Autumn in Oslo

On 22nd October 2019, I photographed several places on Bygdøy in autumnal scenery.

In the Museum of Cultural History and Viking Ship Museum

In the Museum of Cultural History

On 5th October 2019, I visited an exhibition called VÍKINGR (Eng. Viking) which is presented in the Museum of Cultural History. It is presented in the two rooms. In the first, very bright room, are presented well-known finds from the Viking Age which were discovered in Norway. In several showcases can be seen inter alia Hoen hoard, helm from Gjermundbu or finds and human bones from fascinating grave discovered in Nørdre Kjølen. In the second room is a multimedia exhibition which explains stories beyond some of the artefacts presented in the first room.

Later, I saw also a small exhibition devoted to medieval art.

In the Viking Ship Museum

This day I will definitely not forget. On 12 October 2019, after a long walk in a beautiful autumnal day, I crossed the doors of the renowned Viking Ship Museum. In front of me, I saw the majestic and mighty bow of the Oseberg ship. I walked around it and admired every detail of it. Size and construction of this ship impressed me. I was also moved by every artefact (e.g. very decorative sledges, cart, beast-shaped poles) discovered in this very complex grave. They so intricately manufactured. Every detail of their decoration seems to tell a different story. It was an unutterable experience for me to see and admire finds, which until this day, I knew only from pages of different archaeological books.

Later, I saw my favourite Viking Age ship which was found in Gokstad. It is presented in the beautiful, bright room in the Viking Ship Museum. I was enraptured with the size, shape and power of the ship. Moreover, at the exhibition are also presented several fascinating artefacts (e.g. bronze mounts, wooden objects) which were discovered in this fascinating grave. It should be also mentioned that in this complex inhumation grave were discovered remains of the two species of birds. Therefore, this complex grave is crucial in my PhD project which is devoted to the Viking age grave with bird remains.

First Days in Oslo

In the morning of 30th September, I start my travel into unknown. On this day, I had my flight to Oslo. In this city, I started my new job (and adventure) as a PhD at the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo.

During the descent, from between grey rainy clouds and mist, I started to spot southern Norway.  I saw green hills, endless fields and beautiful wooden architecture. The landscape was very different from this that I saw during my flight to Bergen.

I was welcomed by rain, biting wind and clean Norwegian air. This reminds me about my first ever day in Kiel which was also rainy and cold.

In Oslo City Hall

On 4th October 2019, I decided to see Oslo City Hall. In front of the main entrance to the City Hall, it is a beautiful fountain. On top of it are sculptures of the two fighting (or dancing) swans. They are beautifully manufactured – they have even marked barbs of their feathers! What is interesting, in the arcades, flanked place with fountain, are numerous wooden reliefs manufactured by Dagfin Werenskiold. They depicting gods, supernatural beings and heroes from Northern mythology in the folklore manner.

In the City Hall walls are covered with numerous paintings showing different events from Norwegian history. These decorations were manufactured by Alf Rolfsen and Henrik Sørensen. In the paintings and architectural decorations are depicted numerous species of birds (e.g. seagulls, great cormorant [Phalacrocorax carbo]).

By Bygdøy

On 5th October 2019, I in-line skated to see harbour part of Oslo. During my ride, I observed different species of water birds (including greylag goose [Anser anser]). In the afternoon, I saw VÍKINGR exhibition in the Museum of Cultural History.

Long walk

In a nice autumnal day (12.10.2019), I visited other parts of old Oslo. I saw nice architecture and sculptures which are by the National Theatre.

Later, I observed birds, which gathered by Bygdøy. What is interesting, I had the luck to observe a small flock of barnacle geese (Branta leucopsis).

After these fascinating observations, I headed for the Viking Ship Museum. It was an amazing and unutterable experience to see these majestic finds for the first time ever.

 

In a pine forest

On 19 August 2019, I visited Łukowa, Hutki and Krasnobród located in eastern Poland. In Łukowa, I went for a short walk with my dog. We walked in a beautiful pine forest full of wonderful heathers and blueberries which growing between high trees. This type of forest reminds me of this in Ulanów (Poland). In my childhood, I spent there a lot of time in summer. Then, I used to walk collecting cones, moose, lichens and colourful fungi. I used them to create a small forest garden in front of the wooden cabin in which I lived. I was wonderful to walk again in this nice pine forest and remind the events from the past. Later, I kayaked a little bit in Hutki. We drifted downstream a river named Wieprz. It was a thrilling experience to manoeuvre in a narrow river and between trunks, branches and roots of trees. In the afternoon, we decided to spend time near the lake in Krasnobród. We walked around this nice lake. Later, I decided to polish there my kayak skills.

 

In Small Towns

By the end of last month, I visited the eastern part of Austria. Between 20th and 27 July 2019, I saw beautiful places, nice architecture, exhibitions in fascinating museums and old cemetery in Bärnbach, Graz, Mixnitz, Stallhofen, Voitsberg and Wien (Vienna).

