Famed for its historic ski jumping hill, Holmenkollen is a mountain and residential neighbourhood in Oslo’s north-west. It’s home to a handful of fascinating museums and the Royal Lodge where the Norwegian Royal Family celebrates Christmas and stays during the annual Holmenkollen Ski Festival.
Things to do in Holmenkollen
Occupying a dark, barrel-vaulted room covered with frescoes is the Emanuel Vigeland Museum, which was erected by the local sculptor and painter in 1926. In addition to exhibiting his art, he also wanted the building to serve as a mausoleum, with his ashes resting in an urn above the door. Adorning the walls is the monumental painting “Vita”, which dramatically illustrates scenes of human life.
Don’t miss the Holmenkollen National Ski Arena, which features state-of-the-art facilities for ski jumping, biathlon and cross-country skiing. It’s here that you’ll find the famous Holmenkollbakken, a large ski-jumping hill that first opened in 1892. Soak up the panoramic views across Oslo from the Jump Tower and explore the Holmenkollen Ski Museum, which houses historical exhibits and a ski simulator.
Adjacent to the Holmenkollen National Ski Arena is the heritage-listed Holmenkollen Chapel, which was originally built in 1903 and reconstructed following a fire in the 1990s. It is inspired by the stave churches of Rauland and Heidal, with traditional handicraft techniques used in its design. Of particular note are the spruce roots used in the chapel’s arches, as well as the dragestil-style wooden carvings.
Getting around Holmenkollen
Holmenkollen is around 20 minutes’ drive from the centre of Oslo and 45 minutes from Oslo Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Subway services connect along the Holmenkoll Line to the Besserud and Holmenkollen railway stations and buses travel throughout the district.