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Oxford | Intellectual Soul of England and City of Dreaming Spires.


Oxford,home of one of the oldest University in the World, an emblematic cultural symbol,the intellectual soul of England and named city of dreaming spires,nickname derived by that great work by Matthew Arnold,who in his outstanding poem Thyrsis,depicted the British city for the superb architectonic silhouette of the buildings of its iconic University.

 Sublime product of a distinguished history generated by people who with their knowledge and skills have made the history of the culture of the country and the Globe.Over centuries,the fame of Oxford is mainly linked to that cultural and study Institution but it also revolves around economy,industry,many relevant companies has chosen it as site for their headquarters,home of the famous mechanical  manufacturer,the Morris Motor Company's Industry is known throughout the world for the realisation of the emblematic "Mini", and steel processing,all that placed that British centre as one of the most distinctive icons of Great Britain. 

Crossed by two rivers,the Thames and the Cherwell River Thames,with approximately 120.000 inhabitants, the name of Oxford,according historical documents and written sources derives from Oksnaford Saxon Village,all began with the founding of the Convent of St. Fridesvida in the 8th century and the the name came from a perfect place to cross the river Thames meaning a ford for oxen.

 With a large influx of tourists all year but especially in summer.Oxford is a very cosmopolitan city,most of the inhabitants are students from other British areas or from other European countries,including a relevant number of immigrants employed in the engineering industries of the hinterland. and all that gives Oxford a cosmopolitan and vibrant aspect conserving in any case a very  peaceful atmosphere.

The city is not too big,its historic centre is on human scale and you can easily move around reaching all the most important points in a very short time,but it is not advisable to move the car,the traffic is generally intense and there are few parking spaces.The central core is surrounded by rivers and streams at east, south and west and it can be explored without problems on foot.The train station is west of the centre while the bus station is close the centre of Gloucester Green,it is also famous the historical  rivalry with the University of Cambridge also celebrated in a famous Regatta known and popular worldwide,an endless
antagonism which is also linked and related to two different cultures,styles, philosophies,identities,historic past trying to be one most important than the other,all that created a sort of legendary and captivating challenge who in its kind captured the attention and the interest of people from all around the world.

Historically,the former town was an important military centre,situated at the border between the Kingdoms of Mercy and Wessex, which despite looting, plundering and attempts to conquer boasted a fair development.Soon the city's history is intertwined with that period of the prestigious universities and the date of foundation is uncertain and could have occurred several times in different occasions,but there is evidence of the presence of a centre for learning and teaching at least since the year 1096 .The University of Oxford, however, is mentioned for the first time in documents of the 12th century and much more in the 13th century, a period in which that site,also started  to be an important centre very active in trading, manufacturing of products,production of fabric,leather and wool.

During the Civil War, in thee year 1642,Oxford hosted the Court of Charles I after the King was driven from London,although the city sided with Oliver Cromwell.At the end of the 18th and 19th century Oxford had an important development and it was the time when were built major works of communication,such as Oxford Canal and Oxford-London rail lines,Great Western Railway and London and North Western Railway,all that next to all what there was already established consecrated the city as a relevant centre of the United Kingdom,its name and popularity undoubtedly reached outstanding levels.In the early 20th century, Oxford was affected by rapid and intense industrial and population growth,the publishing industries in particular,became important in the 20s and also at that time,William Morris founded the Morris Motor Company which began a massive production of cars.That success generated that In the early 70's, more than 20.000 people were employed at the factory of Morris Motors and also Pressed Steel Fisher.

The University of Oxford is the oldest in Great Britain and since centuries ago a dream place of several students in the world.With the increase of pupils incoming began the friction with the local population and several riots broke out in 1209 by some teachers and students who fled to found. The colleges of Oxford appeared with more influence since the 13th century and currently,all the complex includes 36 colleges with approximately 14.500 students.Although the city is not just for academics,the University certainly has shaped the contours and spirit of Oxford and it seems that a conflict between the King who led to the creation of what became the first Francophone university in the world.  

Henry II in contrast with Philip Augustus of France in 1167 forbade English students to attend to the University of Paris and in Oxford they have kept lessons in the 11th century.In the year 1188 the historian and clergyman Gerald of Wales lectured to a group of university students and in 1190 was admitted the first foreign student,Emo of Friesland a Dutch,who became later first prior of the Abbey Bloemhof in Wittewierum and apart all that he also wrote the first part of the chronicles of that famous Abbey in Holland.