On 26th July, I visited several beautiful small towns. In Voitsberg, I saw ruins of castle Obervoitsberg. What is interesting, by the path to the castle are located twenty-four boards including presentation of local legends which were illustrated by different artists.

Later, I saw the interesting and colourful Saint Barbara Church in Bärnbach. It was designed by Austrian architect Friedrich Stowasser (a.k.a. Friedensreich Hundertwasser). This church with its ceramic applications, colour tiles and crooked walls look like building from a fairy tale. It is surrounded by several gates which symbolise different religions of the world.

Next, I saw Federal Stud in Piber. In this place is located stud farm of Lipizzan – the breed of horse used in the classical dressage. Later, I stopped in Afling where I photographed horses who pastured near the road.

In Gustinus Ambrosi’s Museum

By the end of last month, I visited the eastern part of Austria. Between 20th and 27 July 2019, I saw beautiful places, nice architecture, exhibitions in fascinating museums and old cemetery in Bärnbach, Graz, Mixnitz, Stallhofen, Voitsberg and Wien (Vienna).

In the afternoon of 25th July 2019, I visited the nice Museum of Gustinus Ambrosi, located in Stallhofen. It is in the building which was inspired by the architecture of Tuscany. It was designed by Ambrosi to be his house and studio during retirement, but it was not finished before his death. In the Museum on the ground floor are numerous sculptures made of marble and plaster cast. Moreover, some of these works are in the library which is full of old, beautifully bound books. These sculptures depicting well-known people, saints, gods and supernatural beings from Greek (or Roman) mythology. Some of them, like one showing two dancing persons, are dynamic. On the first floor are several rooms which were equipped in Gothic beds, wardrobes and chairs.

It was a fantastic experience to visit this museum and to discover numerous captivating artworks.

In Wien

By the end of last month, I visited the eastern part of Austria. Between 20th and 27 July 2019, I saw beautiful places, nice architecture, exhibitions in fascinating museums and old cemetery in Bärnbach, Graz, Mixnitz, Stallhofen, Voitsberg and Wien (Vienna).

On 23rd July 2019, I visited the beautiful Vienna. I started my sightseeing in the Vienna Central Cemetery. Later, I visited the impressive Kunsthistorisches Museum. After the visit to the impressive Kunsthistorisches Museum, I decided to go for a walk and to see the old architecture of Vienna. I walked towards the Austrian Parliament Building. Unfortunately, it was during renovation and impossible to photograph. Next, I passed the Vienna City Hall and the University of Vienna. Later, I visited nice neo-Gothic Votivkirche (Eng. Votive Church) whose roof was covered with colourful tiles. After photographing of the interior of the above-mentioned church, I decided to return. On my way back, I saw the monument of my favourite composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Music of Mozart enraptured me since lower secondary school. I spend numerous hours engrossed in his symphonies, concertos, operas and incredible requiem. One of my dreams is to hear and see Mozart’s opera in Vienna or Salzburg. Later, I also photographed monument of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Finally, I saw majestic and enchanting St. Stephen’s Cathedral. This Gothic cathedral has an impressive interior. I was spellbound with these beautiful vaults, numerous lancet arches and ornaments of pillars.

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

 

That was my second visit to this nice city. Photos, which I took during my first sightseeing of Vienna, are presented in the gallery ‘Meine Reise nach Österreich’.

Kunsthistorisches Museum

By the end of last month, I visited the eastern part of Austria. Between 20th and 27 July 2019, I saw beautiful places, nice architecture, exhibitions in fascinating museums and old cemetery in Bärnbach, Graz, Mixnitz, Stallhofen, Voitsberg and Wien (Vienna).

On 23rd July 2019, I visited the beautiful Vienna. I started my sightseeing in the Vienna Central Cemetery. Later, I visited the impressive Kunsthistorisches Museum. This museum is devoted mainly to art but on the ground floor are exhibitions with various objects from ancient Egypt, ancient Greece, ancient Rome and Early Middle Ages. First room, which I visited in this museum, is devoted to the Early Middle Ages. In the several big showcases, nearly in completely dark, are presented inter alia rich jewellery, parts of the costume and metal vessels. Next exhibition which I saw is dedicated to ancient Greece. In several big rooms are presented various beautiful pots from the geometric period, red-figure pottery and ceramic in black-figure style. What is interesting, several pots are covered with bird-shaped ornaments (e.g. water birds, owls, poultry, flying birds) and one pot in the upper part was decorated with two tinny bird figurines. Moreover, I also observed one vessel (i.e. askos) which in the shape of a water bird (probably a duck). Following rooms, which I visited, are devoted to ancient Roman art. Last exhibitions, which I saw on this floor, are devoted to ancient Egypt. At these exhibitions are presented artefacts used in daily life (e.g. sandals, loom weights, parts of the costume, clothing), jewellery (e.g. wonderful necklaces), numerous figurines and sculptures (e.g. wonderful figurine of god Thoth), animal mummies (e.g. mummies of birds, crocodile) and multicoloured sarcophagi. In my opinion, the most fascinating were exhibitions of animal mummies and sarcophagi (placed in a huge room with ceiling and walls painted with depictions of daily life in ancient Egypt and otherworld).

