Ankerbrua is a bridge dating from 1926 that crosses the Akerselva river in Oslo’s east, connecting downtown with cool Grünerløkka.
What makes Ankerbrua a little more interesting than your average river-spanning structure are the statues that guard each corner. Cast from bronze by noted local artist Dyre Vaa in 1937, each figure represents a different Norwegian fairy tale hero.
On the Grünerløkka side there’s a man on a reindeer depicting Per Gynt (pictured), a legendary deer hunter from Gudbrandsdalen. The story formed part of the inspiration for Henrik Ibsen’s famous work, Peer Gynt. Across the bridge is Kari Trestakk, the Norwegian Cinderella who escaped her evil stepmother on the back of a great blue ox.
At the city end there’s a woman on a great bear representing Kvitebjørn kong Valemon. King Valemon was cursed to spend his days as a polar bear after he refused to marry a wicked witch. The woman is the princess who became his wife. Opposite the bear is Veslefrikk med fela, about a young man who gets three wishes from a troll. One of his wishes is for a fiddle that no one can resist dancing to, which eventually saves him from a lynch mob.