Norsk Folkemuseum, the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, is a museum of cultural history with extensive collections of artifacts from all social groups and all regions of the country. It also incorporates a large open air museum with more than 150 buildings relocated from towns and rural districts.
Norsk Folkemuseum was established in 1894 by librarian and historian Hans Aall (1867-1946). It acquired the core area of its present property in 1898. After having built temporary exhibition buildings and re-erected a number of rural buildings, the museum could open its gates to the public in 1901. In 1907 the collections of King Oscar II on the neighbouring site was incorporated into the museum. Its five relocatd buildings, with the Gol stave church in the centre, is recognized as the world's first open air museum, founded in 1881.
Among the open air museum's more significant buildings are Gol stave church from the 13th century which was incorporated into the Norsk Folkemuseum in 1907. The Gol Stave Church is one of five medieval buildings at the museum, which also includes the Rauland farmhouse (Raulandstua) from the 14th century, and the 1865 tenement building relocated from 15 Wessels gate in Oslo. Seven of the nine flats show typical interiors from various periods of the 19th and 20th centuries, including a flat inhabited by an immigrant family from Pakistan as it was furnished in 2002. In 1951, the Sami collections in the Ethnographic Museum of the University of Oslo were transferred to the Norsk Folkemuseum.
The museum also possesses a large photographic archive, including a significant portion of the works of Anders Beer Wilse. In 2004, the administration of the adjacent Bygdøy Royal Estate was transferred to the museum. Throughout its existence, research has focused on building and furniture, clothing and textiles, technical and social culture, agriculture, working memory and Sami culture.References:
The Externsteine (Extern stones) is a distinctive sandstone rock formation located in the Teutoburg Forest, near the town of Horn-Bad Meinberg. The formation is a tor consisting of several tall, narrow columns of rock which rise abruptly from the surrounding wooded hills. Archaeological excavations have yielded some Upper Paleolithic stone tools dating to about 10,700 BC from 9,600 BC.
In a popular tradition going back to an idea proposed to Hermann Hamelmann in 1564, the Externsteine are identified as a sacred site of the pagan Saxons, and the location of the Irminsul (sacral pillar-like object in German paganism) idol reportedly destroyed by Charlemagne; there is however no archaeological evidence that would confirm the site's use during the relevant period.
The stones were used as the site of a hermitage in the Middle Ages, and by at least the high medieval period were the site of a Christian chapel. The Externsteine relief is a medieval depiction of the Descent from the Cross. It remains controversial whether the site was already used for Christian worship in the 8th to early 10th centuries.
The Externsteine gained prominence when Völkisch and nationalistic scholars took an interest in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This interest peaked under the Nazi regime, when the Externsteine became a focus of nazi propaganda. Today, they remain a popular tourist destination and also continue to attract Neo-Pagans and Neo-Nazis.