[ May 2019 ] There is a royal palace and a castle in Oslo, Norway.
Currently the royal family lives in the royal palace and that is located at the end of the main street.
Apparently there are some guided tours held during summer, but when we were there in May, we had heard that we could visit only the garden, so we did not bother going there.
Instead, we visited the castle.
The name of the castle is Akershus Castle and it is on the small hill looking down the ports.
Nobody lives there, but there was a guard with a clear-cut expression standing at the entrance.
We entered this castle free of charge using our Oslo Pass.
According to ‘A Brief Guide’ we received there, this was the fortress built around 1300 to defend Oslo which became the capital city of Norway in 1299.
In the early 17th century, under Christian IV who was the king of Norway and Sweden, the castle was rebuilt in renaissance style and surrounded by a modern bastion fortress.
In the first half of 1900s, they did the restoration work and now it is used for dinner parties for the important guests of Norwegian government.
According to the online information, it was a very important castle so mush so that it was said ‘whoever ruled Akershus Castle ruled Norway‘ around the 16th century.
It was never besieged by any foreign forces, but during the second world war, it surrendered to German forces without fighting.
And Germans used here for executing many people.
When we entered the site, we were at the courtyard and the buildings were surrounding it.
This design reminded me of the castle in Romania.
We followed the fixed route and that led us to the bottom of the castle first, such as the underground prison.
There were the coffins of the relatively modern Norwegian royal family members, such as Haakon VII and his wife and Olav V and crown princess, Martha.
We went to the chapel, too, which was originally built in the 16th century and restored in the 20th century.
This church functions as the royal burial church as well as the head church of the Norwegian military.
On top of the altar, there were some letters which were not familiar to me, and I wonder what they were.
We saw some more rooms, for example the one with the tapestries which are the most valuable things in the castle and another room with the long table probably used for the dinner party and so on.
Generally speaking, they are simple and not very decorative maybe because this was made as a fortress?
The last room, the top of the building was called The Hall of Olav V.
Apparently the present room was a result of the restoration work during 1900s after being destroyed by fire.
The roof was wooden with the feeling of Viking.
The wall was nice and bright with the lovely pattern, but it was not the cloth or paper, but painted.
We went out through the souvenir shop and they were selling the eyeglass cloth with the same pattern, so I bought one for my memory.
By the way, this castle was the model of the castle in the Disney film, “Frozen” apparently.