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Carl Johan and the Royal Palace

King Carl Johan played a key role in the efforts culminating in the building of the Royal Palace. It was the King who decided where the palace should lie, and he who laid the foundation stone in 1825.

The site for the new palace had been somewhat of an open question. It is said that this matter was decided by the King himself during a ride on Bellevue hill, west of what was then the city centre. Work commenced the following year, and on 1 October 1825 the King laid the foundation stone at the intended site of the altar in the future Royal Chapel.


In the beginning, the King was actively involved in the plans to build a palace. In 1827, however, the Storting refused to allocate any further funding and construction ceased. The King saw this as a personal attack, and the building issue came to be seen as a manifestation of “the prevailing discord between the two branches of government”, a tool for emphasising the ongoing conflict between the King and the Storting.

Despite this conflict, King Carl Johan had a lasting influence on the palace taking form in Christiania. Architect Linstow’s design of the interior on the main floor clearly reflects the King’s taste, even though the King did not live to see Norway’s new royal residence completed.


King Carl Johan died in 1844, one year after both Norway and Sweden had celebrated the 25th anniversary of his accession to the throne. Testimony to his Silver Jubilee can still be seen in the Royal Chapel, where his monogram and the year 1843 are mounted in gilded wood over the Royal Box. This is the only place in the building where a royal monogram is still included as part of the permanently affixed historic ornamentation.


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