Christmas at The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History

Folkemuseet
A few weeks before Christmas I visited Norsk Folkemuseum (The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History.) It is largely an open air museum consisting of buildings dating from the 15th-20th century; small pre-18th century wooden houses once occupied by peasants, a Stave Church, a 19th century school, a mid-century shop and a block of flats decorated in the style of the 1870s, the early 1900s and the 1960s. My favourite part of the museum are the 18th century homes of the middling sorts, as I always enjoy having a look at how Norwegian people lived in the era I am so familiar with from a British and French perspective. Being outdoors the museum is obviously freezing in winter, although when it snows it is so very picturesque and it always gives me the impression that I have been transported into an early 20th century Christmas card.

Folkemuseet
As I was unable to locate a santa hat (I was feeling festive), I wrapped myself in a bright red shawl and although my mother claimed I would be the person wearing the loudest headdress at the museum, I sadly lost to two little boys were wearing Angry Birds-hats.

Folkemuseet
Folkemuseet
Folkemuseet
Some of the homes were decorated for Christmas; above is a Finish peasant home c.1885.

Folkemuseet
Folkemuseet
FolkemuseetFolkemuseetFolkemuseetFolkemuseet
The home of the merchant brothers Chrystie, built in 1761, which I had never looked inside before. Sadly the ballroom on the first floor wasn’t open to visitors!

Folkemuseet
Folkemuseet
It was such a lovely outing and we stayed until dusk, although I knew I’d be back already the same week to catch the 1814 exhibition. There are quite a few exhibitions on this year to mark the bicentenary of the Norwegian constitution of 1814, so keep reading, as I will certainly write about the ones I am able to attend (hopefully all!)

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