The famed University has had in its history 25 students who received the emblematic Nobel Prize and important people studied there some distinguished names are Albert Einstein who studied at Christ Church College,Oscar Wilde and King Edward VII at Magdalen College at Christ Church College Margaret Thatcher and Indira Ghandi at Somerville College,Tony Blair at St.John´s College,Paul Getty at St.Catherine College,William Morris at Exeter College,Adam Smith,King Olav V and King Harald of Norway at Balliol College and the list is really very very long.

Today each college has its own students who usually live there all year and the university organises courses, examinations and award degrees,but most of students life at colleges is around the gravity of belonging.Many of the ceremonies of the various colleges are centuries old, such as the graduation celebration of the Sheldonian which still takes place in Latin language.The Magdalene College is probably the richest of all opens all year round but their hours vary,many are closed in the morning.Among them St Merton's the most famous college,whose main entrance was built by Christopher Wren in the year 1680.

The heart of Oxford is typically and mainly medieval,walled and with a large square where the covered market is a great highlight with residents and tourists busy to buy and find all kinds of items, from tools of local crafts such as hats,handmade articles,old books,original ornaments and many other interesting objects.during the visit do not miss the Ashmolean Museum,the oldest in Europe,a very prestigious gallery,with impressive collections including works by Raphael and Michelangelo,as well as relevant oriental collections of great and immense value.

Oxford as Venice also has its Bridge of Sighs.That bridge is situated in 180 Abingdon Road,it really reminds the famous and charming Venetian landmark,it was completed in 1914 by Sir Thomas Jackson and it was developed connecting two buildings of Hertford College.Do not miss a visit to the Cathedral which houses the largest quadrangle of the University and the dining room of the University was selected as one of the key scenery about the film Harry Potter.

Walking for the streets of Oxford you can find several remarkable monuments,High Street is always very busy at all hours of the day and you can continue towards the Town Hall, near which there is the Museum of Oxford, which tells the captivating story of the city step by step,visiting that exhibition is to learn more
about the essence of that place,a chronological summary of the historical stages of a centre which has created something of extreme importance in the history of a centre and of a country.Further along,you can admire other highlights as the Church of All Saints, the medieval Lincoln College,Oriel College,with the Church of St. Mary the Virgin,behind which there is another symbol of the city,the Redcliffe Room.Not far away is situated  the Sheldonian Theatre,which is the place delivering with solemn ceremony the diplomas from Oxford University.

Continuing yet you can meet the University College All Souls College,New College,the Examination School, home of the university examinations,and Magdalene College, which extends in the beautiful green area of the Grove, which crosses the River Cherwell through the Magdaleine Bridge and it is considered one of the most beautiful.In front of it lies also the old Botanic Gardens, the oldest and most prestigious of all Great Britain,it is the most oldest botanical garden in the United Kingdom,the first collection is dated 1633 and it holds more than 7100 different species of plant species,subdivided in three sections and pavilions.

Another splendid walk is taking Cornmarket Street and at short distance,you will meet other interesting places such as the Jesus College,the Church of St. Michel, the Oxford Story,the Martyr's Memorial coming back from there to the Ashmolean Museum.In the northern area if you want to continue to see other prestigious buildings linked to the University,you can admire the Balliol College,Trinity College,St. John's College famous for its old library,the Old Music Hall,so famed to host the first concert hall throughout all Great Britain, and the University Museum,with the neighbouring Pitt Rivers Museum.

You can also enjoy a pleasant walk starting from St. Aldate's Street as well. That road leads to the southern side of Oxford, and it also has many places of interest,among which surely the University Complex formed by Christ Church, the Tom Tower and the Cathedral,which together form the largest College known as The Oxford House and within which one can visit the Hall and the famous Picture Gallery which contains an important exhibition of paintings.Not far away you can then visit two others among of the most important Colleges such as Corpus Christi College, which is a major library, and Merton College, the oldest of the city.

About mysteries and legends the city is a great place to enjoy that,so if you are interested about all that do not miss the Oxford Castle Unlocked,there you will be transported in the past,in a journey of discovery by Oxford more mysterious sites as the walls of the age-old castle built in 1071 by William the Conqueror and the Castle regularly organises themed events.

