Hedmark Museum in Hamar, Norway is a great place to visit for a Norwegian cultural experience. The museum has several different attractions and is located right on the shores of Lake Mjøsa, Norway’s largest lake. There is a lot of open, grassy parts of the museum grounds, so it definitely has a park-vibe going on. It’s a great place to have a picnic, take in the sights and enjoy the day.
There’s one thing that makes Hedmark Museum really unique: it’s an active archaeological site. The Norwegians are still excavating the grounds (actually, most of the area is still not yet excavated). Part of the experience of visiting the museum is seeing the dig site and the progress the archaeologists are making while you’re there.
One of the main attractions at Hedmark Museum is the Cathedral Ruins. The Hamar Cathedral was built-in Romanesque architecture in 1200 A.D. The roof was set on fire in the 1500s and it pretty much just sat that for three hundred years before the Norwegians started to excavate the site. In the late 1990s, a glass, climate-controlled structure was built around the cathedral to keep it preserved. The Roman Catholic Church still has authority of the cathedral and weddings can only be performed with the church’s permission.
Another area of Hedmark Museum features different buildings that were commonly found in the region between the 16th and 20th centuries. The collection of buildings and courtyards is diverse, and gives visitors a great glimpse into what it was like to live in the entire Hedemarken region during those time periods. There was a festival going on near the old buildings one time I visited the museum. People were dressed in traditional Norwegian clothing, traditional music was being played and everyone was dancing traditional folk dance. It felt like I had taken a step back in time.
Since I lived in Norway for a little while, I had the opportunity to visit the Hedmark Museum a few times. The grounds of the museum and the cathedral are spectacular in both the warm and cold weather. If you have the opportunity to pick and choose when you visit, I’d recommend visiting during the summer. There tends to be more festivals and events going on at Hedmark Museum, and around the town of Hamar at this time. If you do find yourself visiting Hamar during the winter, I would still check out the museum. It is a great place to visit and get a taste for Norwegian culture.
Have you ever visited Hedmark Museum in Hamar, Norway? What did you think? We would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Don’t forget to also check out Seattle Bloggers for more great places to visit around the world!