Thursday, February 7, 2013

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 77

Norge.  Kristiana.  Det kongelige slot /The Royal Palace, Oslo, Norway, ca 1908

As sometimes happens the plainest postcards will yield very interesting facts.  This aerial view of the Royal Palace in Oslo, Norway shows the residence of the royal family and the adjacent park.  It is a black and white photograph that has been tinted but only the red rooftops have been colored in.    Printed on the reverse lower right corner the card is identified as published by Norsk Kunstforlag Chr.  

The reverse side of the card contains a brief message to I.C. Lee from his brother, Hans Østerholt, and is dated 9 August 1908.  Hans was a journalist and political satirist who wrote articles and edited the magazine Hvespen (The Wasp) with a particularly sharp-witted political edge to it.  The message says that it was good that their candidate got a large vote and placed 7th among those who were running.  [If I am reading this correctly, I think it is supposed to be funny.]  He thanks his brother for a recent letter and says that they are doing well and have had a nice summer.  [Here I beg my Norwegian cousins to make necessary corrections in the translation.]   Note that the stamp on the card is one of the post horn stamps shown in last week’s postcard Thursday. 


The Danish born Norwegian architect Hans Ditlev Franciscus (Frants) von Linstow was commissioned by King Charles III of Sweden & Norway to design the palace in 1823.  Although construction on the palace started in 1825 due to budgetary problems and political issues it was not completed until 1849.   Modifications were made as the construction phase proceeded and what was once supposed to be a 2 story building with projecting wings became a less costly 3 story building without the wings.  Later wings were added to the structure to provide additional living space for the royal family.   Significant renovations have been made to the building in recent years.  Public tours are conducted during the summer months.  The palace has 173 rooms and is the official residence of the present Norwegian monarch.

There is more information about the architect and the palace at these sites:,_Oslo

Notice the large open green space or park around the palace.  This park was patterned after the German romantic gardens of the 1840s.  Approximately 2,000 trees were planted here in 1848.  There were also many beautiful flowerbeds and shrubberies.  Over the years the park has been simplified, paths and pools altered or reduced in number, and today there are fewer flowerbeds.  The large grassy areas are used for a variety of purposes.  Some of the original trees have been removed but the size and number of those that remain still provide a large forested area.  Notice also the roads connecting the palace and park with the city.  When the palace was built it was outside the city so Linstow proposed the connection that has become the main boulevard and tourist area called Karl Johans gate after the king who had the palace built but died before it was finished.

Looking at the upper part of the postcard in the center it is possible to see a large church.   I think this is Grønland Church.  It was built in 1868 and is located in Gamle Oslo (old Oslo).  The architect was Wilhelm von Hanno.  The church is brick and seats 800.  For more information about the church see:

I found two pictures from Wikipedia that I thought I would share here.  Like many royal palaces this one has guardsmen in front of it.

This second photograph from Wikipedia shows the palace square and the statue that can also be seen from a different angle on the postcard above.

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