About gastronomy,the city thanks to its cosmopolitan environment offers a wide range of several restaurants and gastropubs offering local cuisine,plates prepared with meat cooked with fresh seasonal herbs,delicious cheeses,in particular worth a mention,the famous Oxford Blue,and other typical plates of traditional English cuisine such as Pork Pie,Sheperd Pie,"the traditional Roast Beef and excellent steaks,naturally there is also an ample choice of ethnic restaurants offering a wide range of flavours from the traditional Oriental cuisine such as Indian or Chinese to the European Mediterranean as Italian,Spanish or Greek.
Outside Oxford you can enjoy the beauty of English Countryside,visiting The Living Rainforest,there, you will have the opportunity to explore a splendid example of forest,thinking you are not in the Brazilian  Amazonian but it is a surprise for everyone because you can find there a wide range of exotic and tropical plants you can also see in that so famous and immense South American place.Visiting the immediate surroundings with other parks, you can enjoy the service called Park and Ride ,it is a shuttle bus to and from the five major such as: Thornhill, Redbridge,Seacourt, Peartree and Water Eaton.

Oxford hosts different kind of events one of them is the famous Oxford Jazz Festival celebrated in April, 
another important appointment is the Truck Festival and naturally the famous and prestigious Royal Regatta so popular all around the World. Nightlife in Oxford is very lively,Taylor Theatre is one of the best of England while the Oxford Playhouse is a site offering different kind of music and along the waterfront,every visitor can live animated evenings thanks the presence of several bars,cafes,clubs and pubs.

The city is just 92,0 km from the Capital of the country London.From Victoria Coach Station just behind the railway station building there are many buses leaving for Oxford that will get through in about one hour and twenty minutes.By train Great Western Trains provides intercity service from London,with departure from Paddington Station.By car you can reach Oxford from the English Capital taking the M40 motorway.When you are in the city.you can use Oxford Bus Company,which offers different types of tickets ,including the rechargeable card key available in 3 different versions.

Oxford is one of the historical and cultural gems of Great Britain,a destination you can not miss when you are in the United Kingdom,it is a piece of history of that country and of the World,a must to discover something simply special,the atmosphere and all there is inside that captivating centre is absolutely unique and an experience simply unique for every tourist,there are not other Oxford,only one with all its enchanting and magnetic atmosphere.


Francesco Mari

Recommended Hotel in Oxford 

Burlington House Hotel 
Marlborough House Hotel 
The Old Bank Hotel 
The Galaxie Hotel 

ROME -ITALY-FANTASTIC EVENT : VISIT VATICAN MUSEUM INCLUDING SISTINE CHAPEL AT NIGHT EVERY FRIDAY UNTIL 26TH OCTOBER 2102

ROME -ITALY-FANTASTIC AND UNIQUE VISIT VATICAN MUSEUM INCLUDING SISTINE CHAPEL  AT NIGHT UNTIL 26TH OCTOBER  2102

Thanks to the great success success  in previous years,toy can enjoy a spectacular visit in one of the most important museums in the World the "Museu Vaticani"The Vatican Museums   with the opening night Until October 26,the Museums open from 19.00 to 23.00 with last  admission at 21.30, every Friday.

It is a great,splendid,great opportunity,if you are planning to visit Rome,"La Cittá Eterna"the Eternal City,admiring this spectacular museum at night,an experience you will not forget.

 An unique and extraordinary opportunity for anyone who will be in Rome in the evening,visiting the hall of the Gregorian Museum,,the Octagonal Courtyard,the Raphael Rooms,rooms of the Borgia family,the Collection of Modern Religious Art and highlight the magnificent and sumptuous  frescoes of the Sistine Chapel.

In this visit you can also enjoy the Collection of Modern Religious Art,Museum Pius Clementinum.It is an unique experience,in a marvellous and unique city as Rome to enjoy an event like this.

Rome offers you a rich patrimony in art,the Imperial Forum,Coliseum and Catacombs, and all the ancient Roman areas,its superb and shining Baroque squares Piazza Navona,Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Barberini,the numerous museums and the list is so long ...Tome is a city has everything,art,history,an impressive cultural life and a vibrant nightlife,Tome is all and unique,romantic,charming,majestic,captivating in every corner and unforgettable.

This event is fantastic to admire the works of the most important artists of the history and in particular the great Master Michelangelo with the great masterpiece the unique Sistine Chapel.

Lillehammer-Norway | Truly Nordic Appeal with a Brilliant Olympic Past.


Lillehammer is a very pleasant and charming town of Norway which shows every visitor its truly Nordic appeal with its long history to narrate highlighted by its traditional captivating Scandinavian architecture and a beautiful nature all around its boundaries  with a brilliant Olympic past when that centre hosted the Winter Games in the edition celebrated in 1994, a successful event which increased further its popularity and fame all around the world.

