Nina and Edvard Grieg´s home is one of the great tourist attractions in Norway. The attractive Swiss style villa was designed by the architect Schack Bull and built in 1884-85. Situated in luxuriant surroundings, Troldhaugen lies on a promontory jutting out into Lake Nordas with an outstanding view over the water. Every summer from 1885 to his death in 1907, Edvard Grieg lived and worked here, touring Europe with his wife, Nina, during the winter months.
He was much in demand all over the world as a pianist and conductor and became Norway´s foremost ambassador for the music of his times. Thanks to Grieg´s own music, which still has a huge audience throughout the world, his status as a music ambassador still remains undeminished. During his many travels, Grieg never failed to express his love and longing for his beloved Troldhaugen. Today, Troldhaugen is a living museum consisting of the Edvard Grieg Museum, the Villa, the Composers Hut, Edvard Grieg´s tomb and Troldsalen.
The villa's exterior design is that of a Victorian villa with a tower, a richly ornamented open veranda, and a balcony adjoining the tower which actually extends the entire width of the house. All this certainly showed the neighbours that the owners of this house had style and money. The mouldings around the windows and other details are decorated with carvings. On top of the tower there is a small terrace with a flag-pole, where Nina Grieg kept a small vegetable garden.
It is impossible not to notice the many large windows. Even the basement, which is halfway submerged below ground level, has relatively large windows. Grieg wanted to let light and air into the pantry and wine cellar. The largest room in the basement, at its southern end, was referred to as the flower room.
The villa has a base area of 100 m2. There are two entrances to the ground floor, both on the east-facing side. The main entrance is at the southeastern corner, where large stone steps lead up to the entry hall. The kitchen entrance, which is no longer in use, leads to a small hallway. Adjoining the kitchen there is a pantry with a sideboard and a servant's room with space for two beds.
From the entry hall there is a stairway to the basement, as well as to the upper floor where we find Nina and Edvard's bedroom, their dressing room and two walk-in wardrobes. There is also a guest room, the room in the tower, an additional room under the slanting roof, and stairs, which continue up into the tower.
Grieg referred to his building project as my best opus so far, and indeed it can be a revealing study of his ideas. It is worthwhile to study both the main designs and the many details of the house, its facades and interiors, in order to feel the special atmosphere of Troldhaugen. By reflecting over the many choices Grieg made, just as we study his music, we can gain a deeper understanding of his personality.