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Archive for norway

Trondheim’s Jewish Museum

By Linda Tancs

Trondheim, Norway, boasts the northernmost synagogue in Europe. Interestingly, the Trondheim Synagogue began its life as a train station, the only synagogue to serve such a function. The history of the place and the Jewish settlers (who first arrived in the 1880s) is recounted at the annexed Jewish Museum. And, in case you were wondering, the northernmost synagogue in the world is located in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Norway’s National Museum

By Linda Tancs

The largest art museum in the Nordic countries, Norway’s new National Museum (Nasjonalmuseet) in Oslo is also one of the largest art museums in Europe, right behind Russia’s Hermitage and the Louvre in Paris. Its signature architectural feature is the Light Hall. Reserved for temporary exhibitions, its exterior walls are made of marble glass, a thin layer of marble between two panes of glass. Reaching 22 feet in height, the hall also boasts 9,000 adjustable LED lights and can be completely darkened, depending on the nature of the art installation. From the roof terrace you can enjoy stunning views of the facility’s location at Rådhusplassen (City Hall Square) as well as Aker Brygge (the waterfront area) and the fjord.

Art Off the Grid

By Linda Tancs

Touted for its off-the-grid location, KaviarFactory is an international venue for contemporary art in the middle of the archipelago of Lofoten, Norway. Welcoming the likes of Ai Weiwei, Olafur Eliasson and Yoko Ono, the building itself is a well-known landmark. As the name implies, caviar was produced in the building beginning in the 1950s. The facility was ultimately transformed into the art gallery known today. Visit this time of year for Mother Nature’s own art show, the Northern Lights.

A Fortress in Oslo

By Linda Tancs

Akershus Castle in Oslo, Norway, was originally a military stronghold built in the late 13th century by King Haakon V. Once a royal palace, it survived many a siege during the Middle Ages and even served as a prison for part of its history. Far from a relic, this medieval gem along the city’s waterfront hosts two museums: the Norwegian Resistance Museum covering German occupation during World War II and the Armed Forces Museum covering military history dating from the Viking Age. Although the museums charge admission, entry to the fortress area is free.

The Road in the Ocean

By Linda Tancs

Opened in 1989, Atlantic Road is Norway’s answer to Florida’s Ocean Highway. Dubbed “the road in the ocean,” the 22-mile scenic route hugs the Atlantic Ocean, connecting islet with islet over seven bridges. Along with great ocean views, the journey presents the fertile cultural landscape of the coast across moorland to windswept crags. You’ll find ample opportunity for sightseeing along well-marked trails and elevated paths. Eldhusøya is the largest rest area along the way and is located on a scenic spot at the ocean’s edge. The road runs from Kårvåg to Bud.

World’s Tallest Timber Building

By Linda Tancs

Are you tired of looking at steel skyscrapers? Then head to Norway, where the world’s tallest timber building (as declared by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat) has been completed. Nearly 279 feet high, the 18-story building, Mjøstårnet, is the third tallest in the country. It’s located on the bank of Mjøsa, Norway’s biggest lake, in an area known for–what else–forestry and wood processing.

Gingerbread Town

By Linda Tancs

Your experience with gingerbread might be of the gastronomical kind, but in Norway there’s a full-blown miniature city made of the seasonal fare. Think of it as an edible Legoland. Dubbed the world’s biggest gingerbread city, Gingerbread Town in Bergen has been constructed every year since 1991 by thousands of volunteers. The city contains everything from tiny homes to local landmarks, trains, cars, boats and international signature buildings. It’s open throughout the month and, not surprisingly, you can buy cookies there.

A Bird’s-Eye View of Oslo

By Linda Tancs

The newest attraction in Oslo, Norway, takes you to the treetops at Stovner. Located just behind Stovner Shopping Center in northeastern Oslo, the Stovner Tower is an 853-foot path about 50 feet high. It’s shaped like a roller coaster, but the experience is far from dizzying. The closest metro station is Stovner, located approximately 25 minutes from the city center.

One Hundred Years of Water

By Linda Tancs

One hundred years of water. That’s how much ice mass you’ll find at the Jostedalsbreen glacier in Norway at Jostedalsbreen National Park. Almost half of the park is covered by the glacier, which is the largest in mainland Europe at 188 square miles. In some places the ice layers are over 1,600 feet thick. The park is easiest to access in Jostedalen (Luster) and Fjærland (Sogndal), where you can participate in glacier hikes and visit glacier museums.

Norway’s Taste of the Highlands

By Linda Tancs

The mountains and highlands of Eastern Norway are awash in heather, moss and shrubbery in a variety of colors, a sublime backdrop to a series of peaks exceeding 6,500 feet in height at Rondane National Park. Rondane is Norway’s first national park, an area boasting the oldest wild reindeer herd in the country. Its woodlands, mountains and ample wildlife are best experienced by hiking the several marked trails, off-road biking, horse riding, rafting and river kayaking. The park offers tourist cabins and campsites. You can also enjoy locally sourced fare in the area hotels.

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