is a public park located in the borough of Frogner
Frogner is a borough of the city of Oslo, Norway. In addition to traditional Frogner, the borough incorporates Bygdøy, Uranienborg and Majorstuen....
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...
, Norway. The park contains the world famous Vigeland Sculpture Park
) designed by Gustav Vigeland
Gustav Vigeland was a Norwegian sculptor. Gustav Vigeland occupies a special position among Norwegian sculptors, both in the power of his creative imagination and in his productivity. He is most associated with Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo...
Frogner Park consists of various bridges, fountains and a well known picnic area, popular in the summer for sunbathing, games, and relaxation. It also contains both Frognerbadet
Frognerbadet is a pool complex in the borough of Frogner in Oslo, Norway. It was designed by architect Frode Rinnan.Located adjacent to Frognerparken, it opened in 1956, and doubles as a public bath and swimming pool and a professional swimming venue. Also, the festival Norwegian Wood is hosted...
and Frogner Stadium. The park is the largest park in the city and covers 32 hectares.
In the middle of the 18th century Hans Jacob Scheel, then owner of the Frogner Manor
Frogner Manor is located on a former estate in an area that became part of today's borough of Frogner in Oslo, Norway. The estate is now the site of Frognerparken...
, laid out a baroque
The Baroque is a period and the style that used exaggerated motion and clear, easily interpreted detail to produce drama, tension, exuberance, and grandeur in sculpture, painting, literature, dance, and music...
garden adjacent to his new manor house. It was expanded by the people who followed him, starting with Bernt Anker (1746–1805) who bought Frogner in 1790 and expanded the main building. Benjamin Wegner took over the property in 1836 and he transformed the garden into a romantic park around 1840. Later, most of the arable land was sold to private developers.
Around one square kilometer remained when the City of Oslo bought the property in 1896 to secure space for further urban development. The municipal government decided around 1900 to make a park for recreation and sports. Frogner Stadium was opened near the road and the area near the buildings was opened to the public in 1904. Norwegian architect Henrik Bull
Henrik Bull was a Norwegian architect and designer. Among his works are the Paulus Church at Grünerløkka in Oslo, the National Theater, the Historical Museum in Oslo, and the Government Building. He also designed coins for Norges Bank, and participated at the Kristiania Jubilée exhibition at...
designed the grounds and some of the buildings erected in in the Frogner Park for the Norwegian Jubilee Exhibition in 1914.
The municipal government subsequently decided that Gustav Vigeland's fountain and all his monuments and statues should be placed in the park. The area was ready for Gustav Vigeland fountain in 1924 and the final plan was released in 1932 by the city-council. Most of the statues depict people engaging in various typically human pursuits, such as running, wrestling, dancing, hugging, holding hands and so on. However, Vigeland occasionally included some statues that are more abstract, including one statue, which shows an adult male, fighting off a horde of babies.
Vigeland Sculpture Park
Vigeland Sculpture Park covers 80 acres (320,000 m2) and features 212 bronze and granite sculptures all designed by Gustav Vigeland. In 1940 the Bridge was the first part of the Sculpture Park to be opened to the public. 58 of the park's sculptures reside along the Bridge, a 100 metre (328 ft) long, 15 metre (49 ft) wide connection between the Main Gate and the Fountain. All are clad in bronze and contribute to the Human Condition theme of the park. Here visitors will find one of the park's more popular statues, Angry Boy
). Visitors could enjoy the sculptures while most of the park was still under construction. At the end of the bridge lies the Children’s Playground, a collaboration of eight bronze statues, all in the likenesses of children at play.
Originally designed to stand in Eidsvolls plass
Eidsvolls plass is a square and park in Oslo, Norway, located west of the Parliament of Norway Building, south of Karl Johans gate and east of Studenterlunden and the National Theatre...
in front of the Parliament of Norway, the Fountain (Fontenen
) was fabricated from bronze and adorned with 60 individual bronze reliefs. Portraying children and skeletons in the arms of giant trees, the Fountain suggests that from death comes new life. On the ground surrounding the Fountain lies an 1800 square meter mosaic laid in black and white granite. It took Vigeland a great deal of time to establish the monument: from 1906 to 1947.
