Holmenkollen is a hill considered the most popular recreational site in Oslo, especially during winter. It is situated in the Northwest, and is only twenty to forty minutes away from the city center, depending on whether you are travelling by car or T-ban (metro). Fans of skiing adore the Holmenkollen ski park, which held its first ski jumping event in 1892. The popularity of the site prompted the construction of the ski arena which today hosts the world’s most famous sports events, including the famous Holmenkollen ski festival, which is commonly referred to as Norway’s second national day. Apart from the scenic nature of the location itself, the site is also popular with tourists because of the Holmenkollen Ski Museum and the ski jump track. The nearby hotels offer great service (with large conference rooms available), and a wonderful view of Oslo. One of the more historic hotels nearby is the Scandic Holmenkollen Park, with a part of the complex dating back to 1894. The price for night for two persons in this hotel, depending from the time of the year and the type of room, ranges between €90 and €700.
During the preparations for the World Championship of 2011, an architecture contest was held to find the best design for a modern ski jump arena. JDS Architects took the prize with their modern design which still preserved the famous Holmenkollen look. This design contains two “wings” that shield the jumpers from wind, while providing the judging panel with new panel rooms, along with a special spectator room for the Norwegian royal family. The ski arena is visible from almost any part of Oslo, and may resemble a giant bird spreading its wings to take flight.
1892 – The first ski jumping event was held in Holmenkollen. The longest recorded distance jumped that year was 21.5 meters.
1896 – E. C. Richardson becomes the first foreigner to partake in ski jumping in Holmenkollen.
1902 – a standard fifty-meter race track was constructed.
1922 – Prince Olav, heir to the Norwegian throne, took part in the ski jumping competition.
1952 – Oslo hosts the Winter Olympic Games, and the arena is enlarged, subsequently recording the largest number of spectators at one time.
1954 – female athletes take part in the competition for the first time.
1980 – Tom Levorstad becomes the first ski jumper to exceed the hundred-meter mark in Holmenkollen, reaching a distance of 105 meters.
1982 – a new electronic distance measuring device is installed in the arena.
2000 – women participate in skiing.
2010 – The new Holmenkollen Ski Arena is constructed.
Author of the text:
Maja Glavaš, Bachelor with Honours in Communicology. Works in Tourism.
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Photo credit: Didrick Stenersen/VisitOSLO