Situated in the splendid County of Oppland  in the fascinating region of Gudbrandsdal in a picturesque location surrounded by mountains and forests on the northern shore of the splendid Lake Mjøsa and crossed by the River Lågen, the first impact with that municipality of approximately 27,000 inhabitants is immediately great because apart the stunning natural frame encircling its urban environment all is greatly preserved and despite it is not a small centre you can breathe a very pleasant and peaceful atmosphere and that is another brilliant detail very appreciated by the visitor.

The proximity of the wonderful Jotunheimen National Park created in 1980 and elevated as one of the premier fishing and hiking regions covering a surface of 1151,0 square kilometres well known to have over 250 peaks above the 1900,0 metres of altitude is certiainly a wonderful attraction and Lillehammer in addition is also well known to be a strategic stage along the route leading to Trondheim the third most populated Norwegian municipality  behind the capital Oslo and Bergen.
 
Part of that big geographic region called Østlandet which includes in its large territories eights counties and denominated Eastern Norway also known as Austlandet, the East Land, that town offers a lot of things to do such as a wide range of great exhibitions to visit, a splendid architecture of many buildings elevated in different periods in its historic centre, and naturally the stunning attraction consisting in the Olympic Ski Jump Complex and Museum, iconic landmarks of a site highly regarded all around the country.


That Norwegian centreis a superb tourist destination offering apart its natural and historic beauties  an excellent network of very comfortable Hotels, fine restaurants, cosy bars, a vibrant nightlife and a vast Cultural offer with a notable calendar of events during all year among them relevant Festivals ranging from Jazz music to Film Industry.

For its Olympic past naturally Lillehmmer is also a fantastic place for all those who are looking for outdoor activities linked to sport, Nordic Ski and Alpine Ski can be practised at  highest level but also others such as cycling, mountain bike, rowing, horse riding and for other people who love trekking, mountaineering and fishing there are also many chances to practise all that.  

Norway has always been a superb destination for photographers and nature lovers and not just for the magnificent fjords but also for its stunning mountains, rivers, lakes and uncontaminated intact forests and all around Lillehammer you will find that and more.

Visitors who are searching peace and serenity will find in that land a paradise and the local gastronomy is a Mecca for the most exigent palates, it is enough the iconic salmon but also a wide variety of fish and seafood eternally fresh and a lonf list of delectable meat casseroles, soups and stews.

Many are also the opportunities to visit in radial excursions other very interesting places in the proximity of Lillehammer such as Lom, Gausdal, Dovre, Etnedal, Gran, all them offering fantastic natural attractions and historic monuments and that area is marvellous to visit many nature reserve and parklands of extreme beauty with also a relevant fauna.

The territory of the current centre was inhabited since the Iron Age according to archeological excavations which took place in its boundaries but reaching a relevant importance in the Middle Ages when was developed a small but very active centre in which was also established  a farm which was part of the domain of Hamar.

The name of the town probably has its origin from that structure deriving by the Old Norse word Hammar meaning small rocky hill while the word Lille was added to distinguish it from the nearby farm of the same name where now stands that town and with that composition Lillehammer means little Hamar or according another literary translation little rocky hill.

The place was mentioned in the famous Norwegian Saga of Haakon IV and in a letter dated 1390 states an important meeting was held there. In addition to those documentations and historic information which certify an important past ,the former settlement was also an famous stage and place of rest for several merchants on the way  to the famous town of Trondheim since the Middle Ages in a busy traffic especially focused to wheat and corn.

The former village during its history always had an important development becoming a well known trade cross point and thanks also that active life the inhabitants obtained notable commercial privileges in the early 19th century when the town only had approximately  40 inhabitants,receiving the status of city in 1842 and  also boasting the presence of its own Parish Church.

In more contemporary times Lillehammer is mainly known for the presence of a network of small industries, a commercial cross road, tourism, cultural base of different kinds of events and to be a more than famed destination for outdoor activities and sports, the latter much more amplified after the celebration of the Winter Olympic Games in the 90's.

The municipal heart consists in a group of charming wooden houses mainly dated 19th century elevated around Storgata corresponding to the main street and core of the pedestrian municipal area consisting in to the most important access to the historic core highlighted by the presence of several scenic colourful buildings erected on its both sides.

All them are very well preserved giving immediately at first sight a very positive impact with the urban environment showing that typical unmistakable truly Nordic appeal characterised by that kind of architecture very functional and simple but at the same time highly and fantastically captivating for the colours and the outlined elements used for those very attractive constructions also loyal to the most traditional use of materials.