The Main Gate to Vigeland Sculpture Park is forged of granite and wrought iron and serve as an entrance to Frogner Park itself. The monumental Main Gate marks the entrance on Kirkeveien in the east to the 850-meter-long axis that leads through the Bridge to the Fountain, the Monolith, which ends in the Wheel of Life in the west of the park. It consists of five large gates, two small pedestrian gates and two copper-roofed gate houses, both adorned with weather vanes. The Main Gate was designed in 1926, redesigned in the 1930s and erected in 1942. It was financed by a Norwegian bank.
The Monolith Plateau is a platform made of steps that houses the Monolith totem itself. 36 figure groups reside on the elevation bringing with them the “circle of life” message. Access to the Plateau is made via eight figural gates forged in wrought iron. The gates were designed between 1933 and 1937 and erected shortly after Vigeland died in 1943.
At the highest point in the park lies the park's most popular attraction, The Monolith (Monolitten
). The name derives from the Latin word monolithus from the Greek word μονόλιϑος (monolithos
), derived from μόνος ("one" or "single") and λίϑος ("stone") implying the totem to be fabricated from one (mono) solid piece of stone (lith). Construction of the massive monument began in 1924 when Gustav Vigeland himself modeled it out of clay in his studio in Frogner. The design process took him ten months, and it is speculated that Vigeland had the help of a few sketches drafted in 1919. The model was then cast in plaster.
In the autumn of 1927 a block of granite weighing several hundred tons was delivered to the park from a stone quarry in Halden
is a both a town and a municipality in Østfold county, Norway. The seat of the municipality, Halden is a border town located at the Tista river delta on the Iddefjord, the southernmost border crossing between Norway and Sweden.-History:...
. It was erected a year later and a wooden shed was built around it to keep out the elements. Vigeland’s plaster design was set up next to it to give reference to its sculptors. Transferring of the figures began in 1929 and took 3 stone carvers 14 years to accomplish. On the Christmas of 1944 the public was allowed to admire The Monolith and 180,000 people crowded the wooden shed to get a close look at the creation. The shed was demolished shortly thereafter. The Monolith towers 14.12 meters (46.32 ft) high and is composed of 121 human figures rising towards the sky. This is meant to represent man’s desire to become closer with the spiritual and divine. It portrays a feeling of togetherness as the human figures embrace one another as they are carried toward salvation.
At the end of the 850-meter-long axis lies a sundial, forged in 1930, and finally the Wheel of Life, crafted in 1933-34. The wheel is more or less a wreath depicting four people and a baby floating in harmony. It is a symbol of eternity, and implies the overall theme of the park: man’s journey from the cradle to the grave.
In popular culture
- The book The Doomsday Key written by author James Rollins has scenes in Frogner Park
- The Norwegian movie Elling
Elling is a Norwegian film directed by Petter Næss. Shot mostly in and around the Norwegian capital Oslo, the film, which was released in 2001, is primarily based on Ingvar Ambjørnsen's novel Brødre i blodet , one of a series of four featuring the Elling character – the others are Utsikt til...
features a scene in which the sex-obsessed Kjell-Bjarne admires the sculptures of the park with Elling.
- The science fiction novel Mockymen by Ian Watson
Ian Watson is a British science fiction author. He currently lives in Northamptonshire, England.His first novel, The Embedding, winner of the Prix Apollo in 1975, is unusual for being based on ideas from generative grammar; the title refers to the process of center embedding...
utilizes the park as a plot point.
- The song Vigeland's Dream on Eleanor McEvoy
Eleanor McEvoy is one of Ireland's most accomplished contemporary singer/songwriters. McEvoy composed the song Only A Woman's Heart, title track of A Woman's Heart, the best-selling Irish album in Irish history.-Biography:...
's album "Out There
Out There is Eleanor McEvoy's sixth studio album. McEvoy, a multi-instrumentalist, not only produced and arranged Out There, she also played all instruments on the album and supplied all vocals. The album includes ten new compositions by McEvoy plus two co-writes with the Beautiful South's Dave...
" describes a walk in the park.
- Wikborg, Tone (1985) Gustav Vigeland - His Art and Sculpture Park (Oslo: Aschehoug) ISBN 82-03-16150-2
- Stang, R. (1991) Guide to the Vigeland Park in Oslo (Arthur Vanous Co) ISBN 978-8251801652