Early Middle Ages

Ancient Greece

Ancient Egypt

I also saw numerous beautiful paintings (e.g. works by Giuseppe Arcimboldo, a large self-portrait by Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, ‘The Art of Painting’ by Johannes Vermeer, works by Pieter Bruegel the Elder) which are exhibited in various rooms upstairs.

Vienna Central Cemetery

By the end of last month, I visited the eastern part of Austria. Between 20th and 27 July 2019, I saw beautiful places, nice architecture, exhibitions in fascinating museums and old cemetery in Bärnbach, Graz, Mixnitz, Stallhofen, Voitsberg and Wien (Vienna).

On 23rd July 2019, I visited the beautiful Vienna. I started my sightseeing in the Vienna Central Cemetery. In this huge cemetery, located in the suburbs of Austrian capital, is the Funeral Museum. This museum is dedicated to funeral rituals and objects connected with burials from 18th to modern times. It is mainly focused on death rituals in Austria. Vienna Central Cemetery consists of several dark rooms and each of them is devoted to different sphere related to burial. The first room is dedicated to the clothing of mourners and the dead. In it can be seen inter alia black dress from 19th century, jewellery (from 19th and early 20th centuries) and funeral wreath (from 19th century) which was placed on the head of dead. In the following big room, are exhibited very different objects connected with burial rituals. In it are presented inter alia death masks, horse hearse, horse harness used during funerals, uniforms of the coffin bearers, various coffins (including reusable coffin with a bottom which could be opened) and different colourful urns (including an urn which could be painted by mourners). What is interesting, in the one showcase is presented diamond made of human ashes. Next room is dedicated to the Vienna Central Cemetery. Last room is devoted to the modern cremation process. In it were presented and discussed in the posters various parts of crematorium and phases of cremation.

Exhibitions in the Funeral Museum are a very interesting presentation of the early Modern funeral customs. It allows visitors to observe how burial rituals, funeral fashion and body containers changed in the course of time.

After my visit to the Funeral Museum, I saw part of the Vienna Central Cemetery which is close to the building of the museum. In this part of this huge cemetery are in majority inhumation graves with old impressive grave monuments. These grave monuments are often decorated with beautiful sculptures depicting Victoria (Roman goddess of victory), angels, depictions of dead and even sphinxes. I also observed that one grave is decorated with beautiful mosaic. What is more, on the top of the grave monument of Eduard Albert (Czech surgeon, professor and historian) and Anton Schrötter von Kristelli (Austrian chemist and mineralogist) are placed sculptures of owls. On the first of the above-mentioned grave monuments bird perching on a sphere surrounded by olive branches. On the Anton Schrötter von Kristelli’s grave monument owl resting on different objects (e.g. scrolls, book, bottle) which probably symbolising occupation of the dead. It should be mentioned that owls are not the common decoration of the grave monuments. During my numerous visits to cemeteries in the various countries (see the summary of my cemetery wandering in the post ‘In Chester’) I observed only two grave monuments with depictions of owls – one in Århus and second in Copenhagen.

During my visit to Vienna Central Cemetery, I also observed that in this cemetery were not only buried people from different European countries but also from Asia, who have inscriptions in grave monuments only in their languages.

Overall, Vienna Central Cemetery very green, full of grass, old trees and chirping birds. In the several parts of the cemetery are different buildings which are chapels, crematorium and St. Charles Borromeo Cemetery Church. Moreover, this cemetery has several sections dedicated to the various religions and burials of children. In this cemetery is also Anatomy Memorial dedicated to the people who donated their bodies to science.

Vienna Central Cemetery is the biggest cemetery in Vienna and in my opinion impossible to see for one day. It is the biggest and most complex cemetery I visited.

 

Bärenschützklamm (My 300th Gallery on HrafnPhoto)

By the end of last month, I visited the eastern part of Austria. Between 20th and 27 July 2019, I saw beautiful places, nice architecture, exhibitions in fascinating museums and old cemetery in Bärnbach, Graz, Mixnitz, Stallhofen, Voitsberg and Wien (Vienna).

On 22nd July 2019, I hiked in a beautiful place located in Mixnitz. For several hours I walked a path named Bärenschützklamm. This steep, narrow path, consisting of over fifty wooden ladders, lead among rocks, through forests and by wonderful waterfalls. During my walk, I also heard several species of birds including common raven (Corvus corax) and golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos). Furthermore, I saw, for several seconds, a small bird which looked for me like Eurasian golden oriole (Oriolus oriolus). By the end of the Bärenschützklamm, I accidentally heard a rustle in bushes located on a hill nearby. After several seconds appeared majestic young Alpine ibex (Capra ibex). It was the first time when I saw this wonderful animal in the wild!

Bärenschützklamm

Alpine ibex (Capra ibex)