Emanuel Vigeland is the brother of Gustav Vigeland, probably most famous for his sculptures in the Vigeland park. But back in 1926 Emanuel erected this building intended as a future museum for his sculptures and paintings, which then he decided to also turn into a mausoleum where his ashes should rest after his demise, in an urn above the small door, making you bow to him when exiting.
There are no windows to allow light inside the mausoleum, so the first thing to expect is darkness, and only a ray of light coming in through the low entrance door. But once your eyes get used to the lack of light, you discover that the walls are filled with fresco paintings depicting, much like the statues in the park, images from human life, from birth and all the way to death. There’s sadness, joy, despair, eroticism, macabre. I can’t find a single word that could probably fully describe the images. Probably everyone would feel them differently anyway. Also each corner hosts a bronze statue depicting women giving birth.
My most intense experience in the museum was caused by its acoustics actually. The shape of the room gives an incredible trajectory to the sound waves, adding a pleasant echo. You should check the museum’s program in advance and if ever see an acoustic show do not hesitate to run for it. It’s a unique experience and considering the museum’s size, places are limited, so be there in time.