Vår Frelsers Cemetery (Oslo, Norway)

Vår Frelsers Cemetery (Oslo, Norway)
Vår Frelsers Cemetery. The romantic park where Munch and Ibsen rest in peace.

Cemetery as a historical monument

Today, the cemetery is listed for preservation and is regarded as an important historical monument. Therefore, old graves monuments cannot be removed and it is not permitted to erect new ones. 4500 monuments are registered as especially worthy of preservation; 1600 graves of significant national or local personalities in the field of economics, politics and culture from the last half of the eighteenth century to the mid-twentieth century were recorded in a database.

Garden of honor

The most important feature, in the heart of Vår Frelsers Cemetery, is the garden of honor. The idea of a “garden of honor” for the most significant Norwegian citizens first surfaced around the end of the nineteenth century. This explains why so many important people are buried outside its edges. In 1903, the artist Hans Gude was the first to be buried in the garden and, after 1981, no new graves were created. 

Two of the famous Norwegians who found their final resting place in the garden are painter Edvard Munch (1863-1944) and author Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906). The paintings “The Scream” and “Madonna” have granted Munch worldwide renown, and he drew his inspiration for them from his home and from the Oslo community of artists to which he belonged. Ibsen’s play “Brand” and “Peer Gynt” made him the best-known and controversial writer in Scandinavia. However, outside Norway, he is known above all for his drama “A Doll’s House”. No Nordic author matched him in depicting his contemporary times, or had such a world impact as his bourgeois dramas did.

Characteristics of the cemetery

Classicism and Romanticism are the two styles that characterize the cemetery in their own ways. Romanticism features throughout the cemetery, and shady copses, narrow paths and rocky outcrops are all reminders of the nature of Norway. Classicism appears most strongly in the details, in the use of symbols and in the design of individual monuments, especially in the oldest section of the cemetery. Functionalism, with its unbroken lawns and non-elaborate, plain monuments plays a significant role in the current Vår Frelsers Cemetery panorama.

Points of interest

Vår Frelsers Cemetery
Akersbakken 32
0172 Oslo kommune

P: +47 22 13 31 80
F: +47 52 51 60

E: varfrelsers.gravlund@gfe.oslo.kommune.no
W: https://www.oslo.kommune.no/helse-og-omsorg/begravelser-og-gravferd/gravlunder-og-kirkegarder/var-frelsers-gravlund/


View Vår Frelsers Cemetery in a larger map.