Discovering Ruins and the Oslo Opera House

I was starting to warm to Oslo.  When the sun came out, I decided to go exploring.  And I didn’t have to go far to see a quiet, non-touristy site, and then the most touristy site ever…

Olavsklosteret and Bishop’s Residence


The monastery St. Olav was a monastery built in 1239 by the Dominican Order or the Order of Preachers (Ordo fratrum Praedicatorum).

There is no much information on site for English language speakers, but luckily Tor Johnsen has explained the site well…

The existing building was built in 1880, but the base of the Bishop’s residence used to be the east wing of the monastery dedicated to the National Saint of Norway, Saint Olav.

The Monastery is now in ruins. This is also the case of the enclosed courtyard that once had rows of gothic columns with an open hallway around it.

To give an impression on how it might have looked, wooden beams have been built where the columns used to stand.

The monastery fell into disrepair during late medieval times.

In the mid 1550s the Bishop of Oslo, Franz Berg rebuilt parts of the old monastery, and a small fragment of a small bird painted on one of the walls inside the bishops residence is from the period. In 1623 a second floor was built on top of what was the East wing of the Monastery of Saint Olav, and in that way, three vaulted rooms from medieval times were preserved.

These three rooms had from the 13th Century wooden roofs. The vaults were built in the 14th century, and you can admire the patchwork of constructions from the different centuries from the outside.

There is now a bronze mock up on site of how the original monastery might have looked.


The Oslo Opera House

It’s difficult to miss the Opera House when you arrive to Oslo via ship.  The building doesn’t appear to be that special from a distance, but when you get closer, and you actually walk around it, that’s when you really appreciate it.

The side of the Opera House…


View to the Old Town from the Opera House…


View to Barcode Project from the Opera House…


The roof has been designed to walk up…


View to Sorenga from the Opera House…


The afternoon in the sun, walking around in Opera House in the sun, was a highlight of my Oslo visit.

Also published on Medium.

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