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Norway: Oslo Opera House

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Oslo Opera House | Norway | Europe

[Visited: August 2008]

While walking the Opera Bridge, the view is partly blocked by an iron fence. Through it, you get a glimpse of the new Opera House, or Operahuset, but it is only when you step out into the open at the end of the bridge that this new architectural masterpiece reveals itself to you, lying at your feet. After crossing a street and a bridge, I was right in front of the small plaza and the entrance of the new Oslo Opera House. Some signs invited visitors to discover the building by walking over it, always being careful of slippery slopes. Indeed, I saw people coming down the steps of one of the slopes, and quickly went up to the roof.

Picture of Oslo Opera House (Norway): Reflective glass and cloudy sky

There, I had a good view over the harbour and the elegant, laid-out city. But what was more, I could walk anywhere I wanted, all over the Oslo Opera House. A special experience: walking all over the white, Carrara-marble roof of an Opera House - an excellent idea of the architects! Inn fact, the Oslo Opera House is the only opera house in the world where you can walk on the roof. Two silvery metal aluminium cubes stand on top of the roof, they have panels with different patterns which reflect the sunlight in ever changing ways. Especially as clouds were racing by high above in the sky, the light reflecting from the cubes was changing fast. As I stayed, more people were flocking to the top of this remarkable building.

Picture of Oslo Opera House (Norway): Oslo Opera House seen from the entrance

The Oslo Opera House is not only outstanding as an architectural achievement, but also in the democratic way it was selected. All Norwegians were allowed to have their say, and thus the present design was chosen. Obviously, the possibility to climb the white slopes of this temple of culture adds to the accessibility of it to a wide audience: even for those not interested in opera, ballet or music, having a stroll over this building is a tempting idea. As I came down the sea side of the building, I enjoyed the reflection of the sky in the glass. Through the glass, I could see the wood used for the interior. Seen from across the harbour, it seems the building rises out of the Oslo Fjord as if it were part of it: its slopes disappear into the clear waters of the fjord. It would not surprise me if, after the first snow has fallen, you could see Norwegians snowboarding down the inviting slopes of this truly remarkable building.

Picture of Oslo Opera House (Norway): The roof of the Oslo Opera House
Picture of Oslo Opera House (Norway): The roof of the Oslo Opera House is designed to be walked upon
Picture of Oslo Opera House (Norway): Looking up the Oslo Opera House
Picture of Oslo Opera House (Norway): View towards the city from the roof of the Oslo Opera House
Picture of Oslo Opera House (Norway): The Oslo Opera House seems to be washed ashore
Picture of Oslo Opera House (Norway): Slopes define the shapes of the Oslo Opera House
Picture of Oslo Opera House (Norway): The surface of the Oslo Opera House is one pedestrian area
Picture of Oslo Opera House (Norway): Silvery cube on top of the roof of the Oslo Opera House
Picture of Oslo Opera House (Norway): View of the interior of the Oslo Opera House
Picture of Oslo Opera House (Norway): Side view of the Oslo Opera House: clouds reflected into the glass wall
Picture of Oslo Opera House (Norway): Family coming down the Oslo Opera House
Picture of Oslo Opera House (Norway): Visitors walking up the Oslo Opera House with a boat in the background
Picture of Oslo Opera House (Norway): Detail of the entrance of the Oslo Opera House

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Oslo Opera House (Norway). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Oslo Opera House.
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