Nordic arts and culture

The Nordic countries are rich in music, film, literature, art and pioneers of modern design. International interest in Nordic arts and culture has been growing steadily.

Today this is attracting a growing international market of people interested in art and cultural subjects and who want to experience the Nordic design, arts and culture attractions.

See also: Famous Nordic brands

There are strong similarities between the countries in the Nordic region, best seen in design and architecture and an overall "feel" for visual expression, and focus on simplicity with clean lines and the use of natural materials. It is because the histories of Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland have been so intertwined through the centuries. There is a cultural heritage that complements the modern look.

Denmark's cultural heritage

Denmark has a rich cultural history that finds expression in Viking treasures, numerous castles, churches and manor houses. Many of those are back from the Middle Ages.

The country also has a long literary tradition, and the most well known are the fairy tale author Hans Christian Andersen and Søren Kierkegaard. 

See more: Historical attractions in Denmark

H. C. Andersen is probably the most widely read Danish writer, and the most famous children's tales include "The Ugly Duckling", "The Emperor's New Clothes" and "The Princess and the Pea", which have been sources for films, ballets, plays and visual arts.

In the 20th century, Karen Blixen gained international recognition for her book "Out of Africa", which became a Hollywood movie in 1985, starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. 

In the last decade, tv-series as "The Killing" and "Borgen" and "The Legacy's" have become famous worldwide and have been good branding of Denmark.

Danish Design is renowned for its elegance

Danish design is not just limited to museums and galleries. It can be found everywhere, as in restaurants, hotels and private Danish homes and many Danes have a designer lamp of furniture.

You can find many things like salad sets, candle holders and salt and pepper grinders, also used for presents, with a beautiful design, because Danish-designed products are meant to be used. Of famous brands, we can mention Royal Copenhagen and Erik Bagger design.

Bang & Olufsen are also praised worldwide for their visually striking sound systems and can be found in many Danish homes.

Norway's cultural heritage

Norway has 28 ancient stave churches, representing some of the best examples of Norwegian artistic production. The design motifs in the churches are from the Viking period as tendrils and dragons.

Two of the churches are on the UNESCO heritage list in Norway, and this is Urnes and the Heddal stave church in Telemark.

Film, literature and art

Perhaps you also have heard of Thor Heyerdahl and his three-month-long expedition on the boat Kon-Tiki in 1947. In 2012 a movie about his expedition got an Oscar Nominee Award for the Best Foreign Language Film.

One of the best-known authors is Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906). He wrote many plays based on Norwegian folklore. One of his works is "Per Gynt" (1867), to which another Norwegian, composer Edvard Grieg, made beautiful music.

Edvard Munch (1863-1944) is one of Norway's most reproduced artists and has his own museum in Oslo and an entire floor in the National Gallery. His most famous painting is "The Scream" from 1893. The Munch Museum will transfer to new premises near the Opera House in 2019.