Postcard from Oslo, Norway, Nobel Peace Center

Oslo, Postcards from Oslo, Norway, Travel, Norway

The Nobel Peace Center is the museum of the Nobel Peace Prize, it is located in the former Oslo West Station (railway).  The railway station opened in 1872 and remained in use until 1989. The Nobel Peace Center was opened in 2005.DSC_0119 (640x360)

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The station building was designed by architect Georg Andreas Bull

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The building was partially destroyed on 2 February 1942 (WWII)


Postcard from Oslo, Norway, Oslo City Hall 3

Oslo, Postcards from Oslo, Norway, The ant king and Heffanutt, Travel, Norway

The carillon in the Oslo City Hall’s bell tower has long been a traditional part of daily life in the Norwegian capital, chiming on the quarter-hour and also playing an occasional concert

As early as in 1922 there were plans for a carillon. 4 bells were cast and installed as a chime by Olsen Nauen Bell Foundry for the inauguration of the City Hall in 1950. Two years later the carillon was completed with 34 bells from F. Causard Founderies in Colmar.

Entering the millennium, the City Hall could celebrate 50 years. A new carillon of 49 bells was installed by Olsen Nauen including two bells from 1950.

The largest bell carries the city of Oslo’s logo with the patron Saint Hallvard and the motto of the city; «Unanimiter et constanter».

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At 6 a.m the 17th August 1998, a light aircraft (a Piper Pawnee) flew between the towers of the Oslo City Hall.  The distance between the two towers are aproximately 25 meters  (82 foot).  The manouver was called  “chilling and possible deadly” by the Civil Aviation Administration.  The stunt is said to be inspired by a history of a flyer who did the same thing during the liberation days of 1945.

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Statue of St Hallvard

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Postcard from Oslo, Norway, Oslo City Hall 2

Oslo, Postcards from Oslo, Norway, The ant king and Heffanutt, Travel, Norway

Oslo City Hall, Courtyard

The entrance door

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Dagfin Werenskiold (1892-1977) completed 16 wooden friezes on the walls of the courtyard, the motifs are from Norse mythology.  Each frieze is made by pine deck timber, which is glued together into blocks weighing approximately 1000 kg (2200 lbs). The friezes are impregnated with a triple application of linseed oil, then painted and gilded with gold or silver.  Photos of a few:

Embla and Ask

The gods Odin, Høne, and Lodur are out wandering. At the beach, they find two trees «without destiny». Fate is granted by the gods who empower them: Odin gives them spirit, Høne gives the gift of vitality and Lodur gives them blood and colour. Ask (ash) and Embla (elm) step forward through the myth of creation as the two first human beings.

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The eagle in Yggdrasil

High up in Yggdrasil`s branches a powerful eagle is sitting looking far around him and flapping his large wings. The small squirrel Ratatosk is running down the trunk carrying the eagle`s words to the beast Nidhogg (the one who cuts with malice or evil), who is gnawing at the world tree`s roots

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The norns pour water on Yggdrasil

The norne Urd (the past), Verdande (the present) and Skuld (the future) are three powerful goddesses of destiny. They live by the well Urd where one of the roots of Yggdrasil ends. Here the gods ride over Bifrost (the bridge that connects heaven and earth, the rainbowbridge) on their way to council. The norns water the world tree`s leaves each day with spray water from the flood. From this comes the dew that falls in valleys, and this is why the holy tree remains evergreen above the Well of Urd.

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Odin on Sleipner

Odin, the most powerful of gods, is riding his eightlegged Sleipner, the fastest stallion in the world. Odin`s spear Gungne strikes everything he hurls it at. On his arm, he has the valuable ring Draupne, which drips eight equally beautiful rings every ninth night. Odin`s two ravens Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory) fly out every day into the wide world and bring news back to their master. Here they guide Odin in the twilight of the forest.

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Postcard from Oslo, Norway, Oslo City Hall 1

Oslo, Postcards from Oslo, Norway, The ant king and Heffanutt, Travel, Norway

Rådhuset (City Hall) Inaugurated in 1950, Oslo City Hall is the city’s administrative body and the seat of the City Council.

The building has been decorated by great Norwegian art from 1900-1950, with motifs from Norwegian history, culture, and working life. The building is located in the city center, in the northern part of the Pipervika neighbourhood, and it faces the Oslofjord.

