We are making our way up, up, and up in Vigeland Park! I hope you have been following along………this park is just so interesting and unusual! We are now beyond the bridge and past a rose garden, getting nearer to the fountain. Still lots of visitors!
In 1900, Gustav Vigeland made a small model of six men supporting a vessel, that he proposed for a fountain in Oslo. He presented it to the City of Oslo, hoping it would be set in a minor square. He was turned down. In 1906, he presented the project again, boosting the size of his men to giants and adding twenty groups of trees. This project was widely acclaimed, and in 1907 it was agreed, that the fountain should be placed in front of the Norwegian Parliament. In 1916, he revealed a new plan. The city approved his plan and wealthy donors contributed to the project. A new fountain, and more, was placed on the Palace grounds and eventually all this property became Vigeland Park. Whew…….that was a lot of work, but the work continues! It went from the fountain to a great deal more!
We have made it up to the fountain, but it is turned off, due to the cleaning of the bronze sculptures around it. A sign says that the bronze sculptures have been exposed to water and various types of contaminates, forming dark crusts on the surfaces. After cleaning, the surfaces will be waxed for finish and protection. In the final fountain design by Vigeland, there are six giants holding a large saucer-shaped vessel, set inside a large basin. A curtain of water would be spilling down around the men from the saucer. The men represent different ages of men, toiling with the burdens of life. Water is the symbol of fertility and is reflected in the surrounding pool, which focuses on 23 groups of the Trees of Life…….. The combination of human beings and trees in 6.5 feet high sculptures, is one of Vigeland’s most original concepts. All the trees are different and show an expression of Man’s relationship to nature, stretching from childhood, to old age and death. We were kind of disappointed the fountain was not working, but on the other hand we got a better few of the sculptures!
The theme of the different stages in life, and life as part of an eternal circle, are repeated in the the frieze of sixty bronze reliefs on the parapets beneath.
Walking around the fountain……..to look at all 23 trees………..
This is one of my favorite photos, because it shows a close up of one of the trees and yet another layer of the park, that we will walking up to!
Here is the part of the fountain which is being cleaned and under tarp.
Also, we can now look back to the Labyrinth. The ground around the fountain is paved with mosaics of black and white granite with a path that extends nearly 2 miles. The design consists of 16 circles enclosed by square frames linked together. Every circle has the same basic pattern, but the details are all different! There is no center, as the Fountain is placed there, and unlike most labyrinths it has a separate entrance and exit. The labyrinth is interpreted as an image of the journey through life, with its twists and turns and blind alleys, until a way is found out at last!
This photo was another of my favorites! Looking in the opposite direction of the gardens and moving further up the hill, it reveals some underground doors! I had to get up close and personal with those doors!
Are they fake openings? This opening looks like a recess in the wall and that’s it! Were they open at one time and then sealed up? There are several of these doors however, and I would like to think this is an underground storage compartment for garden tools and mowers and whatever else they need to maintain the park. BUT, I could find nothing about these door recesses, but I will be doing an entire post on all the wrought iron in the park………..
Here are some more of the doors. This one nearly shrouded in a mass of foliage! And you can see more of the garden…….
Up close and personal………….
Here is yet another door with a fountain in front of this one…….
And more of the walkways leading up and up!
I hope you have enjoyed today’s views of Vigeland Park…….Stay tuned for more to come!
To see where other bloggers are walking this morning, join StillRestlessJo! See you next time! Cady