A friend of mine visited Oslo two years ago and brougt me back a book on Vigeland and his history and the park. Well seeing it in real life was fantastic and he was truly a remarkable sculpture with exciting ideas
It's an unique sculpture park with more than 200 sculptures made by bronze and granite . The great sculptor Gustav Vigeland has made human figures from their childhood to their old age in different poses and scenes of their lives.
It's not only that I visited in January, but it was dark and I'm so sorry I cannot offer you what should be seen in the park. In Oslo, in the winter it gets dark early at 4:00 pm, so please, have it on mind if you visit the country at this time. And one tip - if there is snow, climb the central stairs, where the snow is cleaned, not the side ones. I was so surprised to see how my friends were walking so fast and the other 2 of us were like creeping from the left side. It's really simple and close to the mind but I'm not very logical every time.
The most famous statue on The Bridge is by far the small statue of a screaming boy, called Sinnataggen or The Angry boy. Is is angry as he is not getting attention from his parents.
Everybody seems to know about this statue and there was always a line of people waiting for an opportunity to have their photo taken by this statue. And one can see the bronze colour on one of the hands of the statue, only that hand is shining, seeing that people take the hand of the Angry boy in theirs while they are being photographed. I did the same of course ;)
While I was here in April-June 2012 somebody painted the Angry boy statue red and while it was being cleaned it turned bright pink.
I add some photos of The Angry boy, taken at night and in daylight. I add 2 more photos of statues of happy kids on the opposite side of The Bridge. And one of the statue of the kid next to it, dressed in a T-shirt ;)
Officially named Frognerparken, it acquiored the name by which it is better known through the artist who sculpted all this beautiful artwork: Gustav Vigeland, The centre of the park is the 17 metre high monolith with 121 human figures. Two other suclptures, a sundial and the "Wheel of life" are standing nearby. They are surrounded by 212 sculptures, mostly human figures. They depict a human life from birth to death, including different emotions. Among those, one called "Sinnataggen" or "Angry Boy" is quite popular. Children will love some of the smaller sculptures onto which they can happily climb - it is allowed. Vigelandsparken was designed during the war years and took its present form in 1949. Some of the suclptures however are older, the oldest being from 1907. It is the world's largest collection of sculptures made by a single artist. The park is accessible to visitors day and night and is regarded as Norway's most popular tourist attraction. Close to the park, you will find a museum dedicated to Gustav Vigeland where you can see more of his work.
Vigelandsparken is something else. At first glance it is just another city park where crammed in apartment buildings city folks go to breathe some fresh air and pretend that they are on a trip back to Nature. Once inside the park gates though, it quickly becomes clear that there is much more to that, namely art in the form of sculpture and tonnes of it! It is interesting to figure out where the inspiration for this colossal work came from. In Europe monuments on similar scale have their roots in the glorification of military exploits. Napoleon is probably the first fellow to inspire such pouring of grand mania either on his behalf or against him. Twentieth century with its miserable two world wars certainly had a lot of material too and mausoleum-like complexes have sprung all over the old continent. But Vigelandsparken seems to surpass them all with the sheer number of sculptures and bas-reliefs. Moreover, the theme seems to be rather mundane (if life itself can be mundane) and definitely not epic thus making it even more overwhelming. At the same time there is no boring moment at any point of this naturally staged climactic composition carried away on the wings of thinly veiled sexual desires in incredible variety of situations. If this was indeed a work of one single man, he must be a genius! Wonderful!
By the extraordinary Monolith with its 121 human figures there are many statues. They are so extraordinary that I thought they deserved a special tip - and the rest of the photos I add in a travelogue.
There are statues that stir up a lot of emotion and thinking. There is one statue showing a toothless old woman comforting or praying for a young woman, the only difference in the statues was the age. A mother with kids riding on her back, people fighting, 2 old ladies, old men, happy children, a statue which is a bunch of children in one bundle. The details in the statues are astounding and each one of them deserves to be looked at.
These statues by The Monolith make a good photo opportunity.
Vigelandsparken park (Frognerparken) I would say is the biggest tourist attraction in Oslo and the biggest park in Oslo (320.000 m2). I was flabbergasted when I first visited the park. We stopped by there after midnight and the statues were breathtaking. It was on a still, starry April night and it is a night I will never forget. So the next day I visited it again in the daylight and was speechless again.
Vigelandsparken looks like an outdoor sculpture museum with 214 sculptures all made by Gustav Vigeland, whose name Frognerparken goes by. But of course he had a lot of people helping him with cutting out the statues.
Now The Bridge was the first part of the park to be opened to the public in 1940. It is amazing, with 58 statues on both sides of the bridge all along the 100 meter´s long bridge. Mind you, all the statues are naked and many of them are struggling and angry and can make one exhausted from all these expressions. But the theme of the park is man´s journey through life from birth until death - and all the emotions a man can feel during this life journey.
