Friday, January 2, 2015

Oslo: Akershus. Doors, Crests, Resistance Museum, View of Olympic Ski Jump

Akershus Fortress; Akershus Castle; Oslo on the Fjord.
1.  Akershus architecture.  A quick look never suffices for doorways.  Get closer to figure out the symbols, history.  Akershus has stood in some form for 700 years, its earliest written reference, I understand.  Surely at this strategic point, a settlement or defense spot would have bloomed earlier.

1.1  At Akershus, this peaked small bricked A-frame shape shows earliest functions and size for a fortress equipage, later eclipsed by a larger stone building surrounding and over.  Munitions?  Offices?  

1.2  The top door-window at this early structure is heavily armored, with whose coats of arms?   

The top coat of arms has the date 1657, a crown, are those swan heads? A Z and a 5 perhaps, and not really a cross, but a something.  Frederick III was king of Norway and Denmark in 1657. He declared war on Sweden in that year, see  That does not help with the rest of the crest, however. Z and 5

1.3  The faces sculpted in relief on left and right of that same high door-window above the main door.  Those look like warriors, and Norse NORSE NORSE.  The castle appears in written history in the 1300's with King Haakon V Magnusson. See  Is that the V or 5?  

1.4  The center crest, however, looks more abstract.  Research ongoing.

There had been a great fire after a lightning strike in 1527, and rebuilding could have expanded this spot, perhaps.

2.  At this other little room area, different, the door was open.

Akershus Fortress, Oslo. Open doors.

 Go inside.


3.  More modern uses.  Akershus in WWII.  Akershus was used by the Nazis in WWII as a holding prison for those sentenced to death, and for the executions.

The Resistance Museum at Akershus demomstrates a national religious effort to oppose the Nazis, and 800 of 850 clergy and bishops resigned in 1942 after the Nazis occupied Nidaros Cathedral at Trondheim for its own purposes.  The BBC from Radio London, enabled the King and Government in exile in England to reach the Norwegians, and slip coded messages to the Resistance. The Swedes, remained "neutral" and continued to supply the Nazis, and some argue in their support that they were in a different position, so close to the German border and aware that German bombing would devastate them.  Still, profits are profits, is that so?  Complex. 

See the maps:  radio BBC also passed through Stockholm, apparently, with relays to Norway. 

4.  Peacetime.  Oslo hosted the Olympics in 1952, and the ski jump is still working and visible just outside the downtown area.

  • An aside:  Best children's book from my recollection WWII:  Snow Treasure, children sledding past the Germans lying on gold bullion to get the gold to the coast and out. Find it still at  Next best:  Kwik and Kwak, two ducks in the Netherlands when the Germans invade, escape on a ship to New York, and on the way, save they day in spotting bad scowling green ducks on their German submarine.  See it still, at

Olympic Ski Jump 1952, Oslo

Norway had considered competing to host the 2022 Olympics, but will not do so this time.

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