One of the places that most impressed me about my trip to Oslo was undoubtedly Vigeland Park. While I knew that in the Norwegian capital was a place where some peculiar sculptures with realistic human figures were exposed, I did not know it was actually a large outdoor park, one of the largest in the city and that one could see over 200 sculptures scattered throughout the different parts of the same park.
Vigeland Park is a must visit in Oslo and is considered the most famous in Norway. In fact, it is the largest sculpture park in the world by a single artist. The 230 sculptures that make up the complete collection were modeled to actual size by Gustav Vigeland himself. The park is the result of a special agreement between the Norwegian artist and the city of Oslo. Vigeland was already a famous sculptor and among his works was the restoration of the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim. In 1921, to demolish the building where stood the sculptor’s studio in Oslo, he reached an agreement with the municipality of the capital for the construction of a new study that served as housing and that after his death would be a museum.
In return , Vigeland promised to donate all his work and that was when he began to carve the sculptures which were distributed in various places near his studio. In fact, the park itself was not approved by council until 1931, although the most famous sculptural group, the Monolith, had already begun to rise in 1924. For its part, the great gate of the park dates from 1927 and the bridge where bronze sculptures happen to be was approved in 1931. Vigeland Park, as you can now visit, occupies 32 acres, and it was not finished until 1949, years after the artist’s death.
Undoubtedly, the aforementioned Monolith is the main group to prepare the Vigeland sculpture park. 14 feet tall column was carved from a single stone in which 121 human figures are crowded. From the model created by Vigeland three stone sculptors took 14 years to complete the work from the large block that was installed in 1928. The other highlight of the park corner is the bridge. With over one hundred feet long and fifteen wide, this bridge holds 58 bronze sculptures which were modeled between 1923 and 1933. In these sculptures appear men, women and children, either alone or in groups and the main theme is the relationship between men and women and adults and children.
Finally, the Source and the Wheel of Life are the two other groups of sculptures that stand in the great work of art that is the Vigeland park. To get to Vigeland Park, from the city center you have to take the bus 20 or tram 19. Vigeland Park entrance is free and is open 24 hours a day. Near the park is the Vigeland Museum building, which was opened as such in 1947. In 1600 were saved sculptures and a huge collection of drawings, photographs, books and objects that belonged to Vigeland. If you visit you will see the original life-size plaster casts by the artist.