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Gay Oslo


Around 50 museums are scattered around this city. These include:

     The Munch Museum, containing "The Scream" and other works by Edvard Munch.

     The Nordsk Folkemuseum, on the Bygdøy peninsula, dedicated to Folk art, Folk Dress, and the cultures of the Sami people and the Vikings. An outdoor museum, it contains 155 authentic old-style buildings from all over Norway, including a Stave Church.

     The Vigeland Museum located in Vigeland Park or Frognerpark, free to enter, with over 212 sculptures, nudes all ages from infants to the very old, by Gustav Vigeland including the Obelisk of entwined bodies, the Wheel of Life and fountain sculptures. A small boy stamping his foot in fury, called Sinnataggen, is a popular icon of the city.

     The Vikingskipshuset, containing three Viking ships found at Oseberg, Gokstad and Tune; plus several other unique items of that age.

     The Oslo City Museum with a permanent exhibition on the people of Oslo and a history of the city. The Kon-Tiki Museum houses Thor Heyerdahls Kontiki and Ra2.

     The National Museum with Norway's most extensive collection of art; permanent exhibitions from its own collection and temporary shows of works loaned from elsewhere. With this complex are the National Gallery, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Museum, the Museum of Decorative Arts and the National Museum of Architecture.

     The Nobel Peace Center, housing a permanent exhibition that showcases each of the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Recreational Space:

Parks and green areas abound within and around the city.

     Frogner Park, a large park a few minutes walk from city center is the biggest and best known park in Norway with a large collection of sculptures by Norwegian artist Gustav Vigeland
      Bygdøy, a huge green area, is known as the Museum Peninsula of Oslo, surrounded by the sea, it is the most expensive property in Norway.
      St. Hanshaugen Park, a hilltop park in central Oslo lends it's name to the surrounding neighbourhood and the administrative district.
      Tøyen Park, stretching behind Munch Museum, is a grassy expanse, with a northern viewing point known as Ola Narr. The Botanical Garden and the University of Oslo Museum of Natural History are located here too.

     Stensparken or Stone Park in the St. Hanshaugen district is 48 green acres big, with great views over the city. The "love carousel" at the far south of the park, at Tramway St, is a public urinal dating from 1937, signed by the then city architect Harald Aars. This round structure, characteristic of "funkjonalistisk" style, has long been a meeting place for gay men, and is listed as a local site of cultural heritage.

     Homolulu gay "beach" in the Frogner district, offers nude sunbathing on a rocky waterfront and some cruisy bushes. Take bus number 30 from the National Theatre to the last stop, follow the path to Paradisbukta, then after 200m head right for the sea. See the Gule Sider map.

     Of eight public swimming pools, Tøyenbadet is the largest indoor pool facility in Oslo, with a 50-metre main pool. The outdoor pool at Frognerbadet is another 50-metre pool.

     In wintertime, from mid-November to April, the ski center at Oslo Winter Park Tryvann has 14 slopes for downhill skiers and snowboarders, with evening hours until 10pm, just 20 minutes from the center of town. Take the number 1 Metro train to Voksenkollen, then hop on the Ski Bus to Tryvann -- see T-Banen for schedules. has a full list of the many other ski resorts around Norway.

     This, the world's largest sculpture park, adorned by the works of a single artist, is one of Norway's most popular tourist attractions, open year-round.

     Here, filled with the lifework of Gustav Vigeland, there are over 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and wrought iron. Almost all are human nudes, of all ages, birth to death, in a variety of natural and dramatic poses, depicting many types of human relationships: attractions, conflicts, emotions; passages of lifetimes in the family of mankind. The artist oversaw the design and architechtural layout of the park, which was mainly completed by 1939, but didn't open to the public until 1947, after the war.

     A museum building houses Vigeland sculptures in plaster, granite, bronze, marble, and wrought iron works; also thousands of drawings, woodcuts and woodcarvings. Original plasters of his famous busts and monuments, and plaster models of the park statues are also to be found here.

      A google-image search for Vigeland can yield a wider, deeper look into the park's sculptures than official or commercial websites. These public responses to the sculptures, with photos and comments, provide other perspectives from what is usually seen in professional presentations. In Flickr galleries, average people from many cultures reveal as much about themselves and our societies, as they do about the art - the choices of frame, crop and angles of perspective demonstrate curiosity, playfulness, and reverent fascination; but sometimes also discomfort or puzzlement with so much unabashed nudity. Some younger people seem uncomfortable to see very old bodies represented; while others fear to witness the young. But children climb all over the statues, quite unconcerned by it all; they, (and the Japanese tourists), look quite at home here. Vineland, having cloaked his own passions for the tenor of his times, is more easily understood as well, through the eyes of the many observers. Some things have changed since his era, some have not.

     In the photos, note the shiny areas on the bronzes, indicating where people have repeatedly reached out to touch. Certain parts have had more attention - for luck or for blessing? Heads of babies, fingers, toes, and (predictably) male bits too.

     After 9pm, says a local Oslo gay blog, the tourists leave and the park can get quite busy with men of all ages, from all walks of life, who come to cruise. Erotic encounters, and glimpses of real skin contrast with beautiful, larger-than-life, aloof, cold stone and metal figures that nonetheless seem to come alive in the twilight, or from the corner of the eye. All are assembled around the phallic column of writhing nudes who reach for the sky. Curious temple, interesting artist, mysterious flesh.