hours, but had to rush through it as my partner was waiting for me out in the sunshine. So I will be back and have a detailed look at everything. I just felt like I had stepped into another world.
The first object on display is a skull of a Norwegian woman, which is thought to be ca 1.000 years old. It struck me that it said on a label that if she were able to greet you she would say: "Góðan dag" - meaning Good day. But this is the Icelandic way of saying Good day. So I really felt my Norwegian roots just by the very entrance of the museum. And going further and further into the museum made me feel closer and closer to the Norwegians - although I doubt they feel the same closeness to Iceland. But my ancestors were the ones who left Norway in ca 870 and they brought with them the traditions from Norway and kept them longer than their relatives on the mainland, f.ex. our language is the old Norwegian language, but Norwegians cannot understand us and we can only understand them as we have to learn Danish at school.
I especially liked the rooms which depict different eras. There was f.ex. a traditional Norwegian home and then a typical Indian home opposite one another... showing the beginning of the "indvandrere" period.
There was also a display on the development of the kitchen, which to me was so interesting. And another display on how the city developed from 1948-2008.
There was a special theme exhibition on "Svart katt in Kristiania" or A black cat in Kristiania (the former name of Oslo). I was not familiar with this concept though.
The Theatermuseum has moved to Bymuseet from the old Parliament building down-town and it is also fantastic. I was alone at the museum, but too law-abiting to take photos anyway, and I was just having a blast at the Theater museum, I highly recommend going there.
Unfortunately photos are not allowed at the museum :(
Opening hours: Tuesday-Sunday from 11:00-16:00.
The beautiful Frogner mansion, where the museum is located, dates back to before 1700 and in 1774-1787 the Royal minister, Bernt Sverdrup, owned the mansion and constructed a beautiful baroque garden (not to forget that I LOVE baroque). Later another owner built the pavilion by Kirkeveien street in 1837 - and this is the oldest part of Frognerparken park.
Fun Fact to Know and Tell: the Norwegian word "by" means town farmstead or village - and they very kindly introduced the word to the uncivilized peoples of Britain when they brought trade and commerce there in the 9th and 10th centuries C.E. That's why you find English place names (especially up North) with the "by" suffix: Whitby, Granby, Grimsby. etc.
I always enjoy a good city museum. The exhibits at the Oslo City Museum were mostly in Norwegian, but it was no difficulty to figure out what was going on. Losts of interesting artefacts here. I especially enjoyed the maps and the rooms that recreated the feel of Oslo at different times in its past, for people of different social classes. One interesting thing that I learned was that the original location of the town was on the eastern side of the Oslofjord, and it was only moved to its present site - at the "bottom" of the fjord, so to speak - after a devastating fire in the 17th century. This is the main reason why Oslo as it exists today presents no real sense of a medieval past - it doesn't have one!
The Bymuseum is located in an 18th century manor house on the southern end of Frognerparken, the main entrance being a little bit back from Frognerveien.
Currently this museum is closed for renovations but is housed in an 18th century manor house. It covers the city’s growth in the last 1000yrs. The buildings of the museum make up sections of a farm used in the Middle Ages and is on the site of an older Viking timber manor house.
The Oslo City Museum is housed in an 18th Century manor in Frognerparken and provides a great view of Oslo through the centuries.