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Oslo, Norway

Oslo's Town Seal

Oslo is the only city in Norway that does not use a formal coat-of-arms, but a town seal.

The seal of Oslo shows the city's patron saint, St. Hallvard. When starting to cross the Drammenfjord in 1043, Hallvard Vebjørnsson was approached by a woman who asked him to take her as she was pursued by three men. The men got furious and shot both Hallvard as well as the woman. The woman was buried on the shore, whereas the body of Hallvard was attached to a millstone and thrown into the sea, but, according to one version of the legend, Hallvard's body miraculously floated to the surface, thereby revealing the cruel deed. In another version hid nephews dregged up his body from the fjord.

There are also different versions about the woman, some legends state she was a normal woman, others that she was a slave, she has also been mentioned to be pregnant.

In any case, after his death he became Saint Hallvard, and patron saint of Oslo. The seal thus shows St. Hallvard with his attributes, the millstone and arrows, with the dead woman on his feet. He is seated on a throne with lion decorations, which at the time was also commonly used by the Norwegian Kings. By seating him on such a throne he was made equal to the kings. The three arrows are either a simple representation of the murder weapons, or for the three killed souls (Hallvard, the woman and the unborn child).

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Viking Museum & Oslo Highlights

A narrated drive explores Oslo's scenic highlights and visits the Viking Museum. The museum's three Viking longboats were unearthed near Oslofjord and date to the 8th and 9th centuries. View Gustav Vigeland's stone, iron and bronze statues on a guided walk. Then view the cradle of Olympic ski jumping at Holmenkollen.

Viking Ship Museum - The museum is home to three Viking long boats uncovered during 19th-century, and early 20th-century excavations near Oslofjord. In addition to the superbly crafted ships, the museum exhibits sleds, jewelry and other artifacts found aboard the vessels.

Vigeland Sculpture Park - Once considered controversial, the park is now one of Oslo's favorite attractions. Your guided walk visits the stone, iron and bronze sculptures of Gustav Vigeland. The sculptures depict a complete human life from birth to death. After your walk, a brief period of free time is allowed to explore the park on your own.

Holmenkollen - Perched high above Oslo, Holmenkollen is the cradle of ski jumping and the site of the 1952 Olympic ski jumping competition.

Board your motorcoach for a scenic narrated drive through Oslo. You pass Parliament, the National Theater, the Royal Palace and suburban areas with wood houses set in well-tended gardens. At the conclusion of your tour, you may choose to remain in Oslo for independent sightseeing or shopping; however, you are then responsible for your own return transportation to the ship.

Sequence of tour stops may vary.

Oslo has been awarded the 2011 Ski Jump Championship competition therefore, Holmenkollen Ski Jump arena will be closed during 2009 for new construction.