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.
The Vigeland Park is a wonderful experience. I've been there twice. Would I go again? YES!
I have never met anyone who wasn't 'moved' by the the sculptures.
Start at the iron gates on Kirkeveien. If you need to go to the toilet, there are fascilities on the right BUT you must pay!
Then continue down the main path to the bridge. There are statue groups either side along this route. After the bridge you wander through the rose garden to a fountain. It is supposed to be of six giants, like Atlas, holding up the World (?). The water cascading off the disc makes the figures seem to move. Around the fountain there are groups of sculptures of plants/trees which contain various figures of people. They really are worth looking at in detail.
Then go up the steps to the Monolith Plateau which is an enthralling collection of groups of people all around a monolith. Look at the groups carefully: as with most of the other sculptures by Vigeland, they show people interacting, showing emotions and ... well... just being natural.
Do take a camera! Do give yourself enough time to take it all in.
If you are on a cruise tour then I can only suggest that you may prefer to either stay around the group but gain a better experience by wandering away from the guide a little ---you can find out so much by looking and later reading the guidebook--- or don't book a tour ---do your own Oslo tour!
Go as early as you can so that you can avoid the crowds and yet get wonderful light.
I SHALL BE CREATING AN ALBUM OF VIGELAND ON MY TRAVEL PAGE.
I have seen pictures of the Vigeland Park before, but it is really different when you see for yourself the naked statues of Gustav Vigeland in several different intertwining and related poses.
Vigeland (1869-1943) is Norway’s greatest sculptor who struck a deal with the city to put his works on perspectives of all aspects of human life in this beautiful 75 acre garden. His work commenced on 1924 and was completed sometime in 1943, although the work seems to be continuing with restorations because the monolith of 121 figures rocketing up to the sky was covered in “net” when I visited the park. Park workers were also meticulously cleaning the statues ( I think it is a total of 600 figures, including some 192 bronze and granite structures) with water or some kind of solution since the Norwegians really value this park. It is a safe haven which is always open and well-lit at night. During the day when I visited, there were dog lovers walking their beloved companions, and it looked like they all knew each other.
It does have a museum containing exhibits on how Vigeland orchestrated the massive project in Oslo. I have also read that his ashes are placed strategically somewhere in the park.
Definitely, this place which evokes Norwegian art and life and invokes patriotism, is a must-see when visiting Oslo. I decided to walk all the way from the city center, but others may find it more convenient to use the public transpo: Bus #20,#45, and Tram #12 and #19, if using T-Bane: Majorstuen and a 5 minute walk.
Each figure has its own interpretation of human life, but I particularly like the father and child pictures as they reminded me of my own relationship with my kids.
This is "green Oslo". For people interested in sculpture. Main attraction in Frognerparken and in Norway, with one million visitors every year - is Vigelands monumental descpription of humanity's phases of life and relationship to each other: children and adult, young and old but most of all man & woman. Vigeland dedicated 40 years of his life to plan and put the whole project in reality, after fighting his way to bureaucracy. Should tell you this, I couldn't get enough of staring and studying every piece of 58 bronze figures on the bridge that symbolizes human stages of life. Worth seeing!!! Dont' forget to take a pic of "Sinnatagen"
(Angry Little Boy).
If you only have time to do one thing in Oslo you have to take the time to visit this park. It doesn't sound interesting, a park full of statues, but we were amazed and have never been anywhere like it before. It is totally unique. It is situated in Frognerparken, a beautiful park, near Majorstua.
The park contains 212 sculptures built by Norways famous artist Gustav Vigeland using granite, bronze and wrought iron. He designed them all and the massive gate that you enter the park through.
In the center of the park is the Monolith, is 17 meters high and consits of 121 figures. The whole sculpture is carved from one single granite stone. It stands on the highest point of the park, overlooking the rest of the sculptures.
One can't leave Oslo without visiting this lovely park, enhanced by the various sculptures depicting human interaction scenes from real life :)
It was just so peace-inducing & awe-inspiring. There are just so many sculptures, it was fantastic.
Several months after our cruise I was attending our Rose Society meeting and heard a fellow comment that his mini roses were about as big as his tea roses he grew when he lived in New Jersey. Something went off in my head - I thought about the rose garden we saw in front of the Circle of Life monument in Viegeland Garden. I thought about the rose garden we visited in Portland, Oregon. On and on. Suddenly I realized that the roses that we grow in Georgia are huge! The long length of warm days provides a lot of time for roses to grow. I knew we had more blooming time, but I didn't realize most roses are only waist high, not over our heads like we have in our rose garden in Georgia.
We met our guide Erna for our 8 AM tour of Oslo, starting with Viegeland Sculpture Park. There are hundreds of sculptures here, some huge, all designed by Gustav Viegeland, who's work is much beloved today by local people. Sonya Henning practiced her ice skating in this 80 acre park. We walked 1/2 mile to the sculptures after we entered near the beautiful display of purple impatiens.
Viegeland's talent was recognized as a young person and he was sent to Christians University. He shared an apartment with Edward Monk (The Scream) and also shared it with a model. Edward and Gustav had a falling out during this time. Viegeland was commissioned to make a fountain, which got bigger and bigger in plans. In 1914 an exhibition was held in this park to celebrate the Constitution, which is May 7, 1814 - Constitution Day. In 1921 he was given the park to do what he wanted to do. Viegeland's work was about the difficulties of life. He did scales which depict the weight of life. There is a maze in black and white bricks. It's 21/2 miles long - teeny-tiny maze. The story about the monolith "Circle of Life" is that it took 3 men 29 years to chip away at the granite to form statues that go from infancy to Old Age.
