Norway -The country with two secret capitals

How would I describe Norway? Norway is like a person with two hearts beating in its breast. In my last article I talked about how the two Norwegian languages bokmål and nynorsk developed. But Norway also has two secret capitals. While Oslo is the modern and economic one Bergen is Norways cultural capital. Since the last few years Oslo is the place of a huge construction project and one example you can see behind me on the picture. It’s the Opera House which has been finished in 2008 and is one of Norways new landmarks. I give you one advice. If you are tired after having walked through Oslo many hours go to the Opera House and lie down on the roof! Yes, I’m not kidding! The Opera House looks like an ice palace and the roof is like a lounger. And lying there you can enjoy the view over Oslos skyline. The very modern quarter you will see over there is called Bar-Code and new Office jobs are being created there. As I already mentioned Bergen is Norways secret cultural capital and Standing in front of Oslos Opera House I can tell you why. Bergen is the birth place of Norwegian musicians like the classic composer Edvard Grieg who made the traditional Norwegian Hardanger fiddle famous in whole the world. In comparison to a traditional violin it has more strings giving this very instrument a distinctive sound. Maybe you will still remember Alexander Rybak who won the Eurovision Song Contest 2009 for Norway with Fairytale playing the Hardanger fiddle on stage. Another famous singer coming from Bergen is Sissel Kyrkjebø who became famous for her Norwegian folk songs. The querel between Oslo and Bergen is still present and the reason is a geographical and political one. Oslo is close to the Swedish border and has always been influenced by Sweden while Bergen being on the edge of Norway still kept its traditions in music, art and literature. Bergen became the cultural heart and Oslo the economic heart of Norway.


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