The beautiful Oscarshall in Oslo reopens

Oscarshall August 2009. Photo: Jan Haug, The Royal Norwegian Court.

After almost three years of renovations the 157-year-old Oscarshall, situated on the peninsula of Bygdø, in Oslo will be open to the public. The beautiful palace is built on a rise, with a garden sloping down to the Oslo Fjord.

On Aug. 20 King Harald V and Queen Sonja were happy to show the newly renovated castle to the Norwegian press. “Look how nice it has become,” was the King’s first comment. The Royals were very pleased to see the castle restored back to its original look for the 1800s. The palace was in bad shape when it was closed in 2005. When the King and Queen celebrated their 25-year wedding anniversary here, the food ended up with water damage, since the kitchen is located in the basement. “But now that problem is solved,” said Queen Sonja. “Now we can celebrate again,” a smiling Queen added.

Oscarshall was built by King Oscar I during the years 1847 to 1852 and designed by the Danish architect Johan Henrik Nebelong. It originally belonged to the royal family, but in 1863 King Carl IV sold it to the state, which has placed it at the disposal of the reigning monarch ever since.

Although Oscarshall in some ways resembles a small castle, it is, as the name implies, more of an open hall, bringing together Norwegian art and nature and making them accessible to the public.

In the period August 28-September 20 Oscarshall will be open on weekdays except Tuesdays 11 am-5 pm and Sundays 12 noon-5 pm. Guided tours in Norwegian will be held every hour when the palace is open.

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