Holmenkollen a cultural high point in Oslo

Although September is the first month of fall, we still have the loveliest warm weather in Norway. With nothing on the agenda for this relaxing weekend I had another quality time up in the hills surrounding Oslo with my wife. I had my Nokia mobile phone on hand of course, so let me guide you through one of world’s most famous landmarks in the international history of winter sports. Holmenkollen is a small mountain on the outskirts of Norway’s capital Oslo (within the city’s area proper). The area has been a ski recreation area since the late 19th century, with its famous, eponymous, ski jump arena hosting competitions since 1892.

(Please click to enlarge all the pics)

The Holmenkollen ski jump is host to the world’s second oldest ski jump competition still in existence (the oldest is in the near area around Holmenkollen). The first competition was in 1892. Watched by a crowd of 10,000, the length achieved by the winner, Svein Sollid from Morgedal in Telemark, was 21.5 meters. No wonder since the oldest ski found in Norway dates back 5,200 years. The ski jump was also an arena of the 1952 Winter Olympics. Since then crowds have increased to over 100,000 and the jump has been extended 14 times. Today’s tower extends 60 meters above ground, and 417 metres above sea level. The current record of 136 meters was achieved by Tommy Ingebrigtsen of Norway in 2006.

Former King a great skier – Opposite view

Crown Prince Olav, our former King participated in 1922 and 1923. Every year, more than a million tourists visit the ski arena. Between 1 may and 31 august this year the ski museum had almost 605 000 tourists

From here you have a panoramic view of Oslo and the Oslofjord, and the world’s oldest ski museum is located at the base of the tower. The hill is also a summer attraction and people come here for outdoor recreation: swimming, cross-country running, marathon, orienteering, cycle races, motocross, fishing contests, summer ski jumping and freestyle, dog and horse shows. In addition, Holmenkollen is the scene of a number of cultural events, of which the best-known is the Summer Concert, broadcast to several countries.

If you like to stay here for a few days, I recommend Holmenkollen Park Hotel. Parts of the hotel date back to 1894 and the National Romantics period. A rich cultural inheritance is blended with all the “mod con” facilities of a first class hotel. Above is my picture of the older section and the view from the front of the hotel.

We ended our tour at the café by the ski jump. The craw fish baguette tasted lovely with the most wonderful view and the fresh, clear air and sunshine. My wife had a cafe latte and I had a beer. She told me that my readers around the world would have a good laugh if they read the name of this beer, so I just had to take a picture of the bottle with the panoramic view behind it. It comes from one of the oldest brewery in Norway and taste much better than it sounds:-)

Referral links: Holmenkollen Park Hotel RicaDistension Holmenkollen and My own post from the same place last February.

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  1. Beautiful scenery in this post! I loved learning a bit more about the history of this area. We are just starting into fall also, but it’s our lovliest time of year here as well!

  2. I kept saying to myself, “I’ve been there! I’ve seen that!” Yes, I was one of those 605k tourists there this summer (from our cruise). What great pics, Renny, of great memories! You’ve done yourself proud again!

  3. “tastes much better than it sounds”

    That’s hilarious! I love it! I’m glad you had a great weekend, it looks so beautiful there :-)

  4. Thanks for these great pictures! I’m happy to say that I was here today! I even went up to the jump tower and had a magnificent view of Oslo and the fjord. Jeg gleder meg til vinteren! (Sorry I had to correct my Norsk, hehehe)

  5. Oh, I want to visit again!!! On my first trip to Norway, a friend took me up there and I cried. I had never been so high up (growing up in the prairies of the Midwest US) so the view from took my breath away. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been there over the past 15+ years, but it’s always a must visit. Even in the winter – just bring your cross-country skis!

    Do you take requests? If so, could I put in one for photos from my second favorite place in Oslo – Frognerparken? (perhaps you better not get me started or I will have you running all over Oslo to take photos ;) )

  6. Just so lovely Renny – I love the pics!!! Ah and the Beer – P would be all over that… Me I usually don’t drink to keep my weight stteady…

    But I so want to go. We didn’t get in enough done on this weekend, although I got a new swim suit to get through this winter in the water. Mine was wearing out, and at 3 times a week, that chlorine is just going to make my suit wear faster!

  7. your wife is right. hehehe. so how does it taste like?

    renny, i have an honest question.. how do you do the summer ski?

