Monday, 4 July 2011

The Empire House and garden

There has been a house on this little island in the river since 1650. 

In the 18th century it was enlarged and gained its present appearance

 and is often, today,  referred to as The Empire House.

It lies, like a sleeping beauty on this little island, between the Old Town and the modern town. 

The plans for the garden were drawn-up in 1750 and were faithfully followed when planting the garden we see today.

At the water's edge there is a tiny summerhouse.

The garden is planted with edible, medicinal and decorative plants

and is an oasis of order and calm

 where you can hear the regular swish as the waterwheel nearby churns its paddles in the river

while sitting watching the boats pass by.

The island can be reached by a small bridge and although the house and its surrounding buildings are used by the University of Oslo anyone can visit the garden.  Surprisingly, few do.



  1. I have always longed to visit Norway, maybe one day! Until then I will have to be content with a virtual visit to your very stylish blog.

  2. It looks such a peaceful place in the middle of a river that must be a hive of activity. I'd love to walk around that garden and watch the boats pass by:)

  3. So lovely - how peaceful it must be to live there.

  4. I love Islands. When I lived in New York at Sag Harbor, my favorite was to take the ferry boat to Shelter Island and have dinner. So so wonderful. Thanks for sharing. Richard at My Old Historic House

  5. I am going to have to seriously look at a visit to Norway!
    We have a friend coming from Norway this weekend who has an interior design shop in Oslo...she is always suggesting we pay her a visit...and her "hut" in the mountains!
    Julie x

  6. When can I move in? I would love to visit Norway - its going on my list!! xxxx

  7. It really does look very calm, very tranquil and very 'centred' in its spot by the river. Very evocative - and a world away from my own adopted home.

  8. I have just discovered your little corner of blog-land and have so enjoyed looking at all the lovely photos and reading. Like the commenters above, I am now thinking how lovely it would be to visit Norway - my parents do quite often and love it! Look forward to coming ack!

  9. your blog ... a nice discovery! have a nice day, @nne

  10. Hi Anna, what a beautiful old house, it sits so peacefully in it's surroundings ,on the island. I'd really love to visit Norway one day.
    Sophie xx

  11. Hello Anna, I am catching up with my reading. This is a most beautiful old house, I just love the paint colours. Love Linda x