Norway Norway's royal family coat of arms

The Norwegian Royal Palace


In 1822, King Carl Johan - ruler of the then Swedish Norwegian federation - commented upon the "need for a suitable residence for the country's monarch". As a result, an architect was commissioned, plans were drawn up and construction of the new building, known simply as the Royal Palace, began in 1825.

Designs for the building, which was erected on a hill at the end of Oslo's main thoroughfare, were to change several times - notably from an H-shaped layout to a U - before the 160-room building was finally completed in 1848. The final result included a ballroom with a 33-feet-high ceiling and Pompeian-style wall friezes.

Up until 1905, when the union between Norway and Sweden was dissolved, the palace was used only when the king was in town. But it became the permanent home of the Norwegian royal family when the Danish royal Prince Carl accepted the throne. It was at this time that the kitchen and sanitary facilities were renovated and augmented, along with the apartments for official visitors.

Apart from a brief period during the German occupation in the early 1940s, the palace remained the primary residence of the royal family until 1991 when the current king, Harald V, moved his family to the nearby estate of Skaugum, just outside Oslo. The Royal Palace is currently undergoing major renovations, after which it will resume its role as a royal residence.

The official royal website can be found at www.kongehuset.no