Open the museum doors to these historical museums and get a blast of fresh air instead of the usual dust. Our expert sends you back in time to inhale the smells, sounds and styles of earlier times.
Let our picky expert introduce you to his favourite alternative historical museums. Your personal guide art historian Trond Schøning has been working as an antiques expert at Blomqvist auction house in Oslo for the past 15 years. Schøning’s passion for rare objects helps in pointing to the places where he would bring his most demanding friends.
Glomdalsmuseet in Elverum shows the various conditions and life of Norway’s traditionally travelling population, who used to be called “tatere”. The exhibition is thought-provoking with numerous examples of needlework.
Vestfossen Kunstlaboratorium in Drammen is the lifetime project of artist Morten Viskum. The “art lab” is known for its high quality gallery that often shows private collections seldom or never before brought to the public.
Drammens Museum must be one of Norway’s best city museums. They show exceptionally good collections and exhibitions. The institution has continually acquired good objects, which makes this museum highly interesting for far more people than only the locals.
Villa Breidablikk in Stavanger is a completely untouched private home from the 1880s, built by shipowner Lars Berentsen and bequeathed by his daughters to the city of Stavanger in 1954. It’s a museum that demonstrates the immense richness of details of such periodical bourgeois residences.
Gamle Bergen Museum ranks among the most fun and interesting things to do in Norway’s second most important city. This charming, constructed stretch consists of old, wooden houses that have been saved from oblivion and destruction. Here, you’ll find activities for children and small adventures for history lovers.
Damsgaard Hovedgård, also in Bergen, claims to be perhaps Europe’s best preserved wooden rococo building with original interior. The extensive restoration in the 1980s enhances the baroque-themed garden, the interior held in rococo and empire style, and the rather impressive façade.
Norsk Bremuseum near the village of Fjærland has been given a distinct architecture signed by Sverre Fehn and is an attraction in itself. The site helps Fehn stand out as one of Norway’s greatest architects of all time. The museum is the leading centre in Norway for dissemination of knowledge with regards to glaciers and climate, and the extensive exhibition is a praise of the eternal, yet very fragile ice.
Hamsunsenteret on the island of Hamarøy is an homage to Knut Hamsun, one of Norwegian literature’s major classic authors, who’s work is translated into multiple languages. The architecture is the work of the recognized American architect Steven Holl. The building is located in the middle of the landscape described in several of Hamsun’s books, and cunningly placed balconies, windows and peep-holes make you feel that you’re looking into one of his novels.
Narvik Krigsmuseum is a credible newcomer to the list of Norwegian institutions that evolve around wartime history.
I recommend to combine the visit with Lofoten Krigsminnemuseum in Svolvær and Norsk Luftfartsmuseum in Bodø.
There is no need to wait until you’re here to find out what you want to see.