The Royal Palace (Norwegian: Slottet or formally Det kongelige slott) in Oslo was built in the first half of the 19th century as the Norwegian residence of Norwegian and Swedish king Charles III (Carl Johan, Charles XIV of Sweden) and is used as the official residence of the present Norwegian Monarch. The crown-prince couple resides at Skaugum in Asker Municipality outside Oslo, while the three princesses of Norway live on estates in Oslo, Fredrikstad and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Until the completion of the Palace, members of the Bernadotte dynasty resided in Paleet, a magnificent town house in Christiania bequeathed to the State in 1805 to be used as a royal residence. King Charles III of Norway never saw his Palace completed, but his successors Oscar I, Charles IV and Oscar II used it regularly during their stays in Christiania (now Oslo). They spent most of their time in their Swedish capital Stockholm, but tried to spend some months in Norway every year. Oscar II was a frequent visitor, but preferred to use his seaside villa at Bygdøy during his summer holidays, while his Queen Sophia mostly stayed at the country residence of Skinnarbøl near the Swedish border for the sake of her health. Oscar II was absent from his Palace during 1905, the year of the dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden, but his son, Crown Prince Gustaf, paid two short visits in his vain attempts to save the union.
Royal Guardsman in front of the Royal Palace
The Bernadotte dynasty resigned their Norwegian throne in 1905 and was succeeded by the Danish prince Carl, who took the name of Haakon VII when he accepted his election as king of completely independent Norway. He was the first monarch to use the Palace as his permanent residence. The palace was designed by the Danish-born architect Hans Ditlev Franciscus Linstow (1787-1851). The project was initiated in the Norwegian parliament in 1821, the foundation stone was laid down by the king in 1825, and the building was completed in 1849, during the reign of Oscar I.
During the reign and residence of King Olav V from 1957 to 1991, the Royal Palace was not renovated and insufficiently kept up. When the current monarch, King Harald V, started a comprehensive renovation project, it was criticized due to the amount of money needed to bring the Palace up to a satisfactory state. Since public tours began in 2002, the general public has been able to view and appreciate the renovation and splendour the palace now boasts.
Guided tours of the Royal Palace
The Royal Palace in Oslo is open to the public during the summer. All visitors must follow a guided tour.
The 2009 season
The 2009 season begins 20 June and ends 15 August. Ticket sales start 2 May 2009.
During the season, guided tours in Norwegian is given every day at the following times:
* Monday-Thursday and Saturday: 11.00-17.00
* Friday, Sunday 13.00-17.00
* On the birthdays of members of the Royal Family (4 July and 20 July): 13.00-17.00
The tours last about one hour and begin every 20 minutes.
Guided tours in English
During the season, guided tours in English is given:
* Monday-Thursday and Saturday: 12.00, 14.00 and 14.20
* Friday and Sunday: 14.00, 14.20 and 16.00
During the season, tickets may be purchased at any Norwegian post office, through billettservice.no (ticketmaster), or by calling +47 81 53 31 33. Any remaining tickets are sold at the entrance before each tour.
For guided tours for private groups, please contact Liv Bog at +47 22 04 89 25, or make a requests in writing to liv.bog[at]slottet.no or telefax: +47 22 04 89 53.
Ticket prices 2009:
(including ordering fees)
* Adults: NOK 95
* Children, seniors and students: NOK 85
* Children under 3: free admission
* Escorts of persons with disabilities are admitted free of charge.
* Tickets reserved in advanced for private groups of 30 persons: NOK 2,450
Rooms on the tour
The guided tour takes visitors through some of the most beautiful state rooms in the Royal Palace:
* Cabinet Cloakroom
* Cabinet Parlour
* Council Chamber
* White Parlour
* King Haakon VII Suite
* Upper Vestibule
* Bird Room
* Mirror Hall
* Family Dining Room
* Small Ceremonial Hall
* Great Hall
* Banqueting Hall
* The Palace Chapel