The town lies in a privileged and excellent  geographic position on a spectacular shore of the Lake Mjøsa and along a very pleasant river forming together a wonderful Scandinavian scenery symbols of a region which has a lot to offer in terms  of unforgettable landscapes and an immaculate natural environment.

Walking in the town is very relaxing, the locals are very friendly and polite, details which increase furthermore a pleasant feeling of welcome at first sight with a more positive approach with the reality of that centre during a stay.

One of the main attraction which can be a notable start point to start the visit of Lillehammer and also to enter deeply in the local culture is certainly Maihaugen Museet consisting in a splendid open-air exhibition located in a very central position boasting the presence of 185 buildings, a number absolutely great because  the visitor can have the brilliant chance to discover different examples of some Nordic architectural masterpieces in use in different historic periods and all that in an unique space.

Considered a site of relevant value it is well known to be the largest museum in that kind in Norway founded in 1904  by Anders Sandvig, a former dentist fond of of ethnology and architecture. That magnificent setting tells the visitor how were and are the architectural style,  life and work in Norway during the course of the last 500 years something highly interesting to discover and know more about traditions and domestic lifestyle of a country.

 That large space shows different kinds of rural constructions corresponding to the most characterful vernacular architecture of Gudbrandsdalen Valley, you can see a large estate, an extraordinary medieval wooden Church, different types of traditional houses and farmyards among others.

 One of the main superb highlights of that magnificent exhibition is undoubtedly the wooden Church Garmo Stavkirke built around 1150. According to  historic information that Sacred building was erected over the foundations of a previous Religious building believed to be elevated in 1021 by Vikings.

That beautiful stave masterpiece as tells its name is from Garmo in Lom, a well known centre situated in the Oppland County.It consists of a 17th and 18th century inventory greatly highlighted in its interior by a pulpit from Romsdalen. In 1730 it was enlarged in a cruciform Temple before the new Parish Church was established in 1879.

The building was demolished and the materials sold at auction.In 1882 it was purchased by Sandvig who brought it disassembled to Lillehammer and it was rebuilt in Maihaugen in 1921 becoming today one of the most visited wooden Churches of the entire country.

In all those buildings erected in different periods a particular highlight is that you will note the perfect choice of the materials in particular different kinds of timber selected for their strong resistance to cold temperature and perfectly assembled in decorations and traditional architectural lines executed in their facades reflecting the typical canons of local talented Masters  able to create unique, authentic masterpieces. 

All that is confirmed in that extraordinary Church showing an outstanding composition of sloping roofs of different size and a magnificent bell tower with spire dominating the entire scene. Simply great are the perfect outlines and the symmetry of every element inserted with criteria in the layout with a special mention to the front side with its splendid portal beneath a scenic gable canopy. 

 Others of the most spectacular and scenic attractions are undoubtedly the old houses transported there from several rural places of the mentioned valley of Gudbrandsdal and just like in Bygdoy,Oslo that outstanding open-air museum established in a wonderful peninsula of the capital of the country all those buildings represent a Norwegian patrimony. Maihaugen Museet belongs Bjerkebæk Hjem,the residence house of the famous writer Sigrid Undset Nobel Prize in Literature in 1928 and also the Postal Museum among others.

 Worth a visit also Lillehammer Art Museum certainly another notable attraction of that centre. That exhibition consists in  a private Institution established in 1994 displaying a wide collection of art mainly focused in the 19th and 20th centuries displaying paintings by important artists such as Johan Christian  Dahl,Edvard Munch,Thorvald Eriksen,Lars Jorde,Hans Gude,Adolph Tidemand, Erik Werenskiold, Eilif Peterssen among others.

That stunning art gallery apart to contain some of the best works of a long list of the most representative Norwegian artistic Schools was also awarded as  Museum of the Year in 2008 in occasion of an important Cultural event as the National Meeting of Museums celebrated in Stavanger confirming the valuable relevance of that site.

 Lillehammer Art Museum was also used for different purposes as meeting and conference place and furthermore it hosted a cultural centre during the Winter Olympics celebrated in 1994 and inside you can find a Cafe and  a shop where you can buy crafts and art books.

 Another exhibition very interesting is the Norwegian Museum of Historical Vehicles which bears witness to the history of cars in Norway displaying several old models among them the Troll and also in its kind that site is considered as one of the most relevant of the entire country.

The residential area of Lillehammer consists in very balanced agglomerations composed by houses mainly dated the 20th century.The main building includes The Old Workshop with a national exhibition of handicrafts and the historic exposition called We won the land.

