The Norwegian Folk Museum showcases life in Norway from 1500 to the present. Although I was aware that this is largely an open air museum with historic buildings that have been relocated here (160) I was struck by how vast the place is and the amount of information on display. As well as exhibits in the main building you can enter many of the historical buildings and explore further exhibitions.
The indoor exhibits feature some of Norway’s national treasures, including features on life in the urban upper classes in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Examples of Norwegian folk art such as ornate wood carvings and desks are also on display.
There was also a somewhat amusing look at the history of knitting in Norway from the 1600s to the present,
and treasures and artefacts of Sami life and culture. (Sami are the only indigenous people of Scandinavia).
The open air part of the museum is organised into two sections, the Countryside and the Old Town. I actually spent most of my time in the Old Town section which had an abundance of shops and houses to explore, including a Bank from 1897 and working class homes from the 1900s.
I really enjoyed the glimpses of Norwegian life through the ages – even just seeing the layout of their kitchens was interesting!
The Countryside section of the museum focuses on typical farmsteads from different time periods and regions of Norway. They also contain actual livestock such as this cow,
and horse-drawn carriage rides are also available, though I didn’t partake myself.
The farmsteads themselves did look like those I’d seen on the Flam Railway and hosts in period costumes also added to the atmosphere.
I didn’t see everything but I was there for around three hours and I wouldn’t be surprised if you could spend all day there to make sure you saw everything. Another bonus was that it wasn’t as crowded as the other museums in the area, so you could move around with ease. Definitely an unexpected highlight of my trip.
Many more photos can be found here.