The granite was brought Oslo through the Fjord. There are 121 figures in the circle of life.
The Vigeland Sculpture park is one of Oslo's major attractions is located. It has a large number of stone sculptures of the human body in all sorts of poses. The most famous sculptures in the park is the tall human tower called Monolitten (The monolitt) and Sinnataggen (the angry kid). Absolutely recommended!
Access to the park is free.
Vigeland Park is 80 acres big. Since it was a sunny Sunday when we visited many people were out having picnics and just enjoying themselves. This park has always been one of my favorite places in Oslo.
It has a huge center fountain, a Monolith, and over 200 full size sculptures (people) in bronze and stone by Gustav Vigeland who also designed the layout of the park.
The monolith at over 17 metres high was carved from one single granite block. It has an amazing 121 figures carved in it that are said to represent man’s longing for the spiritual and the divine.
The fountain’s theme is the eternal life cycle. Around the fountain are figures that depict the life of man from cradle to grave.
Leading from the main entrance is a 100 metre bridge with 58 figures along both sides. Probably the mot famous is “Angry Boy”, which is also one of my favorites.
Out of all the wonderful sculptures in the park my favorites are on the Monolith Plateau. There are 36 figure groups whose them is the same as the fountains, man’s life cycle, but here man is depicted in different situations and relationships. There are sculptures of a young couple with a child, a young and an old woman, a woman with several children, etc. Really wonderful!
Open all year, 24 hours.
One of the must sees in Oslo. It's an open air park with sculptures created by Gustav Vigeland. This park is so big it's divided into 6 areas: The Main Gate, The Bridge, The Children’s Playground, The Fountain, The Monolith Plateau and the Wheel of Life. The statues portray people engaging in everyday things, like hugging. The white statues, made of granite, are darker on the private parts, butts and breasts because that's where people like placing their hands the most hehe.
During the summer this is a popular picnic place, which I can understand not only from the beauty of the gardens but because Kafé Vigeland isn't exactly cheap.
What more can I say? A visit to Oslo is not complete without Vigiland Park. Certainly 1 of the best park I've ever been to. The statues are very real, and they look stunning in the snow or the warm glow of the sunset. I had my best moments in this park on the last day of 2007. Got up, prepared for the freezing winter, but the glow from the sun through my window pane made me jumped into my jacket, gloves and everything else and out taking pictures all over the city, especially the park.
If you are keen, go to the travelogues on my Oslo intro page.
Vigeland Park worths really a visit, especially considering the Oslo doesn't offer so much. It is very huge and divided into many sectors and shows these incredibile statues with human being's shape. Gustav Vigeland gave his personal interpretation of life, in its different aspects. Sculptures are really original and impressive. Please note that it is allowed to climb them, so your children (if you have some) could find it extremely funny. Of course you can climb them too, altought you are not a child!!! There is no entrance fee and it is really nice to take a walk there.
Vigelandsparken is a unique opportunity to discover the artistic vision and the worldview of the artist, Gustav Vigeland, who spent most of his life planning and executing the park's design and its 227 sculptures. He specified every aspect of the journey he crafts for the visitor. While anyone may visit and wander through the park, for those interested in exploring what Vigeland's artistic intentions were, a local guide is invaluable to point out how the design of the park embodies Vigeland's view of life.
For example, the central main portals of the elaborate formal entrance gate are closed; the visitor must enter through the side subsidiary gates. Vigeland believed the paths of life were seldom straightforward and obvious; the essentials of life could only be reached through struggling through alternatives and misdirections. Similarly, the plaza surrounding the central fountain is a maze, demonstrating the twists, turns, and dead ends of life's journey.
Vigeland's bronzes illustrate the moments in life all humans share. He sculpted only nudes to make his images universal, not bound in time or class by their clothes (see more photos in my travelogue on Vigelandsparken).
The allegorical "trees" surrounding the fountain show the full circle of each human's experience from birth through play, mating, reproduction, and death when the cycle begins again.
The climax of the Vigelandsparken journey is the phallic "Struggle of Life" monolith surrounded by perhaps the most emotional of the sculptures showing the interrelationships that are the center of our humanity. Beyond the final gate is a peace monument.
Vigelandsparken is thrilling and awe-inspiring; the visitor cannot fail to be moved and provoked by Vigeland's depictions of the human experience.
Frognerparken itself is a wonderful green space to play, picnic, and peoplewatch. Vigelandsparken is free and open all the time, so it's a great place to spend time outside the hours that other attractions are open.
Vigeland Park covers an area of about 80 acres. If visiting in the summer it is a good idea to make an early start, not only to avoid the many coach tours which arrive throughout the day but also to be able to see the sculptures before the sun is too high and it gets very hot.
The Park contains 192 sculptures with over 600 figures. They are the work of Gustav Vigeland (1869 - 1943) who modeled them himself in full size with student/pupil artists working as his assistants. The layout of the Park was also designed by Vigeland with architectural symmetry and the use of a natural setting in parkland where fountains play and lush lawns divided by straight avenues are bordered by tall maples.
The sculptures tell the story of human life from conception to death. All the figures are naked and are shown in situations which convey the human condition through everyone of life's stages.
We took a guided tour and benefitted from the vast knowledge of our guide - and from her personal views about Vigeland, the man. She found it difficult to comprehend the tenderness between parent and child seen in so much of his work and his total abandonment of his own family.
The City of Oslo built a residence and studio (now the Museum 5 minutes from the Park) for Vigeland. He lived there alone and left all his works to the City.
Not a penny to wife and children.
But this really is a Must See in Oslo