Norwegian Museum of Cultural History | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

Oslo, Oslo, Norway

Lucy Davidson

01 Jun 2021

About Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History (Norsk Folkemuseum) tells the story of the country’s cultural heritage over the centuries. A mix of indoor and outdoor exhibits, the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History looks at everything from pharmaceutical history to architecture, folk music, and art.

History of Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

The museum is located in Bygdøy, Oslo, Norway. It was established in 1894, and acquired the core area of its present property in 1898. Having built a number of temporary exhibition buildings and relocating and re-erecting a number of rural buildings, the museum officially opened in 1901.

Its five relocated buildings, along with the Gol Stave Church in the centre, is recognised as the world’s first open-air museum, founded in 1881.

The outdoor aspect of the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History is one of the largest of its kind in Europe, with over 155 buildings representing houses from around the nation and from a variety of historic periods. The Oscar II Collection is a highlight as is the 13th century stave church.

Norwegian Museum of Cultural History Today

Today, visitors and locals alike enjoy the museum’s rich and sprawling building network. These include log houses, working class houses, an oil gas station, a vicarage, a stamp mill, a liquor store, and the reconstructed old town.

Inside, the exhibits at the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History showcase aspects of Norwegian life from the 16th century onwards.

The museum also contains a huge archive of photographs. Throughout its existence there has been a research programme, which particularly focuses on building and furniture, clothing and textiles, technical and social culture, agriculture, working memory, and Sami culture.

The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History is situated on the Bygdøy peninsula near several other museums, including the Viking Ship Museum; the Fram Museum; the Kon-Tiki Museum; and the Norwegian Maritime Museum.

Getting to Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

From the centre of Bygdøy, the museum is a 1 minute drive via Bygdøyveien and Museumsveien. There are also a number of buses which depart every 10 minutes, such as the number 30, from Kongsgården. By foot, it takes around 5 minutes to reach the site, via the Bygdøyveien and Museumsveien roads.

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