Modern facilities with old style and historical elegance
Gamle Logen was originally built as a masonic lodge and concert and banqueting hall in 1836, and was the brainchild of Count Wedel Jarlsberg.
The rich tradition of celebrations started with the civic ball held to mark the official opening in 1839, attended by King Karl Johan and Crown Prince Oscar as guests of honour. It also hosted the first Norwegian artists’ festival, the Norwegian Parliament’s commemorations marking 50 years of the union with Sweden, and King Haakon VII’s silver jubilee.
1844 saw the opening of Gamle Logen’s magnificent late-Empire style “Store Sal” or banqueting hall. The building was also home to the city’s finest restaurant and its first theatre cafe – later popularly known as "Sumpen" – which became a meeting place for the city’s artists. Gamle Logen played an important role in the development of a Norwegian cultural identity through the 19th century, and was associated with famous internationally established artists such as Edvard Grieg, Henrik Ibsen, Ole Bull, Johan Svendsen, Halfdan Kierulf, Henrik Wergeland and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson.
Gamle Logen fell into decline for many years before being reopened in 1988 after extensive renovation. The historical atmosphere has been recreated, and Gamle Logen stands today as Oslo’s oldest preserved venue for cultural events and functions, a place for people to enjoy concerts and artistic performances, organise conferences and functions – both official and private. It has now been restored again, marrying modern facilities with old style and historical elegance.