Norwegian Maritime Museum
Norsk Maritimt Museum
The Norwegian Maritime Museum
The Norwegian Maritime Museum is situated on the Bygdøy peninsula in Oslo, and a number of the city's historical museums lie in the immediate vicinity. The museum's award-winning main building counts as one of the centerpieces of 1960's museum architecture in Norway, with its triangular halls suspended strikingly overlooking the Oslo Fjord. The museum features themes from all aspects of Norway's maritime heritage.
Norwegian history and society is deeply linked with seafaring. The name of the country is derived from Old Norse Nordvegr, meaning the way or fairway to the north. Norway has the longest coastline of any European nation. Despite the challenges of the rugged coast and seasonally harsh conditions, seafarers have navigated the coastal and inland waters of Norway using vessels of all sizes and purposes throughout the centuries. Generations of Norwegians have depended upon nourishment from the sea, mainly harvested from the rich spawning grounds for herring and Arctic cod in the Northern Atlantic.
Modern Norwegian shipping and maritime business are based on both solid traditions and dynamic entrepreneurs who made Norway a major seafaring nation already in the nineteenth century. As global commerce increased with industrialization, the Norwegian shipping community aptly exploited opportunities arising on all the world's seas. This is the nation's Wirtschaftswunder: Norway, having a population today of fewer than five million persons, has for the last 150 years had a merchant fleet numbered among the four or five largest in the world.
Collections and exhibitions
The collections of the Norwegian Maritime Museum include photos, plans, vessels, ship models, navigational tools and ship equipment. The collection of traditional open boats is the most geographically diverse extant in Norway. The boat collection illustrates the influence of shipbuilding traditions from the Viking and medieval eras well into the 19th and 20th centuries.
The museum plays a vital role in the management of Norwegian maritime heritage through the documentation and rescue of underwater cultural heritage sites in the most populous areas of the country. Construction activities in Oslo in recent years have provided interesting additions to our knowledge of late medieval and early modern ship technologies. No less than 13 vessels were excavated in the downtown area of Bjørvika during 2008 and 2009. The finds are presented in a temporary exhibition centrally located in the museum. Visitors may also enjoy watching the activities in the Boat Lab, where professional boatbuilders are constructing a seaworthy replica of one the wrecks excavated at Bjørvika.
Seascapes and maritime scenes figure prominently in Norwegian pictorial art, and the museum has a permanent exhibition of maritime paintings that features central artists of the 19th and 20th centuries. A new exhibition, The Ship, devoted to maritime technology from the earliest floats to modern engineering marvels, opened in spring 2010. The exhibition includes Norway's oldest preserved vessel – a dugout oak canoe that dates back more than 2200 years. Visitors may try steering remote controlled models in the exhibition pool.
An 18-minute journey along the coast of Norway
As a fitting introduction, or a welcome break in the walkabout, visitors may embark on a breathtaking voyage along the Norwegian coast in our movie theater. Here, the film, The Ocean – A Way of Life, is normally shown every 30 minutes. The film is a five-screen ride, featuring astonishing vistas that give a vivid impression of the Norwegian relationship to the sea and coast. Admission to the movie is included in the ticket to the museum.
Opening hours and facilities
The Norwegian Maritime Museum has two opening schedules, one for winter and one for summer. During the summer season from May 15th until August 31st, the museum is open every day between 10 am and 6 pm. During the winter season, the museum is open between 10 am and 3 pm Tuesday through Friday and from 10 am - 4 pm Saturday and Sunday. The museum is closed on Mondays during the winter season. The museum library is open for visitors on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 am-3 pm and by appointment. The museum shop offers a rich selection of maritime souvenirs, books and artifacts. An indoor snack bar serves hot and cold beverages and sandwiches year round. In the summer season, the scenic outdoor café, Fjordterrassen, provides a splendid menu, featuring a number of affordable seafood dishes.
How to get there
From the city center, bus line 30 gives easy access to all the museums on Bygdøy. In the months from April until October ,the peninsula is also served by a city boat service (line 91), departing from the City Hall (Rådhus) quay. Please visit our website www.marmuseum.no for further details about the museum program, research facilities/library and admission prices.
- Street: Bygdøynesveien 37
- Postcode: N-0286
- City: Oslo
- Tel: +47 24 11 41 50
- Fax: +47 24 11 41 51