Frozen (2013)

Stunning Places In Norway That Inspired Disney's "Frozen"

By: Domonique Cox-Salberg

Part of the magic and beauty of Frozen can be attributed to the charming nature, culture, and structures of Norway. The Kingdom of Arendelle, Anna and Elsa’s costumes, and more are where we discover the most obvious influences, which will be shown here.

St. Olaf’s Church

Located in Balestrand, Norway, St. Olaf’s Church served as an inspiration for the chapel featured in Frozen during the coronation scene, in which Elsa is crowned Queen of Arendelle. And if you have not noticed yet, the churches also inspired the name of everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf.


Stiftsgården is a royal residence completed in 1778 and is one of the largest wooden structures in Scandinavia. Stretching 190 feet along Munkegaten in Trondheim, its inner workings served as a model for Anna and Elsa’s castle.


Bryggen is located in Bergen, Norway, and is a UNESCO Site, meaning places with special cultural or physical significance. It is an old merchant quarter and the only preserved business district from the Hanseatic period. The wharf of Bryggen inspired the design of the city of Arendelle.

Fetsund Lenser

Fetsund Lenser is a 200-year-old timber processing plant-turned-museum along the Glomma River, where there are noticeably small black wooden structures. They were used for storing ice before the invention of the freezer, where the ice would be covered in tree sap at the lumber plant and then sent off to castles and palaces around Europe. Ice harvesting happened right in the Fetsund spot, much like it is depicted in Frozen’s opening scenes.


A trip to Norway would not be complete without a reindeer sighting. A visit to the Arctic Archipelago of Svalbard is a tourist or native’s best opportunity to meet a Sven.


What may be the most naturally Disney-like inspiration are the snowy peaks and valleys of the town Røros, where the beautiful white landscapes of Frozen can be attributed. Art director Michael Giaimo took the vision of a single snowflake and its six-sided structure used as the basis of Elsa’s crystalized world, including her dramatic ice palace and glittering frozen cape.

Borgund Stave Church

The Borgund church was completed in 1250 A.D. and has been beautifully maintained ever since. The triple-nave style is traditional for these stave churches and served as an archetype for much of the architecture in Frozen.


Sogn og Fjordane County, Norway, is home to deep waters, towering cliffs, and dramatic waterfalls and gives visitors a truly magnificent experience. Interpretations of these very landscapes and waterfalls appear throughout Frozen.

Akershus Fortress

The 500-year-old castle Akershus Fortress was the model of Elsa and Anna’s castle in Frozen and is located in Oslo, the capital of Norway.

Norsk Folkemuseum

Also stemming from Oslo, the traditional folk dancing costumes found at the Norsk Folkemuseum, was an obvious inspiration for the garments worn by Anna, Elsa, and the townspeople in Frozen.

Floibanen Funicular & Troll Forest

The troll forest is known for its magnificent city view and serves as a model for the Norse mythology and Norwegian Folklore displayed in Frozen.

Northern Norway

Northern Norway is often characterized as the land of the midnight sun and the land of the northern lights. These same lights can be credited to the night sky design where Elsa escapes to the mountains and builds her ice palace.

Thus, much of what makes Norway unique and magical is now captured in one of Disney’s most successful animated films.

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