The Ekebergparken Sculpture Park is a sculpture park on a hill southeast of the center of Oslo.
The hilly area is about the same size as Oslo's other famous park, Vigelandsparken (the Vigeland Sculpture Park), and is inspired by similar international facilities, such as Louisiana outside Copenhagen, Kröller-Müller Museum in the Netherlands, and Storm King Sculpture Park ouside New York.
Top 5 experiences in the park
No matter if you are using Ekebergparken's own app, experience the park in an orderly fashion, or just explore it on your own, you'll probably find your own favourite among the installations there.
Nobody knows the park better than its instigator, Christian Ringnes. He finds it difficult to single out any of the installations, but this is his personal top 5:
- The Water Reservoir: In an old underground water reservoir in the middle of the Ekeberg forest the American artist James Turrell has created his own universe of light with the installation Ekeberg Skyspace. The installation consists of two underground rooms. In the first, Ganzfeldt, the rocky ceiling stands six metres above the floor.
- The Villa Gardens: A collection of more traditional sculptures by Renoir and Rodin, near the villas in Kongsveien.
- The Couple: This work by French sculptor Louise Bourgeois concerns the relationship between people. The sculpture seems to hover between the trees, hugging, illustrating a couple going through life together, for better or for worse.
- The Dance: In the upper part of the park, near Ekeberg Camping, you can experience George Cutt's installation, consisting of two steel pipes rotating around their own axis.
- The Cave: A video installation, consisting of 50 videos being shown simultaneously on a video wall.
Entry is free of charge and the park is open 24 hours per day all year.
From a la carte to coffee bar
Ekebergrestauranten (the Ekebergrestauranten restaurant) is situated in one of Europe's prime functionalist-style buildings, with a panoramic view over Oslo. The a la carte restaurant also has a large outdoor area open in the summer season, as well as a coffee bar.
Newly opened Karlsborg Spiseforretning can be found in one of the villas just below the main restaurant. The house has been restored to its original look, and and here you will find simpler dishes such as soups and sandwiches, as well as an organic bakery with its own shop. In the bathrooms, the walls are covered with Norwegian newspaper articles describing the massive local resistance to the project in the planning phase.
Learn about Ekeberg's history
Ekeberg has hundreds of millions of years of history, and in Lunds hus (Lund's House) you can learn about it all, from the time the area was created in an inferno of volcanoes and explosions right up to present day.
The installation "The Sound of Oslo" is another high point. Here, children (and adults, for that matter) can switch off individual sounds one by one, all the way down to the sound of the ants.
The Children's house
The Ekebergparken Sculpture Park is famous for its rich bird life, and Hakkespettene ("The Woodpeckers") takes its name from that. Hakkespettene is an activity house for children, with Ekebergparken's rich and varied nature, history and culture as a theme. Here, the little ones may play, explore and learn. In the sandbox outside, children may conduct their own archaeological excavations.
World-class art, accessible for all
The collection of sculptures and installations on display in the park was put together by a committee of experts, with the feminine as an initial theme. That is still the main theme, but in Ekebergparken you may still experience everything from classic figurative art by Auguste Rodin to contemporary art such as the work by performance artist Marina Abromović, based on the Scream by Edvard Munchs Skrik. Abromović's performance will result in a film recorded where Munch is thought to have been inspired to paint one of the world's most recognisable artworks.
From dilapidated to attraction
The Ekeberg area was converted to a park as early as the end of the 19th century, but was left to deteriorate until property investor Christian Ringnes in 2005 refurbished and reopened Ekebergrestauranten (the Ekebergrestauranten restaurant), the area's prime eatery. On a walk through the park, Ringnes was struck by how neglected and unused it was. Through his property investment company he had experience with purchasing and placing art in central Oslo, and thus the dream of a sculpture park was born. By agreement with the municipality of Oslo, Christian Ringnes is planning to spend as much as NOK 350 million on upgrading and maintaining the park.
The Ekebergparken Sculpture Park is accessible from various places:
By tram: Take tram no 18 or 19 to Sjømannsskolen (The Seaman's school) or Oslo Hospital.
By bus: Take bus no 74 (towards Mortensrud) or 34 (towards Simensbråten).
By train: Oslo S is the nearest train station. Take the tram or bus from there.
There are plans for a cable car. When finished, it will leave from Bjørvika, near the Opera.
Official homepage: Ekebergparken (the Ekebergparken Sculpture Park)
Download the Ekebergparken App from iTunes App Store or Google Play.
Please do not touch the sculptures