A magnificent highlight is undoubtedly Skibladner, a must and mandatory when you are visiting that town.It is the world´s oldest paddle steamer still in regular service offering wonderful views of the largest lake of Norway.

That stunning boat was built in 1856 and since its inauguration it carried passengers,mail and goods connecting during the navigation the towns bordering the lake Mjøsa reaching apart the banks of the harbour of Lillehammer, other centres such as Moelv,Gjøvik, Hamar and Eidsvoll.

 That stupendous waters basin is an enchanting local symbol, it is the largest lake of Norway with a surface corresponding to 336,0 square kilometres and also one of the deepest lakes in Europe reaching a maximum depth of 443,0 metres.

 From its southernmost point situated in Minnesund Eidsvoll to its northernmost side in Lillehammer that marvel is approximately 117,0 kilometres long and in its widest part in proximity of the town of Hamar is approximately 25,0 kilometres wide.

Lake Mjøsa borders three Counties such as Oppland, Hedmark and Akershun and along its shores are located seven cities with a total length of coastline corresponding to 273,0 kilometres.The shoreline is mainly covered b y forests and over of ,80,0 kilometres of its longitude are dominated by rolling farmland including some of the most fertile fields of the country.

All the coastal area is a sort of little Eden for recreation for locals and tourists,an ideal place for fishing,enjoying  outdoor activities as kayak, rowing and naturally that spectacular navigation of one of the most charming Scandinavian water basins showing in every corner that truly Nordic appeal image of a wonderful country as Norway and it is mandatory once there during a stay in the County of Oppland.

The name Lillehammer is not only famous in Norway and Scandinavia but it is extremely popular all around the world for all people who love winter sports.That Norwegian town was chosen to celebrate the Winter Olympics Games in the 90's, an event that at the beginning after the nomination created some conflicts.

A topic concerning all that was due to its unique natural preserved  environment and the sensitive citizens did not want an alteration of the habitat with the elevation of new structures which could affect and ruin the magnificent local landscapes. The risk in opinion of a large part of the population with a negative impact hosting the Winter Games could cause several problems for the local image deleting its identity and image transforming the municipality in a sort of circus devoted to sports.


To avoid all that the Institutions of Lillehammer in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment determined that the Olympics should be an example of environmental policy. Special issues related to the protection were emphasised throughout the process of planning and projects and the main topics were : Lillehammer town planning, urban and landscape analysis, development of areas and spaces suitable for the events with a total respect of the environment, preservation of the architectural and aesthetic aspect and including a plan strongly focused against noise and pollution.

After all that the Olympic Games were celebrated in that site and the results were more than excellent about organisation and much more later once ended that important event there was a very positive public opinion.Lillehammer became since then very famous in the most modern history for having hosted those Winter Olympics of 1994  although that centre was already well known for its old history. Thanks to that it gained more importance in the last century just becoming a major ski resort in Norway with all the facilities that unique sporting appointment left.The famous Olympic Ski Jump complex continued to be a relevant focal point linked to Winter Sports and the centre took the nickname the Olympic Lillehammer continuing to keep it with pride. The Ski Jump Tower and complex Lysgardsbakkene are undoubedtly considered superb attractions consisting in their kinds  spectacular local monuments for all what thet represented.


It is important to take in consideration that centre has just 27,000 inhabitants,it not small but neither too big and hosting a manifestation of that kind of prstige which took place every four years, with a long history, traditions and celebrated in iconic seats much more popular than that Norwegian centre was and those memories are nowadays despite the beginning highlighted by pessimism source of pride ov every local.

From the outdoor terrace of that imposing towering structure you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the entire town,the lake and a magnificent image of the wonderful forests surrounding all the municipality. During the visit of that majestic structure you can buy some souvenirs and sometimes watching skiers jumping and training in preparation of important International events which is certainly a further attraction.

The Norwegian Olympic Museum situated  in the Håkons Hall Stadium is another superb highlight and unique in its kind in Norway. It exhibits the history of the Olympic Games from its beginnings  to the present  including both sets of winter and summer games and naturally hosting a special section dedicated to the 1994 Winter Olympics Games edition.

That exhibition is also well known to be the only museum in Northern Europe which spans the entire history of the Olympics from its origins in the ancient Greece with the first official edition dated 776 BC until today. It is also furthermore the largest and most important of the Nation with a collection of over 7,000 items housing in addition  the exhibition Telecommunications from Oslo in 1952 to Lillehammer in 1994 and From Chamonix to Lillehammer hosting with also a splendid space devoted to the Norwegian Sports Hall of Fame.

