Norway is a cold country with enchanting views and Scandinavian flavor. A country of fjords and trolls, mountains and waterfalls. Tourists from all over the world come here for landscapes, fresh air and, of course, impressions. Most tourists begin acquaintance with the capital – Oslo. It is there that the most ambiguous attraction of all Scandinavia is located – the Vigeland sculpture park.
A rare tourist who visited Oslo will bypass him. After all, it is the largest and most interesting park in Norway. Most who visited this place have mixed feelings. And no wonder, because the sculptural complex, representing the era of the Third Reich, is not seen every day.
What is interesting about Vigeland park?
Vigeland Park is located in the heart of Norway, its capital is Oslo. It is located in the Frogner area. The place is part of the central royal park of Frogner. The uniqueness of this complex in the open air is that it is not a familiar park for us, exalting the strength and beauty of nature. Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo is a museum with a sacred meaning, objects that reflect the satanic forces and are the quintessence of the fall of man.
There is another vision: some researchers believe that the exhibits are closely connected not with Christian symbolism, but with Scandinavian mythology, reflecting the cycle of life and death as it was seen in pagan times. One thing is certain with certainty – each sculpture is saturated with the imagery and symbolism of different cultures. This is the main reason why it is different from thousands of other sculpture parks around the world.
History of creation
The park was designed and created by Gustav Vigeland from 1907 to 1942. The history of the park began when he received an order from the government for the manufacture of sculptures depicting the great personalities of Norway. By that time, Vigeland was already a rather famous and promising sculptor with his own style of work. Even in the early years, in his work symbols of sin and satanic forces that reflected the essence of man began to be traced.
1921 was a turning point in the work of the master. The house in Oslo, in which he lived and worked, the city authorities intended for demolition. During a lengthy trial, the authorities allocated another building and part of Frogner’s territory to Gustav, but on the condition that all future work of the master would belong to the city. So Gustav Vigeland’s park was born.
Over the next 20 years, the sculptor thoroughly redone Frogner and created a completely new museum of his works in the open. Over the years, the park has been repeatedly modified and altered, some sculptures changed their location. Vigeland worked on it until his death.
Vigeland park today
Now the park occupies an impressive area of 30 hectares. Most of the project has remained unchanged since Gustav. Oslo authorities are trying in every possible way to maintain the authenticity of the place. On the territory of the complex there are 277 statues reflecting the diversity of human conditions and relationships between people.
In general, the main theme of the park can safely be called human condition. Most of the monuments depict people in moments of different states, in dynamics, which allows them to reveal their true emotions. In terms of the psychological nature of his work, Vigeland can be compared with such researchers of human psychology as Jung and Freud. He not only with the help of sculptures conveyed his vision of human emotions, but previously subjected them to deep analysis for the most accurate expression of what was conceived.
The psychological nature of sculpture is something that is subject only to a virtuoso and a true master of his craft. And if you add to this the depth of analysis and the terrible demonic symbolism of all the sculptures, a delightfully terrible collaboration comes out in truth.
The most significant sculptures of the park
It is impossible to convey the complexity and versatility of each sculpture in words. Even the photos of Vigeland’s sculpture park will not be able to reflect even half the grandeur of this work. But we will still try to talk about some of the most famous and monumental sculptures.
The main gate is the first exhibit from which acquaintance with Gustav Vigeland’s park begins. They are made of granite and wrought iron. The project was created in 1926, but the final version saw the world only in 1942 and was sponsored by the state.
The whole structure includes five large gates and two small ones. Forged wings are decorated with the same forged images of the Serpent, which in the biblical tradition is a symbol of the unclean and the devil himself. This first exhibit serves as a kind of warning for visitors, so that they still “from the threshold” understand where they are going.
The exhibit is striking in the scale of the composition. The bridge itself does not exceed 100 m in length and 15 m in width, but its main feature are sculptures that are mounted on parapets along it. The construction was built in the period from 1925 to 1933.
On the granite parapets, there are 58 bronze figures. There are groups of people, and lonely women, children and men. Like the ancient masters, all the figures are naked, but if the Greeks sang the beauty of the human body, then in Vigeland they are depicted with pronounced flaws. The sculptures on the bridge are a reflection of the passions and whims of man.
The location of each exhibit in the park is not accidental, so a level below the bridge is a playground surrounded by figures of children. It symbolizes the origin of life on the border of worlds: below the river and the path to the world of the dead, and above the bridge with people and their passions.
The exhibit, if you follow the world built by Gustav, is already on the other side – in the other world. Fountain – this symbolizes the source of the wisdom of the Urd from Scandinavian mythology. According to legend, this source gave wisdom to the gods. Therefore, the sculpture looks gloomy, majestic and impressive, like Scandinavia itself.
Surrounding the Fountain are 20 bronze trees that parody the Garden of Eden. But if in Christian writing people inhabit Eden, then in the vision of Vigeland the trees of the garden are people. The fountain project was created back in 1924, but it received its final location and appearance in 1924.
The Monolith Plateau rises above the park. The sculpture depicts the interweaving of human bodies that rises to the sky. Each piece of the monument is designed with amazing thoroughness and skill. The symbolic component of this exhibit can be interpreted in many ways. This is the new tower of Babel, and the storming of the gates of heaven, carried out by mankind. It remains obvious that in their arrogant attempts, humanity was defeated.
The first project of the Monolith was painted in 1919. However, its implementation took a long 14 years, during which three masters completed this amazing work. In 1947, on the steps leading to the statue, an additional 36 granite sculptures were installed. The monolith, like many other sculptures of Vigeland Park, reflects the cycle of human life with all the variety of situations and emotions experienced in them.
The exhibit represents the figures of people woven into a circle. It is made of bronze, and the diameter is three meters. This garland of bodies symbolizes the life cycle, the path from birth to the grave and from death to a new rebirth. The cruel cycle of rebirth in this world without the hope of peace or another outcome.
The sculpture is nothing but a sundial of monumental size, with the zodiac signs depicted on them. The sculpture was erected back in 1940, at that time horoscopes, and the zodiac signs were not at all popular among the population. The zodiac clock is a symbol of the new religion, which was created by the devil to distract humanity from God and its truth.
When and how to get to Vigeland park
As a rule, Oslo is the first city visited by tourists in Norway. Therefore, sightseeing of the country begins from here. But in an unfamiliar city, it is quite difficult to navigate with transport and get to your destination, even if you know approximately where the right place is.
Vigeland Park in Oslo in the photo looks smaller than it really is, so it will be difficult to drive it
The most convenient way to get to the park is by tram 12. Its route passes through the heart of Oslo, so you don’t have to search for a long time. The easiest way to navigate is from the Aker Brig. In this area, you can easily find the Nobel center just opposite which tram lines pass.
You just need to walk to the stop and wait for tram number 12. Drive about 15 minutes to the Vigelandsparken stop. Alternatively, you can walk to your destination. If you follow the route of tram tracks – just do not get lost.
Gustav Vigeland’s sculpture park is open to visitors around the clock in summer and winter. Admission is free. However, it is worth considering that exploring the park will take a lot of time and it is best to go there in the morning, so that in the evening return to the hotel.
Oslo Vigeland Park is a unique example of park architecture that you can only see in Norway. You can’t come to Oslo and disregard such a large-scale and interesting attraction. Therefore, be sure to go to the Vigeland sculpture park if you are in Norway.