This is Norway’s largest museum of cultural history with collections of objects from around the country and more than 150 buildings in the open air museum. It shows how locals used to live from 1500 until present, showing differences from region to region and from class to class.
The outdoor museum is simply spectacular and great to walk through in the summer. One of the main attractions is the Gol Stave Church (Gol Stavkirke) dating from 1200.
The indoor museum hosts various permanent and temporary art, crafts and cultural expositions all year long. Some of the most interesting I saw was the one around Easter time where you get to see how Easter is celebrated all over Norway, and the Sami culture is fascinating to see.
Since the museum tries very hard to reproduce many aspects of how people used to live, many of the houses – otherwise closed in the winter – are open during summertime for visitors and actors play the roles of inhabitants. They get dressed in national costumes and do the work specific for the area and age of the house, from farming to sewing, producing silver jewelry or pottery.
A small shop sells specialties with ‘old’ wrappings. And in another one of the houses, during summer, I tasted the traditional sweet ‘lefse’, warm with salty butter on top. Or you can catch a ride in a horse pulled carriage. For a list of activities, see here.