Undoubtedly those brilliant Olympic Games have left to that Norwegian town a further truly appeal offering the visitor to re-see those stunning constructions and modern complexes which were extremely successful in one of the best editions of the games all time.  

Furthermore once you are visiting those spaces which were  used during that important Sporting event you will have the confirmation that all was very well integrated in the scenery inserted in the natural environment in a great way respecting all the projects the Institutions planned to save the local image without peculiar contrasts or bizarre executions keeping all in perfect harmony.

If you want to retrace in great radial excursions the history of that edition visiting some iconic seats of the competitions I suggest you to visit in the municipality of Ringebu the Ski Resort of Kvitfjell situated at approximately 60,0 kilometres from Lillehammer boasting 23 outstanding pistes. It  was the seat in which took place the downhill race and it is often stage of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup along a track over 3,0 kilometres long designed by the emblematic former Swiss skier Bernard Russi. (I you want to know something more about notorious character I wrote a post of Wengen-Switzerland where he was protagonist of a unique performance)

That site provides in its boundaries approximately 20,0 kilometres suitable for Alpine Ski, a Snow Park, and from that site start a network of over 400,0 kilometres of trails for Nordic Ski, a number simply fantastic for the joy of a multitude of people fond of that beatutiful sport and to enjoy that you will also have the brilliant chance that Kvitfjell provides a very good range of comfortable accomodations.

Another place I recommend you is  Hafjell situated just 23,0 kilometres away, it is another renowned ski resort which hosted in the Olympics with the specialities of special and giant slalom and it is well known because in its boundaries was established a large Bike Park highly appreciated by many cyclists. Since its inception in 2001 it became a favourite destination for the fantastic trails it offers admiring a scenic intact environment conquering everyone.


Apart those places, the Olympic Games and the Ski Jump Tower part of a brilliant past continuing to be alive than ever, Lillehammer is also internationally known as sports centre boasting various modern facilities with special emphasis on every kind of activity linked to every kind of Winter Sports with many other fabulous places to practise them.

The main sports complex of the city is the Olympic Park which includes the Birkebeineren Skistadion mainly devoted to Nordic Ski especially to the speciality of Cross Country and Biathlon while the Håkons Hall is a multi-sport complex hosting Ice hockey handball matches and tournaments.

Another wide area is occupied by the Olympic Hunderfossen suitable  for competitions related to bobsleigh, luge and skeleton, Acrobatic Ski and jump platforms.All those structures are still well maintained, highly regarded in Norway and all around the Scandinavian Peninsula, shining jewels admired and beloved by a myriad of people,suitable and continuing to host great events.


The town also has important Sporting Institutions as Lillehammer Ski Club founded in 1883 and it is one of the oldest in Norway which refers to the great tradition of winter sport developed in that Nordic country as a sort of iconic symbol.

Many are also the important ad relevant events which have Lillehammer as absolute protagonist.An important one is the famed Birkebeinerrennet (Birkebeiner Race) one of the most popular national sporting appointments consisting in an International Marathon of cross-country starting from Rena and ending at Lillehammer.

Held annually since 1932 in memory of an event with protagonists two soldiers during the Age of the Civil War in Norway when they carried the very young King Haakon IV saving him from the risk to be killed and all the competitors have to carry a package of approximately 3,5 kilogrammes symbolising the weight of  that  baby King.

Another relevant event is also the Birkebeinerløpeti, a Cross-Country Race which takes place in early autumn since 1999 consisting in a marathon  from Sjusjøen  and ending in Håkons Hall Lillehammer. It is a competition calling a multitude of fans in a very lively atmosphere with all people linked to the most beloved sport in Norway.

Also Culture plays an important and notable role in Lillehammer, a centre very  notorious because it hosted from 1919 to 1940 Sigrid Undset a famous Norwegian novelist who was awarded with the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928. That iconic character abandoned his residence in 1940 shortly before the German occupation of Norway, he returned home after the 2nd World War dying in 1949.

The municipality to honour that renowned and revered figure  hosts The Norwegian Festival of Literature Sigrid Undset, a notable commemoration of that famous writer.That event is celebrated in May and it is considered the most important and the largest literary appointment in the entire Scandinavia.

Also the Film world was protagonist in that Norwegian site as set of the original series Netflix and  Lilyhammer which took place in the boundaries of the municipality starring Steven Van Zandt and it tells the story of Frank "The Fixer" Tagliano a New York gangster who decided to start a new life in Norway exactly in that town.