  8. Hi Renny, you’ve done it again. Did you know that some years ago you could buy Aass beer in the US? It was at a special beer palace (in Wisconsin?), I was told by my son’s best friend in Michigan. (You can see at pict of him dressed like his great hero: Thor, the viking God in my blogg tomorrow)

  9. Wow you two sure have a lot of fun dont you!
    In that first sentence, it sounds like you are saying that your wife is surrounding Oslo….she cant be that large! LOL Just kidding!

    “I had another quality time up in the hills surrounding Oslo with my wife”

    Oh RennyBA you slay me!

  10. Wow, that is so neat to see pictures of NOrway! My maternal grandmother was born in Oslo. Maybe one day I can visit there. I have one cousin that makes trips to Norway often.

    Hey! Know anyone with the last names of Engebretsen or Berntsen? They are probably very common there. Oh well.

  11. oh how interesting. ski jumping looks to me like flying almost, kind of scary and yet exhilarating.

    i like your wife’s sense of humor! i’ve never acquired the taste for beer so i am figuring it probably doesn’t taste any better than it sounds, hehehe. but i am glad you enjoyed it and some nice time with your lovely wife.

  12. Greetings from South Beach!

    That ski jump looks so scary! I don’t know how people do it — such courage!

    Your wife was right … quite funny!



  13. Hello Renny, this is Thess from Holland thanking you for visiting my page and your friendly messages :-)

    Whoa! that was one impressive ski arena! Maybe I should suggest to my husband to visit your country this winter instead of Austria (again for the nth time.)

    And your missus is right, that’s a funny name for a beer ^-^
    kind regards from the land of tulips and wooden shoes…and super high tax *lol*

  14. @Sue: Glad you liked it and learned something new as well. I do like fall too and will love to post some experience, so stay tuned!

    @Ginnie: Glad you’ve seen it with your own eyes and that this post gives you good memories.

    @Jen: Actually it is great – the taste I mean LoL

    @Missy: It tastes just great. I’ll buy you one when you are coming to Norway!

    @Mark: See: everyone has to go there:-) Yea, the view from the tower is marvellous. Jeg gleder meg til vinterent også – skal du hoppe?

    @LynAnne: How lovely to hear from another American with the same great experience. It certainly is a must see, yes. Tell me when you are coming over next time at winter and we can ski together! I take requests: Frognerparken is a must to and I have a post about it here:

    @ExpatTraveler: I know one day P will have his Aass too LoL. Why chlorine? Don’t you have a polar bear club and ice bathing in Canada:-)

    @Lynn: What I compliment – I feel honoured – thank you! That’s what I hope for too with my blog.

    @Marti: It tastes like an ordinary Pilsner and very much like a Carlsberg from Denmark.

    @Tin-tin: A lot of Norwegians do so. We are born with skies on you know:-) An example here: http://www.kongsberg.net/BEVERN/Rulleski.jpg

    @TorAA: Thanks for this information – great to know Americans can have some great beer too:-)

    @BarefootMistress: Yes you have misunderstood, she isn’t that large, but she is the centre of Oslo for me!

    @Karen!: Yes you should come over too and let me know in advance so that we can meet!
    I know some yea, they are very common.
    I am from Porsgrunn and you can read a post from it here: http://rennybasblog.blogspot.com/2006/03/white-white-snow-of-home.html

    @Lime: It really is and I did it when I was young. My longest jump was 25M! Well, it taste like shit, but you can live on it LoL (just kidding!)

    @ManolaBlablablanik: To be crazy and from Norway helps:-) Cheers!

    @Thess: Yes, Norway is excellent for people who love winter sports and I’ll gladly give you and your husband a guided tour around Oslo too! How lovely to have greetings from Holand competing Norway in tax LoL

  15. I must say, it is really nice up there at Holmenkollen. I love the place! Well, hope we’ll be able to get the chance to meet and to have Oslo’s best apple pie at Holmenkollen one day.


  16. I havent been to Holmenkollen yet but I would love to visit soon probably around December or something. Lovely pictures as usual!

  17. You have such a beautiful country and I love seeing pictures showing some of the scenic areas. That ski hill is very impressive…I’m terrified of heights though so I don’t think you’d ever get me up there! lol I’m still laughing at the beer’s name too! hehe

  18. Since it’s the oldest brewery it would *have* to taste better than its name suggests. lol.

    Ski jumps for Olympics? We saw that sort of thing at Lake Placid. Gives a fright just to see the height in summer. The thought of going down there on skies, that which we took a helicopter ride over to take in the view of! yeek.

