Composers / Arne Nordheim / Persons catalog

Henrik Wergeland

Henrik Wergeland (1808–1845), a Norwegian Romantic „bard”, poet, drama writer, essayist, social activist. Author of the first national hymn for the children, the initiator of celebrations of the 17 May as the national holiday (for this reason still during his life he was called “the King of May”). He actively participated in his struggle against the poverty in the country, he also fought for religious freedom, including the “Jewish article” in the 1814 Constitution, which prevented Jews and Jesuits to settle in Norway. He fought for the “Norwayization” of the Danish language used by the educated social classes of the country. In his writings, he supported the struggle for independence of other nations, including Poland (Caesaris, written in 1833, was directed against the Russian tsar). From 17 May 1841 until 15 April 1845 he lived in a country house built according to his own design, the “Grotto”, on the outskirts of the Royal Park. He died in a newly built house “Hjerterum” on the 12 July of the same year. The “Grotto” was acquired by the government and since 1922 it belongs to the Norwegian state, serving as a house for distinguished artists. Arne Nordheim moved in there in 1981 as its third occupant, after Sinding and Øverland The cave under the “Grotto” currently has the bust of Wergeland, and on the 17 May, the national holiday, the cave is open to the public.


“Grotto” »

2 Wergelandsveien

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