This year’s third issue of Oslo Museum’s periodical Byminner was published yesterday, and in it you will find an article by me on the Royal Mausoleum at Akershus Castle. When Queen Maud died rather suddenly in November 1938, the nation was faced by a question which needed a fairly urgent solution: Where was the Queen, and thus also other members of the royal family in the future, to be buried?
Two alternatives stood out: Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, the great medieval cathedral which is considered a national shrine and which had been the coronation church, and the thirteenth-century Akershus Castle in Oslo.
A majority of the experts who took part in the rather lively debate following the Queen’s death spoke in favour of the coronation church, but King Haakon’s eventual choice fell on Akershus Castle.
The task of building a royal mausoleum was entrusted to the architect Arnstein Arneberg, but, due to the interruption caused by World War II, work on the mausoleum was not completed until 1948. The Royal Mausoleum has subsequently became the final resting place also of Crown Princess Märtha, King Haakon VII and King Olav V, while remains of King Sigurd the Crusader, King Håkon V and Queen Eufemia have been laid to rest just outside it.