Amandus Festival is an important event dedicated to that kind of art hosting the Film industry for children and young people including during the event a competition for young directors.

The calendar of events is also linked to music  hosting three annual festivals very appreciated at national level.Worth a mention Dola Jazz, held since 1977 elevated as thr fourth largest jazz festival in Norway and it takes place in September at the Blue Note Jazz Club.

The local history also reached the pages of the most important medias worldwide for an episode dated 1973 and called Lillehammer Affair well known all around the World when the Israeli intelligence Mossad mistakenly assassinated a Moroccan citizen confusing him with one of the terrorists who planned the Slaughter of Múnich in the Olympic Games celebrated in 1972 in the major centre of Bavaria in Germany.

In the immediate vicinity of Storgata and in the nearest pedestrian area you can enjoy major local nightlife finding a good variety of clubs,pubs,restaurants and bars.

The famous establishment  Brenneriet is certainly one of the right places to spend a nice evening with 3 separated bars and rooms with a capacity for approximately 1,000 people. It is a very popular place, lively and well known also outside the municipality calling numerous people from the nearest towns and villages.

Norwegian cuisine is really delicious with a wide and ample variety of genuine gastronomic specialities ready to delight several tastes.

The Pinnekjøt is a very typical plate consisting in lamb chops generally salted smoked or occasionally steamed served with mashed swede a root vegetable like cabbage ,potatoes and gravy. Notable are also the stews and very appreciated is especially that one using reindeer meat, of indisputable reputation is also the Farikal a mutton stew very flavoured generally served with potatoes.

The Kjotboller is a further fame typical speciality consisting in a combined plate containing traditional meatballs served with a gravy sauce and accompanied by mashed potatoes.Also pork meat in different kind of sausages and dishes is a product of high quality often present in the local tables.You can taste the famed Svinekotelleter consisting in pork chops accompanied by vegetables and onions.

Excellent is also fish with the emblematic,delectable and always fresh salmon prepared in different styles with a special mention to the delicious and very appreciated smoked one.

The popular Gravlaks and the Torsk consisting in cod generally served with vegetables and boiled potatoes are also among some of the most known recipes and another very common fish often highlighting the local cuisine is the trout grilled,baked,boiled but also represented by the traditional Rakfisk in which that kind of fish is fermented. Pickled herring are often present with the name Sursild and very common is also the Fiskesuppe, a delicious fish soup combined with potatoes,carrots and onions.

Dairy products are also always a fresh choice with the valuable Geitost as protagonist.It is a sweet cheese made with cow and goat milk particularly appreciated for its delicate taste.
 
Traditional drinks are some spirits called Akevitt and excellent local beers which can accompany all that vast gastronomic offer and notable is also the production of desserts, cakes and bakery products many of them made using delicious berries,lingo berries which are also ingredients to prepare tastefully homemade jams.

 The town is located along the Dovrebanen route,the Dovre Line corresponding to the railroad which runs daily from Trondheim to Hamar and Oslo.The European Route E6 is the main road which serves Lillehammer running parallel to the railroad.Through it connects with Trondheim at north, Hamar and Oslo at south and also with the neighbouring municipalities of Øyer, Ringebu, Gjøvik and Ringsaker.

Oslo Gardermoen Airport is the nearest airport and you take about 2 hours by car to reach that lovely centre.

The presence of stunning places to discover in the immediate surroundings of Lillehammer is a very attractive incentive next to a superb fan of outdoor activities to enjoy all year apart naturally Winter season if you are a skiing lover.

That Norwegian destination is without hesitation a great choice to include in your itinerary if you are planning as trip to Norway with the intention to discover the fascinating Norway which boasts a unique scenery packed by enchanting forests and an uncontaminated nature highlighted by scenic lakes and wild rivers able to bewitch everyone.

Those beautiful landscapes you can find in that Scandinavian country are the distinctive symbols of the most captivating and charming truly Nordic appeal conquering everyone combining the opportunity to enjoy an iconic town symbol of Norway called Lillehammer with all its glorious and brilliant Olympic past.

Francesco Mari



Recommended Hotels in Lillehammer 

Hotel Molla 
Hotel Radisson Blue Lillehammer 
Hotel Rica Victoria Lillehammer 
Hotel Hammer Clarion Collection 
Hotel Rustad & Fjellstue

Recommended Restaurants in Lillehammer 

Restaurant Hvelvet 
Restaurant Paa Bordet 
Restaurant Garveriet
Restaurant Bryggeri 
Restauranr Nikkers Svare & Berg

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