    Always a pleasure to have you come by. Glad you liked the quiz answers.

  19. @GreenEarth: Thanks and it’s beautiful in the winter time too! Thanks for stopping by.

    @AlBjørnstad: Always good to hear others with great experience from there too I do really hope we’ll meet soon – in Holmenkollen or elsewhere!

    @Grish: Glad you liked it and there will be more.

    @CharlesRavndal: Meet you for a ski trip in December then!

    @PEA: Glad you liked it. And don’t you be afraid as I will hold your hand the first time – and afterwards you will have a taste of the beer too you know

    @Pearl: I was in Lake Placid last October and the ski jump there is impressive too. As I was a ski jumper myself when I was younger and I can tell you it is a lovely way to fly. Always great to have you come by too and I’ll will visit you again.

  20. Informative post again! I should really visit your country one day!
    I have to taste this beer before I die! ;-)
    Do you ski?

  21. Great post! In fact, I made a video from Holmenkollen a few months ago, you can see it here. (It is in quicktime). I really like blogs about Norway that are in English – let the rest of the world get more glimpses of what Norway is about, besides the oil and the fish.

  22. thanks so much for dropping by my little blog and leaving such a sweet comment!!!! You are too kind :)
    I soo love oyur blog- makes me want to pack up and move to Norway NOW :) Just beautiful :)

  23. ski jumping must be very interesting to watch (to do? oh nah! not for me,hehe) did you?

    Hows the hotel rates in this area?

  24. @Teena: Thanks – come on over and have one:-)

    @Sidney: Hope to see you soon then!

    @dltq: Thanks so much for sharing this vid – a great see if you like to know how it is in the winter time at the competition! I recommend all others to have a look at the vid too!

    @Mishell: Thanks for the compliments and you are welcome for a visit at least!

    @zingtrial: Thanks – wish you the same:-)

    @Danielle: Your welcome – glad you liked it and welcome back any time.

    @Nome: Yes I have – a lot of time when I was younger. 25M is my record and not in Holmenkollen:-) Glad you liked the beer too!

    @CheH: I do understand but believe me its fun! I’m afraid it’s one of the highest rates. Get in touch if you like to know a place with more reasonable prices:-)

    @Amber: Actually it means ‘hill’, but has nothing to do with Holmenkollen. Its from a town 50KM south of Oslo called Drammen.

  25. My first visit to Norge I went to Holmenkollen and the restaurant nearby…None of the photos survived but the memory has! I STILL cannot believe the photographs you can take with that Nokia!!!? I’ve got a 3G…inte så bra!

  26. Renny — I attempted to send you an e-mail message earlier in the week that just bounced back to me. You should read a recent post by Australian Cee (Words-and-things on my link list) about Roald Dahl. I tried to pass on to her a reference to a post of yours about Dahl, but I didn’t find it. Perhaps you can share. Also, I inadvertantly deleted the recent message you sent me with “carnival” pictures. Could you possibly resend it? Cheers!

  27. @MotherOfInvention: Glad you liked it! This weeks adventures is already bloggen.
    @Marti: What is your favourite?

    @JerseyTjej: Glad I can recall your memories then. My Nokia is a 3G (UMTS) phone to, but the clue is the camera. Let’s taste a cold Aass together!

    @Ghee: Of course I haven’t forgotten you dear! Sorry I have been busy, but at least I have visiting and commented tonight. Have a lovely family weekend!

    @Barbara: Thanks for the visit and comments and my answer is on it’s way to your mail box!

  28. hilarious beer brand name – to an English speaker, that is.

    once again, a beautiful post illuminating the splendors of Norway!

    Best from Bud!

  29. You used to ski jump? You’ve got nerves of steel.
    I scream and flail when there’s a slight incline while cross country skiing. Guess it’s all a matter of degrees of comfort. ;)

  30. @Bud: yes, so I could not resist give you the picture:-)
    Thanks for your compliments!

    @Pearl: Ski jump is fun and so is cross country in the mountains – up and down – too. That was the only landscape I knew when I was young, you know:-)

  31. i went to Norway 2 times although the first time was when i was only a baby, that’s where i learned to walk. Its such a beautiful and enchanted place♥. Tho I’v never been to the top of the ski jump

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