I add more photos of the statues on The Bridge in a travelogue.
Behind The Monolith is the Sundial with the astrological signs. It was forged in 1930. There is another sundial by the entrance of the OM museum in Vigelandsparken, but this one is much more beautiful and well made.
Up on the hill behind the Sundial is the statue Livshjulet or The Wheel of Life. It was made in 1934. It depicts 4 people and a baby holding on to one another on the wheel of life - representing eternity. And representing the theme of the park, man´s journey through life, from birth until death, with all the emotions that a man can feel during his life journey.
In another end of the park is another statue up on a small hill, The Family.
I add one photo of the statue of Gustav Vigeland, which is located by the main entrance of the park, right in front of the Visitor Centre.
After visiting The Fountain you walk up to the highest point of Vigelandsparken park and up there stands the amazing Monolith - Monolitten in Norwegian, the biggest attraction of Vigelandsparken park. It is breathtaking as well, 14 meters high and cut out of one block of granite.
The Monolith shows 121 naked human figures crawling up to the sky, women, men and small children alike. It is both breathtaking and disturbing at the same time. It is almost too much to take in at one glance. It represents the human desire to get close to God and is ment to show togetherness as the figures are embracing one another. To me it showed more of a desperation and people stepping on one another, but that is just my opinion and twisted mind ;)
It took 3 stone carvers 14 years to finish The Monolith.
Below The Monolith and all around it are dozens of statues (see my next tip).
The Monolith is a must see while visiting Oslo.
After crossing The Bridge you come across another breathtaking sight, The Fountain. It is mezmerising, I could sit by it for hours. It is like sitting by a waterfall.
What I have been told is that The Fountain represents the old belief that giants held up the earth... while the earth was still believed to be flat. The Fountain is a pure masterpiece in my opinion. On each corner of The Fountain are rather frightening statues of large trees with children and skeletons inside, representing that from death comes new life or visa versa? It took Vigeland 41 years to establish this masterpiece.
All around The Fountain are 60 bronze reliefs.
Around The Fountain is a square with a mosaic laid Labyrinth.
In May 2012 there was a heatwave of 30 degrees C and children and teenagers were wading in The Fountain and some were cooling off their dogs there as well.
I add a lot more photos in a travelogue of the bronze reliefs and the trees by The Fountain. I just couldn´t stop taking photos :)
This is such a lovely section of Vigelandsparken park. It is called the Children´s playground, 8 lovely statues of childen at play. It is a "square" on the left hand side of The Bridge down by the lake and all the statues there are of babys in different positions. And in the middle of the square there is a statue of a fetus.
I love sitting there, it is so peaceful somehow. As many of the statues in Vigelandsparken have such emotions and struggle they can wear me out, as it were, but this a part of the park that is just peaceful.
There are 8 children statues so I add the remaining photos in a travelogue.
Also called Frognerparken
Visit this park and see the marvelous sculptures made by Gustav Vigeland. All of the 212 sculptures are modeled by Gustav Vigeland and he also designed the layout of the grounds. The sculptures are divided into 5 main units along an 805 metro long axis: the Main entrance
so what makes this sculpture park so special?
One reason seems to be the great interaction between the sculptures and the park landscape that gives us a special expression in lightening and seasons.
Another reason is that Vigeland's sculptures are all about life itself. We see humans in all ages and in all moods and we identify with them.
A third reason is that almost all sculptures are given its form by one single person.
On the bridge you can also see the popular sculpture of an angry little boy called "Sinnataggen." he's angry with his parents for not giving him enough attention.
Some years ago it actually disappeared for a while when someone cut of the leg on the little boy and stole it.
Monolitten : this is the most amazing sculpture in the Vigeland park. The monolith is 17 m high. It took many years to cut out the 121 people in the sculpture. It's all made from one stone block.
The Vigeland Park is Oslo's largest park and it is home to more than 200 scuptures of the artist Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943).
The sculptures illustrate all aspects of human life and emotions and they are made of granite, bronze or wrought iron.
The Vigeland Park is located a bit northeast of the city centre and can be reached by tram 12 (Vigelandsparken).
This is a must see visit for anyone travelling to Oslo, although our cruise excursion bus seemed to take a while to get to it. This is the world's largest collection of sculptures executed by a single artist, in this case Gustav Vigeland. He specified that it would be okay for people, especially children, to clamber around on his artworks. Just be safe.
The Vigelandspark is one of Norway's most popular places to visit. It is the largest sculpture park made by one single artist in the world. The entrance is free and the park is open to visitors all year.
The sculpture park is Gustav Vigeland's lifework with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron. The Park was mainly completed between 1939 and 1949.