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Destination: how a gunpowder storage facility became Oslo's coolest cultural hub

The first question you need to ask yourself is how far away from the other tourists you want to venture. The second question might be how on earth you'll get there. The answer to both questions is quite clear I guess, considering the fact you're reading this blog post on 'Ha det Mamma' in the first place.

Oslo City Skyline

Kruttverket saw the light (again) a few years back. As the name suggests for those who speak a Germanic language, it's an old gunpowder factory from a time when the surrounding residential area didn't exist yet, for goods sake because it did blow up at some point. And now, after a lot of energy, renovations, and subsidies, it has become a new cultural hot-spot that exceeds every expectation. And I'm not exaggerating.

There's a café serving delightful coffee and cocktails, jazz is played on Sundays, there are multiple saunas run by Oslo Badstue Forening, an exhibition space where I once saw 15 different photos of a naked man in a forest, and occasionally there are markets where you can buy original art from local artists. Moreover, in addition to all this, the location is exceptionally picturesque. Situated right next to a bubbling river, you almost feel transported to a sort of Japanese onsen, especially with all the sauna-goers populating the charmingly crafted sauna installation with their steaming bodies. Certainly, as autumn sets in, the Norwegian idyll is complete.

Aside from the fact that Kruttverket may well be the most intriguing cultural hub within the municipal borders of Oslo, it might also be the place with the highest concentration of artists and craftsmen. Kroloftet is a collective of artists and craftsmen situated right next to Kruttverket. Here, you'll find workshops for ceramics, woodworking, and an abundance of studios and work-spaces. Definitely worth taking a peek inside.

You won't want to leave any time soon when you finally made it there. This place sprinkles a cloud of glitter over a somewhat colorless part of the city. It's one of those places that often makes me wonder, "How on earth is this even possible?"


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