Atop Oslo’s Bellevue Hill is a stuccoed brick building done in Neo-Classical style, home of the Norwegian monarchs since King Oscar I in 1849. This is the Royal Palace, a popular attraction on Oslo holidays.
The palace is open to visitors during the summer, where guided tours allow a peek into 13 of its rooms. These include the Vestibule, decorated in Norwegian Classicist style, where the Lord Chamberlain welcomes guests as they arrive. There are 20 columns of stucco marble here, as well as sculptures of notable events in the Royal Palace, such as "King Carl XIV Johan laying the foundation stone on 1 October 1825."
Waiting for an audience with the King isn’t so bad in the Bird Room, which brings the Norwegian landscape into the walls of the Royal Palace. Painted in the style of National Romanticism are 15 species, including the white-tailed eagle, great grey shrike, and song thrush.
Gold, blue, and white dominate the Council Chamber, where meetings of the Council of State are conducted. A long mahogany table, horsehair seats, and a coffered ceiling are some of its elements.
The Palace Chapel has witnessed christenings and funerals alike, and is also the setting for concerts during the Oslo Chamber Music Festival. At the centre of the altar is a gilded cross with the statue of the apostles Peter and Paul on either side. Wood and marble combine to make this an elegant setting.
“The only truly grand room" in the palace, according to its architect, is the Great Hall (or the Ballroom). It is decorated with papier-mâché to protect the dancers should any of the adornments falls to the dance floor. Today the Great Hall usually serves as a venue for award ceremonies and luncheons, it is also where the ball for the King and Queen’s silver wedding anniversary was held in 1993.
The Banqueting Hall with Greek deities painted on its walls, and the Family Dining Room with its crystal droplet chandeliers, are other sights to see on an Oslo holiday trip to the Royal Palace. The Royal Collections are not to be missed either.