Our exhibits include a wide array of maritime topics, such as the technical conventions of sea transport in "The ship," the life and destiny of sailors at sea through history in "At sea!" and our interactive experience centre in "Norway is the sea." 

Visit our gallery with maritime art with pieces by famous artists such as Christian Krohg, Hans Gude and Axel Revold. Maritime paintings such as these have long held an important role in the Norwegian art community.

A selection of the museum’s unique collection of Norwegian traditional boats is exhibited in the central hall.

A maritime landmark building

An architectural gem on the fjord

  • Sunset at Bygdøynes
    The picture clearly shows how the museum buildings protrude over the water. Beate Kjørslevik
  • A popular recreational area
    The area surrounding the Norwegian Maritime Museum at Bygdøynes is zoned for outdoor recreational purposes and is a popular location for outings among Oslo residents as well as visitors to the city. Arild Haugli/Norsk Maritimt Museum
  • The Boat Hall
    The first building erected for the Norwegian Maritime Museum (formerly the Museum of Navigation), opened to the public in 1958, was designed to house exhibitions of Norwegian coastal culture and traditional small craft. Espen Wæhle/Norsk Maritimt Museum
  • A maritime museum by the fjord
    The Norwegian Maritime Museum is situated on the peninsula of Bygdøy in Oslo bordering the Oslofjord. Espen Wæhle/Norsk Maritimt Museum
  • A maritime promontory
    Three museums of maritime cultural history are located at the Bygdøynes promontory. In the picture, the Norwegian Maritime Museum buildings are seen on the left, the Fram Museum with the Gjøa annex are to the right, and the Kon-Tiki Museum is in the middle. Espen Wæhle/Norsk Maritimt Museum

The completion of the first construction stage of the Norwegian Maritime Museum in 1958 breathed new life into Norwegian architecture. Through a total of five construction stages, it has emerged as a prominent landmark building.

With the buildings for the Norwegian Maritime Museum, the architects Trond Eliassen and Birger Lambertz-Nilssen and their partner Stein Nord showed that an exquisite choice of materials and a love of traditional masonry could be combined with modern designs and a rational organization of exhibition halls, restaurants and office facilities.

Handmade bricks, copper and oiled pine were the materials that these architects ‘rediscovered’ after a long period during which architecture was dominated by buildings of concrete, steel  and glass. Diagonal wall panels, appealing bay windows and brick terracess often the impression of the building and connect it with the ground.

The architects sought at all costs to avoid giving the building the appearance of a mundane ‘box on a grasslawn’.

  • Ornamental bricks
    On a visit to the brickworks at Hurumlandet (now closed), the architects Trond Eliassen and Birger Lambertz-Nilssen chose to use nails to ornament a number of bricks. This is an example from the office wing. Espen Wæhle/Norsk Maritimt Museum

After the Boat Hall (1958) came the first stage of the main building with its Central Hall, offices, archives, library and facilities for visitors (1964).

The Triangle Building with its large exhibition halls was added in 1974. What cannot be seen is the fourth construction stage (1995), which houses facilities for divers, a conservation workshop and storage rooms. Above this level, the museum’s art collection, the ‘Gramsalen’, and the Temporary Exhibitions Hall were constructed in 2000.

  • Hall for temporary exhibitions
    In 2017–2018, the exhibition ‘Torpedoed. Norwegian seamen during World War I’ is on display. Espen Wæhle/Norsk Maritimt Museum

In Norway, the architects Eliassen and Lambertz-Nilssen became the standard bearers for the new brick architecture, and the Norwegian Maritime Museum is one of their most iconic buildings. The 1958–1974 construction stages were awarded two prestigious prizes

  • The A.C. Housen fund for excellent architecture
  • Merchant Harald Sundt’s award for architecturally outstanding private buildings erected on Oslo city ground
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