Whether it’s the adorable characters or the heartwarming story, hit Walt Disney animated flick Frozen undeniably put everyone under its spell, with the songs playing and merchandise being sold pretty much everywhere. In fact, if you have kids at home, they have probably belted out to “Let It Go” or asked “Do You Want To Build A Snowman?” while clad in a costume to impersonate characters Elsa, Anna, or even Olaf! Everything seems to be in place, except for the dreamy setting depicted in the film.
But where does Frozen take place? Massive ice, snow-capped mountains, majestic vistas, a charming village, stunning fortresses, and churches—only Scandinavia has them all, grand and deeply grounded in Norweigian traditions. Frozen has taken inspiration from the countries Denmark, Sweden, and most especially Norway. There’s also a touch of Finland and Iceland.
While the film delights you on the screen, here are awesome experiences in Scandinavia that will let your kids live up their Frozen dreams:
Marvel at the Akershus Fortress in Oslo, Norway
Have you ever wondered if the Arendelle castle is real? Explore the Akershus Fortress, formerly a medieval castle that was transformed into a Renaissance castle and royal residence. This was built to erect a specific defensive center in Oslo, the capital of Norway. This fortress inspired the Frozen castle. In a guided walking tour of Akershus Fortress, you’ll learn about the major historical events that took place around and behind its walls. You can see the courtyard, building halls, the church, and the Royal Mausoleum, where you can find the sarcophagi of King Haakon VII, his wife Queen Maud Of Norway, Princess Martha, and King Olav V.
Let the Norsk Folkemuseum Take You Back in Time
The Sami culture is heavily embedded in the movie. If you are in Oslo, you can delve into years of Norwegian history at the Norwegian Folk Museum, which features folk art, religious art, and Sami culture. Built in 1894, the Norsk Folkemuseum displays collections of ancient items, photographs, and archival material from all over Norway. The museum also has activities and programs for families and children, such as horse rides, a playground, baking, dance classes, and more! Also in the museum is King Oscar II’s Collection, the world’s first open-air museum.
Visit the UNESCO Heritage Site Bryggen in Bergen, Norway
This cluster of homes, buildings, shops, and restaurants that bleeds into the harbor inspired the design of the city of Arendelle in Frozen. The wharf of Bryggen serves as a landmark that commemorates the trading empire of the Hanseatic League from the 14th to the mid-16th century.
Discover Sognefjord in Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway
The waterfalls and landscapes in Frozen that mesmerize you are strikingly similar to the surrounds of Sognefjord, Norway’s longest and deepest fjord. Located in Sogn og Fjordane county, Sognefjord covers the north of Bergen, the Jotunheimen National Park, and the Jostedalsbreen glacier. A perfect place for one of your winter vacations, Sognefjord is famous for its vast mountain areas, towering cliffs, and lush pastures. In fact, Sognefjord produces berries, goat cheese, lamb, and mountain trout. You can enjoy a fjord cruise, hikes, and walks along the most scenic places.
Be in Awe of St. Olaf’s Church in Balestrand, Norway
St. Olaf’s Church served as the model for the chapel shown in Frozen during the coronation scene, in which Elsa is hailed as the Queen of Arendelle. St. Olaf also inspired the name of the snowman in Frozen. It is under the supervision of the Church of England and headed by the Bishop of Gibraltar. The church was built to honor the memory of Margaret Sophie Green Kvikne, a vicar’s daughter from England who arrived in Norway as a mountaineering pioneer.
Did you know that you can also watch Frozen on broadway? Get your Frozen The Musical New York Broadway Tickets and see your favorite characters come to life on a wintry stage in New York!
*Featured image sourced from Unsplash