Norwegian Royal Palace - History and Facts | History Hit

Norwegian Royal Palace

Oslo, Oslo, Norway

The Norwegian Royal Palace was built in the 19th century.

Peta Stamper

26 Apr 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Norwegian Royal Palace

The Norwegian Royal Palace (Det Kongelige Slott) in Oslo, Norway, was begun on 1 October 1825 and inaugurated in 1849. Intended as a home for King Carl Johan, the palace would never serve this purposes as it was only completed after his death.

Over the years, the Norwegian Royal Palace has undergone a series of alterations and changes to modernise it for living purposes. Guided tours of the palace last around an hour and the changing of the guard takes place daily at 1:30pm.

Norwegian Royal Palace history

Before the palace was completed, Norway’s royalty had resided in Paléet – a magnificent townhouse bequeathed to the state in 1805 by wealthy merchant Bernt Anker. In the last years of Norway’s union with Denmark, Paléet was used by the viceroys of Norway and by 1814 became home to Norway’s first independent king, Christian Frederick.

King Carl Johan lived in Paléet both as crown prince and king when visiting Oslo. However, Carl Johan wanted a purpose-built royal residence and the building of the new royal palace was begun as the king laid the foundation stone in October 1825. The impressive new palace designed by Danish-born Hans Linstow was built in the Neo-classical style with a facade of stuccoed brick. The palace boasted 2 large wings and was 3 storeys high.

Presiding over Sweden and Norway, King Carl Johan’s reign was characterised by peace and economic prosperity but he died in Stockholm in 1844 without ever living in the palace he had commissioned. Therefore the first royal resident was his son, Oscar I, who extended the palace wings facing the garden and installed an expensive and elegant flat roof as well as classical columns above the entrance.

In 1905, Prince Carl of Denmark ascended to Norway’s throne as Haakon VII, permanently living in the palace. It was Haakon VII who introduced the tradition of royal weekly meetings with the Council of State within the palace Council Chamber where the King’s throne sat.

Norwegian Royal Palace today

Surrounded by the Slottsparken, the Norwegian Royal Palace is hard to miss with its 6 classical columns and sweeping wings. The Royal Palace is used day-to-day by the monarchy who work and live there. The palace is therefore also used to welcome foreign heads of state and to hold audiences and official dinners.

During the summer season the Royal Palace is open to the public. If you miss this historic stop during the day, do not fear as the columns look particularly dramatic when lit up at night.

Getting to the Norwegian Royal Palace

Public transport is the easiest way to the palace: buses 33, 130N, 140N, 15, 160, 250, 250E, 250N, and 255E stopping at Nationaltheatret stop at the top of the park. The palace is located along the 162 road at Fredericks Gate. There is car parking nearby at Holbergs Gate.

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