Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Oslo and strong women. Akershus fortress, Radhussplassen. Prominent sculptures, frieze scenes

Oslo offers many opportunities for admiring mighty and productive women.  

1.  At Akershus Fortress, find the National Memorial for the Victims of World War II, featuring a mini-man, a very large woman. Gunnar Jansson is the sculptor. 
. Akershus Fortress, National Memorial for Victims of World War II.  Sculptor:  Gunnar Jansson

2. At Radhussplassen, the park in front of City Hall, and at a section of the Oslo waterfront, find women's work extolled -- at last.  The great hall in City Hall is where the Nobel Peace Prize gets awarded.  Traffic is routed well in advance to tunnels beneath the new City Hall, or Town Hall, area, as it is also called.  The view of the marina, at the bay of Oslo fjord, is uninterrupted.

3.  The frieze around Town Hall also has substantial areas focused on women's work, women's roles, relationships. The overall theme is trades, Norwegian way of life, and without specifically Christian tie-ins.  This is not surprising, given a mild resurgence of interest in Asatru, the pre-Christian belief system of the people already in Scandinavia before lower Europe slid and beat its way in.  See overfiew of Asatru at  Norway has abolished its earlier state-sponsored religion, Christianity, see history and timeline at


.  Frieze, City Hall, Oslo:  Women with children

The park is not only peopled by women, of course.

4.  And the men Find men in trades well represented, here in a line at the City Hall entrance. Some in shape, some not, like life. Their depictions are not representative of a larger role in life's cycles, just earning a living.

This was election day, with dignitaries' cavalcades stopping the little traffic there was (remember the tunnels below).  I was invited to vote, ushered in with great courtesy to what I thought was an interior gallery  -- all to say that appearances do give an unfair advantage in travel.  The ability to blend in opens doors even unsought.  Yes. An unfair advantage.

5.  City Hall took its toll on humans. Pipervika lost.

Before the big construction project, this area of Oslo was known as Pipervika, an area for common people, housing, a slum.  So what is this fine piper?

  • On this base of the piper statue, all is in Norwegian.

  • Best effort at reproducing the Norwegian, as an ignorant amateur:
I mange hundre ar la den fatrige forstaden Piperviken nedenfor skrenten her. Pa dette stedet gikh en bratt sti upp til Piperviksporten, den emesta adkomsten vestfra til byen inmenfor voliene.

Har Christian IV besoktor Akershus, kadde han med seg egne musikanser fra Kobenhavn . De unge musikantens, med sine flotte og fargerike uniformes, gjorde seg bemarket blant Pipervikens fatuge befolkning.
  • Mash up several translations and get:
 For hundreds of years the fatrige suburb of Piperviken lay below the bluff here. At this place gikh a steep path wove up to the Piperviksporten, the emesta entry from the West to the town of inmenfor voliene.
Have Christian IV besoktor Akershus, brought with him his own musikanser from Kobenhavn. The young musicians, with their beautiful and colorful uniformes, made his bemarket Pipervikens fatuge among the  population.

6.  Eating.  Avoid mass-produced, too technological places. 

Vapiano is a big, industrial-size modern pasta place where you are given a computer card, aim to the lineuyp of cooks each with his or her own cooking supplies and wokkies, and heat-not water source.  You tell the cook what you want from the list of ingredients and types of pasta, the cook is supposed to do it while you watch, but we lost.  Our dear cook hadn't a clue, and the one next had to keep dashing over to fix.  We ended up with glue.  Get an experienced cook, and you might be ok.

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