The magnificent Royal Palace is located on the Bellevue hill, at the end of the main street of Karl Johans. There is a statue of the King riding a horse in front of the gate. The statue looks towards the main street named in the honor of the king- Karl Johans Gate Street. Since 1814, the palace has been a historical symbol. The proposition to build a king’s residence in Oslo was first declared in Storting in 1821. A year later, in spite of many pressures imposed on Norwegian economy, the National Assembly of Norway decided to spend 150000 dollars on the construction. In 1823, a commission was created for the purpose of overseeing the sale of governmental bonds used for financing certain projects. The commission would also be the one responsible for the issues regarding the construction. Danish architect Hans Ditlev Franciscus Linstov had the task to do the project of the new palace. The construction work began in 1824, and the foundation stone was laid by King Karl Johan on October 1st, 1825. The one who officially opened the palace was King Oscar I, on July 26th, 1849 in the presence of the whole Royal Family.
The building was built in the neo-classical style, and it is surrounded by park from all sides and a square from the front side. The park of the palace is very big and decorated with beautiful trees, neatly arranged grass, little ponds and statues. Walking through the King’s park is a special enjoyment.
The palace is owned by the state, and the ones who live in the palace are the king and the queen.
In the palace, His Majesty the King chairs the Council of the State and hosts official dinners.
Should some foreign state representatives come to visit Oslo, they stay in the palace.
The King’s Palace, in its magnificent and opulent luxury, instigates enthusiasm with any visitor!
The changes in the Palace:
In the course of time, the palace experienced changes in terms of adding certain parts and remediating others. When Karl Johan passed away in 1844, it was obvious that the palace would be too small for a new royal family. Storting provided additional resources for the renewal of the external appearance of the Palace. A monumental, front temple with pillars was added and some changes on the roof were performed as well.
King Haakon VII and Queen Maud arrived in Norway in 1905; therefore, new changes had to be performed on the palace so as to satisfy the needs of the royals. It was during this period when king’s apartments were upgraded with bathrooms and toilets.
Smaller remediation and maintenance work were done under the reign of King Olav V (1957-1991).
When Harald V became the king at the beginning of the 1990s, it was declared that the building needed a complete renovation.
The condition of the electrical system was worrying; the kitchens and toilets experienced little improvement since 1906, and the working conditions of the staff were not in accordance with national working environment regulations. The facade was not well maintained, and it was discovered that the floor beams had started to rot. The organization of the rooms was neither practical, nor functional.
In 1993, King’s Court presented a plan for the renovation of the palace and the Directorate for Public Construction and Property received the task to renovate the building and upgrade king’s apartments.
The renovation and rehabilitation were done under the control of the Royal Family and state representatives, King’s Court and the Directorate of Cultural Heritage. This was a huge construction endeavor.
In May 2011, remediation work on the roof under the main part of the palace began. The project ‘’Roof over Roof’’ was finished by the end of 2012.
His Majesty the King’s Guard guards the palace, along with guarding all other king’s residences in Norway.
The daily change of guards has also become a popular tourist attraction during recent years.
The name of the palace in Norwegian: Det kongelige slott (or Slottet).
Ticket prices for the King’s Residence in Oslo
Regular ticket: €13
Discount ticket: €10 for minors and students
Free access: for children up to 3 years of age
You can buy tickets on ticketmaster.no or at the entrance of the residence.
Tourist guides speaking Norwegian (every 20min): Monday, Thursday, Saturday-Sunday: 11am-5pm and Friday: 12pm-5pm
Tourist guides speaking English- every day at 12pm, 2pm, 2:20pm and 4pm.
Working hours of the King’s Palace in Oslo
The King’s Palace is open for public during summer.
All visitors need to follow the guided tour.
The guide takes the tour around some of the most beautiful state rooms in the palace: the wardrobe of the cabinet, the cabinet, the white saloon, the apartment of King Haakon VII, the upper lobby, the room for birds, the mirrors, the family dining room, the small ceremonial room named Hall and the banquet hall.
The change of guards happens every day at 1:30pm.
The Mass in the palace is held on Sundays at 11am.
Author of the text:
Maja Glavaš, Bachelor with Honours in Communicology. Works in Tourism.
Contact: [email protected]; instagram: travel_europe1
Photo credit: Tord Baklund/VisitOSLO