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On December 10 (anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death) each year, Oslo City Hall hosts the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in which the annual laureate gives his or her lecture and is awarded the medal and diploma. A podium for the laureate and the Nobel Committee is erected in the far end of the hall for each ceremony.

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Postcard from Oslo, Norway, Tordenskiold

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It`s not easy to photograph a statue on a pedestal when you`re tiny…  but this picture kind of fits the story of Tordenskiold. (Statue at Rådhusplassen, Oslo)

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Peter Jansen Wessel Tordenskiold (28 October 1690 – 12 November 1720) was a Norwegian nobleman and an eminent naval flag officer in the service of the Royal Dano-Norwegian Navy. He rose to the rank of Vice-Admiral for his services in the Great Northern War.

As the son of a merchant in Trondheim at the time was in national fellowship with Denmark, he could not hope for a career in the navy which was his dream and goal.

Peter was a very persistent young man and when he turned 13 he ran away from home and traveled to Copenhagen, the capitol of the double monarchy. His goal was the navy cadet academy.

Without the right connections and money, he couldn`t apply for a place at school, but he was not out of courage and ambitions. Peter wrote directly to the king himself, not once but three times, refusing to give up.  In the meantime, Peter gained seaman`s experience by mustering on a Danish slave ship and in January 1709 the king finally resigned.  9 month later Danmark-Norway went to war against Sweden.

Soon the enemies would know him for his fearlessness and cheekiness. Peter hijacked a considerable amount of ships, among them the Swedish frigate Vita Örn, which he renamed Hvite Ørn. Later that year the Swedish had to endure the humiliation of watching the ship fight against its old homeland.

In 1716 he was crowned with a nobility title and named Tordenskiold (i.e Thunder shield).

Tordenskiold participates in several battles, among others, he prevented an invasion of Norway. He did so by pouncing upon the Swedish transport fleet, laden with ammunition and other military stores, which rode at anchor in the narrow and dangerous Dynekil Fjord. With two frigates and five smaller ships, he conquered or destroyed around 30 Swedish ships, with little damage to himself during the Battle of Dynekilen on 8 July 1716. His luck never seemed to fail him.  He was promoted to Commander and given the command of the North sea cadre.

In December 1718, Tordenskiold brought to Frederick IV the welcome news of the death of Charles XII and was, in turn, made Rear-Admiral. Tordenskiold captured the Swedish fortress of Carlsten at Marstrand in 1719.  The last feat of arms during the Great Northern War was Tordenskiold’s partial destruction and partial capture of the Gothenburg Squadron which had so long eluded him, on 26 September 1719. He was rewarded with the rank of Vice-Admiral

Tordenskiolds death:

During a dinner party in Hanover November 9th, 1720, he was presented to the Swedish nobleman Jacob Axel Staël von Holstein, known as a notorious gambler and scam. Tordenskiold scolded Holstein, and then it completely took off. Holstein first responded by calling Tordenskjold “sailor” and was about to pull out the chord when someone separated them. Still, Holstein managed to challenge Tordenskjold to a duel – a challenge the honorable sea hero could not overlook.

They met on the morning of November 12 on a bog south of Hanover. The duel lasted only seconds before a chop from Holstein’s chord drilled into Tordenskjold’s right side. He collapsed while blood flowed. Christian Kold, Tordenskjold’s valet, ran to help him.

“I then got a scarf up and held it for the hole under his arm, but the blood and the breath went out just as firmly, so it was done with him after 3 to 4 minutes,” Kold later said.

Tordenskjold had used up his luck and drew his last sigh on the plain.

Tordenskiold was buried in Holmens Church, Copenhagen, Denmark.


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Though his victories were not decisive in the course of the war, he eventually attained mythic status, as one of the most successful Dano-Norwegian military commanders. Tordenskiold was revived as both a Danish and Norwegian national symbol. He was portrayed as the little guy outsmarting his far more powerful adversaries, and his exploits were enhanced by mixing in myths and fiction. 

Tordenskiold is mentioned by name both in the Danish royal anthem “Kong Christian stod ved højen mast” from 1778 and the Norwegian national anthem “Ja, vi elsker dette landet” from 1864.   Statues of him have been erected several places, streets named after him, both in Denmark and Norway.  Both the Norwegian Royal Navy and the Danish Royal Navy have named ships after him.  In the United States, Tordenskiold Township in the state of Minnesota was settled in 1871 by two Danish brothers. The coat of arms of Holmestrand includes his ship Hvite Ørn and so on.