Norway – The great ball room at the Palace

This has for several generations been the traditional place for royal receptions, and now that the young King and Queen have come to Christiania, these fine old crystal chandeliers will light up many an interesting assemblage of citizens and guests. The well-known democratic simplicity of Norwegian taste keeps the display on a scale more modest than that of other European capitals, where much is made of title and family, but Norway has brains and beauty, and sufficient wealth to keep up her dignity whenever occasion demands it.

The language chiefly spoken here would, of course, be the tongue common to Norway and Denmark, but German, French, English, and perhaps half a dozen others might very likely be heard at any gathering of special size and distinction. Many Christiania people are fine linguists, speaking several languages besides their mother tongue.

The Norwegian whose work did most in his time to extend a knowledge of Norwegian literature through the reading and theatre-going world was without doubt Henrik Ibsen, though his lifelong friend, Bjornstjerne Bjornson, has worthily earned fame almost as great. We have the privilege (very unusual during the great man’s latter days) of being admitted to his home on a street near the palace, only a short time before his death. See the map for precise location.