Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sights of Old Oslo

Olavsklosteret and the Bishops Residence (1239 / 1623 / 1880)

By St Hallvards Church you find the residence of the Bishop of Oslo. The present buildings was built in 1880, but the base of his residence used to be the east wing of the monastery dedicated to the National saint of Norway, Saint Olav.

The Monastery was founded by the Dominican Order or the Order of Preachers (Ordo fratrum Praedicatorum) in 1239.

Most of the Monastery is now in ruins. This is also the case of the enclosed courtyard that once had rows of gothic columns with an open hallway around it.

To give the visitor the impression on how it might have looked, wooden beams have been placed where the columns used to be. Still the most intriguing parts of the monastery are the vaulted rooms enclosed in the basement of the Bishops residence.

The monastery fell into disrepair during late medieval times.

In the mid 1550s the Bishop of Oslo, Franz Berg rebuilt parts of the old monastery, and a small fragment of a small bird painted on one of the walls inside the bishops residence is from the period. In 1623 a second floor was built on top of what was the East wing of the Monastery of Saint Olav, and in that way, three vaulted rooms from medieval times were preserved.

These three rooms had from the 13th Century wooden roofs. The vaults were built in the 14th century, and
you can admire the patchwork of constructions from the different centuries from the outside.

Sadly the vaulted rooms are under restoration and thus not open for the public. But do visit the remains of the Monastery and tread on historic ground

Olavsklosteret and the Bishops Residence - how to get there.

Olavsklosteret is situated by the Church of St. Hallvard and the other remains from the Medieval era is situated in Old Oslo, in downtown Oslo. The easiest way to get there is to take tram line 18/19 - direction Holtet / Ljabru and leave at St. Hallvards plass.

See other sights in Oslo and around the world here on Enjoy Food & Travel - your travel source!

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