The Norwegian Folk Museum was founded in 1894 by Dr Hans Aall (1867-1946) and opened its collection of re-erected buildings on the island of Bygdoy, not far from the centre of Oslo, in 1902. It now contains more than 150 buildings.
Houses are grouped by regions and the collections illustrates well the long, unbroken traditions of Norwegian peasant life, particularly the domestic manufacture of linen cloth and the making and decoration of chests, cupboards and other items of furniture. Industrial buildings include a late 19th century fulling mill from Nordfjord, and 18th century sawmill from Hardanger, a drying kiln for grain, flax and hemp, a potter’s workshop from Ostfold, two corn mills and several lumbermen’s huts. The Old Town displays a range of urban buildings, chiefly from Oslo itself, including 17th, 18th, and 19th century artisans’ cottages, an apartment block of 1865, and a grocer’s shop of circa 1900 set in a building with a mansard roof in the style of the early 18th century. Crafts, including potting, silversmithing and candle-making are demonstrated, and there are ten mileposts, some in cast-iron scattered about the museum.