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What you might not have known about Oslo’s Diechman Bjørvika library

Located in the heart of Oslo, the Deichman Bjørvika has recently been crowned Norway’s most visited cultural institution. However, there are a few things you might not have known about the mega-library.

Pictured is the interior of the Deichman library.
These are some of the things you might not have known about the Deichman Bjørvika. Pictured is the interior of the library. Photo by Ingrid Martinussen on Unsplash.

Spread over six floors and a stone’s throw from the central station and opera house, Oslo’s Bjørvika Deichman library has become a firm favourite since its opening in 2020. 

The library is the country’s most visited cultural institution, attracting 3.3 million visitors since it opened its doors to the public, according to figures from newswire NTB. 

However, a lot more lies beneath the library’s sleek modern architecture than books. These are a few things you may not have known about Deichman Bjørvika. 

It’s a great place to practice Norwegian

Every Monday, except for public holidays, the Red Cross holds Norwegian language training at 5pm for people who want to practice their skills with others

Tickets are handed out on the fourth floor from 16:30, and the language training takes place on the fifth floor. The event runs for 2 hours. 

You can practice with other participants, which can help you network and make friends if you are a new arrival.

READ MORE: Places to practice your Norwegian in Oslo

You can book a private cinema screening for free

They say the best things in life are free, and we’ve all dreamed of being able to book a private cinema screening for ourselves before. 

But, did you know that you can book a free private cinema screening of a film in the library? Not only that, but the screening is completely free! 

Diechman Bjørvika’s mini-cinema can host films, documentaries, and short films in a screening room for 20 people. The mini cinema is on the 3rd floor, and a minimum of three people are required to make a booking. 

You can choose films and media from Filmrommet.no or FilmBIB, in addition to those from the library’s collection. 

It does come with a small catch. Eating in the cinema is against the rules. You can book here

Intended to be a social hub

If you haven’t been able to tell by now, you’re unlikely to get shooshed in this library for chatting to a friend. 

Designed to be a social hub, there are plenty of places where you can be social and make a bit of noise. For starters, there are various talks and lectures offered on an almost weekly basis. Then there are the meeting rooms. 

If you fancy giving your brain a rest, there is also free shuffleboard situated by the windows, allowing for views of the Oslo fjord.

There are also Friday night social meetings and a free junior cinema for younger visitors. 

Plenty of opportunities to get creative 

Some hobbies can take quite a bit of money to get into, or the equipment might take up too much space. Luckily, the Deichman has plenty of space and opportunities for people to try something new, get in touch with their creative side, or pick up a forgotten passion. 

3D printerssewing machines and vinyl cutters are some equipment visitors can use at the library. There is also a creative workshop with tools that can be borrowed and where you can meet others who quite like tinkering with odds and ends

Other creatives have plenty of things to sink their teeth into as well. There’s a DJ deck with headphones, Serrato DJ Pro software, Pioneer DDJ-SR2 controllers, and a touch screen interface. Aspiring disk jockeys can bring their own songs on a memory stick or use the library’s Tidal subscription. For chatterboxes, there is also a podcast studio 

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DISCOVER NORWAY

Where are Norway’s Michelin star restaurants?

Norway is home to four new Michelin-starred restaurants following the recent publication of the Nordic Countries Guide for 2022. These are all the Norwegian restaurants to receive a star in the Michelin Guide. 

Where are Norway’s Michelin star restaurants?

Four new Norwegian restaurants received Michelin stars when the Nordic Countries Guide for 2022 was published this week. 

Scandinavia’s cooking elite gathered in Stavanger on Monday to award this year’s stars and individual honours for chefs in the Nordics. 

Three of the new stars awarded were given to restaurants in Oslo, while the other star was given to an eatery in Bergen, taking the number of Michelin-starred restaurants in the city on Norway’s west coast to two. 

One of the newcomers, Hot Shop, named after the former sex shop the building used to house, is located on Københavngata street in east Oslo. The canteen-style bistro serves tasting menus based on seasonal, local ingredients, which the Michelin Guide describes as “elegant, vibrant and technically adept, with delicate touches and real depth of flavour”. 

Schlägergården in Lilleaker, on the eastern outskirts of Oslo, was also awarded its first star. However, it was the fourth time restaurant manager Bjørn Svensson had received a star for one of his restaurants. The restaurant is in a converted 18th-century farmhouse with a set menu consisting of local produce, some foraged, grown, or preserved by the eatery’s staff. 

Michelin describes the food there as “pure, expertly crafted dishes which have bold, emotive flavours”.

Located right on the border of Grünerløkka and St. Hanshaugen in central Oslo is Hyde, the third restaurant in the capital to receive its first Michelin star this year. The guide credits the service and “laid-back, lively atmosphere” as major pulls for the restaurants.

Over on Norway’s west coast, Lysverket in Bergen was awarded a Michelin star. The eatery serves up creative, modern takes on Norwegian dishes accompanied by craft cocktails. The restaurant is housed in an art museum with the menus showcasing “intelligently crafted, balanced dishes”. 

The other restaurant in Oslo, boasting a glowing review from the Michelin guide, was Maaemo, which retained its three Michelin star status. The new Nordic cuisine behemoth focused on organic and biodynamic produce is located in the heart of Oslo on Dronning Eufamas gate street.

A few other chefs and restaurants received accolades at this year’s presentation. Heidi Bjerkan took home two awards, the first for excellent service at her sustainable Michelin-starred restaurant Credo. One of her other restaurants, Jossa Mat og Drikke, won a green star, given to eatery’s that excel in sustainable operations. 

A Norwegian, Jimmy Øien, scooped the award for the best young chef. Øien is the chef at Rest located on Kirkegat in Central Oslo and holds a green star for sustainable practices. The menu heavily emphasises using imperfect produce, which other places may otherwise discard. 

Several restaurants also retained their status. Renaa, with its kitchen located in the heart of the restaurant, has two Michelin stars and is commended by the guide for the quality of its Norwegian seafood dishes and the bread it produces at a nearby bakery. 

The 2022 guide also includes Kontrast (Oslo), Statholdergaarden (Oslo) , Under (Lindesnes), the biggest underwater restaurant in the world, Sabi Omakase (Stavanger), Bare (Bergen), FAGN (Trondheim), Credo (Trondheim) and Speilsalen (Trondheim), which all have one Michelin star.

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