The Medieval Oslo

Medieval Oslo

The beautiful rooms from 1200s in the Medieval Park in Oslo can take your breath away. That’s only one reason to visit the Medieval Oslo.

However, the Medieval period is one characterized throughout the Western world as one of violence. Artwork from this era shows not only violence done towards other cultural groups, but dangers and suffering from daily life.

Medieval Oslo
Harald Håråde, founder of Oslo, Painting by Axel Revold

The founding of the capital of Norway took place in the turbulent period between the Viking Age and Norway’s Catholic Middle Ages.

Related: Ancient Hunting Ground Discovered in Norway

Medieval Oslo
Memorial Park, Oslo

The Medieval Oslo
During the Middle Ages, Oslo grew from being a small trading center innermost in the Oslo fjord to become Norway’s capital. In 1624 the inhabitants of Oslo were forced to move to the new city Christiania, before the abandoned old Oslo was laid underground and forgotten, covered by fields, roads, train tracks and new buildings.

Medieval Oslo
Norway’s economic system in the Middle Ages was also more sophisticated than previously thought

Human remains have been vital in understanding the extent and manner of violence in the Medieval period. Brodholt and Holck (2012) summarize the findings from the Medieval Schreiner Collection of human remains from Oslo in order to create a more nuanced interpretation of the violence occurring in this era.

Widespread circulation of coins
Norway’s economic system in the Middle Ages was also more sophisticated than previously thought. Coinage was first introduced in Norway in the 11th century. It was gradually integrated in regular trade and eventually replaced goods as currency. According to historian Svein Gullbekk at the University of Oslo the use of coin circulation in Norwegian society in the years between 1050 to 1320 was widespread and frequent.

Medieval Oslo
Oslo Ladegård’s Medieval Office is located in Ladegaarden

Related: In the Medieval Footsteps of Norway

The Black Death
Many remnants and ruins from Ancient Oslo can be found in the Memorial Park. The city had a fascinating, interesting and dramatic history. Oslo´s population was substantially reduced during the time of the Black Death in 1348 which claimed over 50% of the inhabitants. This epidemic also had political consequences for Norway, which became reduced to a province of Denmark. During this period Copenhagen was the actual capital of Norway.

Medieval Oslo
Ruins of the Clemens Church

Pompeii if the North
In the 19th century, the Medieval town was found as a “Pompeii of the north” and today, the ancient medieval city is waking up from its nearly 400-year-old Cinderella sleep. Remains of medieval Oslo are found in Gamlebyen, in the form of ruins, building parts and cultural layers. Here you also find Oslo Ladegård’s Medieval Office, that can help you with information about medieval Oslo or a guided tour in the ruin park.

Related: Norwegian Viking Saga Confirmed

Medieval Oslo
From the Water Mirror (Vannspeilet) at the Medieval Park

The Medieval Park
(Middelalderparken) in the borough of Gamle Oslo in Oslo was built in 2000 in Sørenga in The medieval town of Oslo (Gamlebyen). That is about ten minutes’ walk from the Oslo Central Station. The park is located within the so-called Medieval Park area, which also included the Memorial Park and Ladegården on the north side of Bispegata. In this area, development is not allowed due to ruins and plenty of cultural remains in the underground.

Medieval Oslo
Ruins of St. Mary’s Church

Ruins of The Church of St. Mary in Oslo
The Church of St. Mary was once a royal chapel and collegiate church situated on the sandy tongue of land that made up the southern end of Oslo. Its building history, from a small wooden church to a Gothic structure with a monumental façade, reflects key architectural developments in the span of Norway’s Medieval Period (AD 1050–1537). Several excavations have shed light on this evolution, in which the question of form and dating has played a leading role.

Medieval Oslo
The Vaterland boat wreck is now being reconstructed in full scale

The Vaterland boat wreck
A boat wreck was discovered during excavation work outside the bus terminal in Oslo. The excavation of the wreck was carried out by Byantikvaren and the Norwegian Maritime Museum in 2011.

The reconstruction project is part of Oslo City’s plans for the development of the medieval park. After the boat is completed, it will be put into operation on Vannspeilet (the Water Mirror).

The Vaterland boat wreck is now being reconstructed in full scale. The museum’s boatbuilder workshop has moved to the medieval park and is open all summer.

Medieval Oslo
Exhibition at Oslo Medieval Park

The Middle Age Exhibition 2018
About hundred years ago the construction of a railway brought the Middle Ages back into the light. This year’s exhibition in Ladegaarden shows what has been found in the excavations in the 1880s and up to the spectacular findings made in connection with today’s excavations.

The exhibition will be open every Saturday and Sunday at 12 – 16pm in the period June-September 2018.

Medieval Oslo
Munks’ room at the Medieval Park

Free Memorial Park Walks, including visit to secret and rare rooms
The tour includes a visit to two exciting rooms from the 1200’s Olav monastery, which today is located under the Bishop’s office in the Memorial Park.

Medieval Oslo
From the Olav Monastery

One of the two old rooms was the monk’s library and the other their meeting room. The beautiful stone rooms can take your breath away. As we know, you get the best experience of history in its original surroundings.

Free Memorual Park walks through August, every Sunday at 1pm from the garden at Oslo ladegaard.

The Medieval Oslo, written by Tor Kjolberg