Gems of Oslo – Oslo Opera House

Oslo Opera House is probably one of the most symbolic buildings of the Norwegian capital. Emerging like an iceberg from water it epitomizes the Nordic spirit.

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I had an incredible opportunity to discover this building inside out, see the ballet preformance and even peek to the back stage while running the glove making workshop during the Prøverommet training event.

Covered with marble and white granite, the building was opened to the public in 2007 and has won numerous awards for its architecture.

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It is possible to walk up to the roof via the slant, to enjoy the panoramic views of the city.

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The glass walls create a mesmerising effect of light play in the hallway, while the interior design is contrasted with the waving natural oak panelling, bringing out the variance in textures.

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Behind the building, floating in the fjord is a glass and steel sculpture “She Lies”, constructed by Monica Bonivicini. The installation responds to the moving water and changes its appearance constantly depending on tides.

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Currently the neighbourhood of the Opera house is undergoing a transformation with extended construction – just behind the Opera house the museum of the most famous Norwegian painter Edward Munch is being built, planning to open in 2020. Along with the new city library, currently also in construction, it is aiming to turn the area into a new cultural hub.
The future of the area looks promising!

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Gems of Oslo – The Glove

The legend has it that after the big town fire in 1624, the Danish-Norwegian King Christian IV decided to rebuild the town in this area and name it after himself. He supposedly pointed to this spot and said: “The new town will lie here!”. Now there is a fountain in the shape of a gloved hand pointing to the ground making the spot. 

Christian IV was the king of Denmark-Norway 1588-1648. He is remembered as one of the most remarkable Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects.

The sculpture, titled “Chritian IV’s Glove” is just known as “Hanske”, meaning “The Glove”, among locals. Situated in the middle of Christiania Torv square (also known as “The Glove square”) it was designed in the mid-1990s by the Norwegian artist Wenche Gulbransen.

The allegorical statue was one of the first sights for me to visit in Oslo and rightfully so, as I was running the glove making workshop in Oslo during the following days.

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Historically a glove has also played a significant role as a symbol of power. King´s glove was a symbol of rule like a seal. One could sell, make coins and take taxes with the possession of a king´s glove. In the Medieval times, the king´s glove hanged high above the market place symbolised the right to trade. At the end of the day, the glove would be taken down. Later the glove got replaced by the wooden shape of a hand.
So in a way, it is quite symbolic that a gloved hand is placed in the middle of the market square.