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The Vigeland Park, Oslo

Edited to change the photos of Sinnataggen and the Monolith - all photos are now mine.

Still not quite up to tackling the whole Norse Mythology thing! So I will write about one of the most popular tourist attractions in Oslo, the Vigeland Park. The park has 214 statues (mainly of naked human bodies) by Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland. (Actually, Norwegians refer to the park as Frogner Park but in English it is often called the Vigeland Park after the sculptor.) It is actually the most visited tourist attraction in the whole country. It is also a favorite hangout for locals who come to barbecue, play sports, sunbathe, or simply relax.

Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943) started creating the sculptures and the accompanying cast iron gates in 1905 and worked on it for 20 years, but the park wasn't completed until 1950.

There are five distinct areas with sculptures: the main gate, the bridge, the wheel of life, the fountain, and the Monolith. The main gate is an imposing structure made out of cast iron. There are several other cast iron gates throughout the park. The bridge has a series of cast iron human figures. The fountain is made out of cast iron, while the Monolith and its surrounding figures are granite.

View from the bridge towards the Monolith:

Gabrielas%20visit%20016.jpg

The sculptures are wonderful and depict all stages of life, from birth to death. One of the most popular statues can be found among the cast iron statues on the bridge, Sinnataggen (which loosely translates to "little angry boy"):
IMG_0761.JPG

Vigeland sculpted the figures out of clay and then had professional craftsmen make them into granite or cast iron sculptures. The figures are all larger than "real people", but not by a lot.

The most famous sculpture is the Monolith. "The Monolith towers 14.12 meters (46.32 ft) high and is comprised of 121 human figures rising toward heaven. This is meant to represent man’s desire to become closer with the spiritual and divine. It portrays a feeling of togetherness as the human figures embrace one another as they are carried toward salvation." (Wikipedia.) Visitors always seem to point out its somewhat phallic qualities but having grown up seeing the monument that never occurred to me!

Part of the bridge:
bridge.jpg

The fountain:
022.jpg

fountain.jpg

One of the gates with the Monolith in the background:
gate1.jpg

Detail from the gate, seen from the back:
gate2.jpg

The river and the Children's Park:
24.jpg

The Monolith:
IMG_0763.JPG

Comments (12)

Wow, the Monolith is amazing! I love the two photos of the gate. That baby does look angry :) Cool post!

Barb Cabot:

Great photos. You are really giving us a great tour with lots of good info.
Everyone will be ready for a trip to your homeland.

Candi:

The Monolith is just amazing. I also love the "angry boy" sculpture.
Thanks for a another great post.

Fascinating work - the gates are particularly beautiful!

I would love to see this park. The monolith reminds me of some monuments I have seen in India - by photo only

Great photos. The boy stature and the gates are amazing.

I would love to visit this place! I think the Norwegian Tourist Board website should hire you because you are doing a great job selling Norway. :)

Love the photos - esp. that one of the gates from the back, so cool looking.

Angry little boy could also be called "Toddler Temper Tantrum"!

And I love the Monolith. Doesn't look phallic to me either, looks like a sacred tribal/pagan totem.

Great post!

Amy:

Yes, the Monolith does remind me of Indian sculptures and building facades, all those intertwined figures.

sandrac:

What a beautiful park. The art is amazing and your photos are wonderful.

The monolith is remarkable, as are the gates -- and the expression on the angry little boy is perfect!

Thank you so much for the great photos and information about Norway. I'm finding the posts very fascinating. We have a lot of Norwegian influence here in Seattle due to the early settlers but I don't know much about the actual country. You've help to enlighten me on the beauty of Norway.

jgk:

Wow! great photos! I love those gates.

nancyhol:

I love your photos! What a beautiful place!

And I also love the whole series you are doing. Thank you for sharing with us!

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