Norwegian Folk Museum

Oslo, Norway

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.



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Museumsveien 10, Oslo, Norway
See all sites in Oslo


Founded: 1894
Category: Museums in Norway


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kelly Reagan (15 months ago)
This place was a lot of fun and you could easily spend many hours here! I recommend going with a friend or someone.
Richard Trierweiler (15 months ago)
The staff was friendly and let us in at a discount since we had less than an hour to see it. The stave church was the main thing we wanted to see and it was impressive. I was also impressed with some of the storage lifts and the number of full scribe cabins they have. It was winter and staffing was reduced, but I would have liked to have seen more information on some of the construction practices employed in the various buildings.
Andrei Steclaru (15 months ago)
I was really looking forward to this one, but sadly it was a rather disappointing museum. All the different houses and farm buildings were interesting, but there's not much information available and without a guide you're just walking around like a headless chicken. Also, a lot of the paths were iced up, making getting closer to the buildings impracticable. The museum would probably be better in summer/at the weekend, although I doubt it would be high on my 'to visit' list if I was ever in the area again.
Ricardo Pimentel (2 years ago)
One of the best museums in Oslo if you are interested in blowfish culture, heritage and to understand the Norwegians of today. A full day museum if you like to take your time. Best to visit on weekend as they have staff representing the life in the days and folk dancing. Check the time for the events such as the stave Church which is only open at certain hours during the day.
David Toms (2 years ago)
An outstanding museum that makes history life size and interactive in the most fundamental way. Came here over the summer with a friend visiting me from Ireland and it was one of the most incredible museum experiences I've ever had. Cannot recommend or rate highly enough.
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