Scandinavia, which consists of the countries of Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland, is a cold region, but yet has been inhabited for many centuries. Foremost in the past of this region were the Vikings, great seamen, explorers, and warriors. Although each country has its own individual and separate culture today, the region will be forever linked and lumped together as I am doing. Here is my list of the seven man-made wonders of this intriguing area.
1. Christiansborg Palace, Copenhagen, Denmark. This is the home of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the Danish Government (the only single building in the world to house all three together). There have been a succession of buildings on thie site, so the present palace is of fairly recent construction.
2. Domkirche, Roskilde, Denmark. This cathedral was the first Gothic structure to be made of bricks and was erected in the 12th century. It has been the main interment location for Danish monarchs since the 15th century and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Roskilde Palace is attached to the church.
3. Vigeland Sculpture Park, outside of Oslo, Norway. This park showcases the sculpture of native-son Gustav Vigeland. There are over 200 sculptures in the park, the most popular of which is the Monolith, a monument to man’s quest for connection with the spiritual. It is over 45 feet tall and contains 121 human figures.
4. Mariakirke, Bergen, Norway. This church is the oldest building in the Hanseatic town of Bergen. Parts of it date to 1130 AD. Its altarpiece was in existence in the 1400’s when it was the parish church of the German hanseats.
5. Drottningholm Palace, Stockholm, Sweden. The Royal Palace of Sweden is the residence of the Swedish monarchy. With its Chinese Pavilion and gorgeous gardens, it has been cited by UNESCO as the "finest example of a Northern European royal residence inspired by the Palace of Versailles."
6. Suomenlinna Fortress, Helsinki, Finland. This star-fort style fortification was built in 1748 as a defense against Russian expansion. It encompasses six (6) islands within the city limits of Helsinki. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Helsinki and is also popular with locals for picnics and such.
7. Egeskov Castle, Odense, Denmark. Considered Europe’s best preserved Renaissance water castle, Egeskov dates to 1554. The castle is also noted for its extensive gardens. Its fuchsia garden is one of the largest in Europe.
Other sites considered:
Troldhaugen, Bergen, Norway
Maiden’s Tower, Visby, Sweden
Tivoli Gardens, Copenhagen, Denmark
Lutheran Cathedral, Helsinki, Finland