Oslo (west) from the fjord: The Royal Ship in the foreground and Holmenkollen in the
(Photo: Bjørn-Ove Indrøy)
Oslo is the capital of Norway and has approx. 525 000 inhabitants.
Oslo's urban history dates back to about 1000 AD. The city's founding
can be attributed to the natural harbour and ease of access to much of
eastern Norway. As royal and clerical authorities gained influence, the city
grew. Oslo first served as Norway's capital from 1299 to 1397, when the
country joined Denmark and Sweden in the Kalmar Union. After a major fire in
1624, King Christian IV of Denmark had the city rebuilt behind Akershus
Fortress. Norway was
now under Danish rule, and Oslo was renamed Christiania in the king's honour.
In the 1600s and 1700s trade fuelled development, with timber as the key
The city's population rose steadily but jumped after 1814, when Norway
entered a less restrictive union with Sweden and the city regained capital
status. The industrial revolution
boosted it politically and economically, while advances in communication let
the city expand geographically, most notably in 1859 and 1878. The union
with Sweden ended in 1905.
In 1924, 300 years after the city's reconstruction under Christian IV, it
took back the name of Oslo. Oslo celebrated its 1000-year jubilee in 2000.
Oslo - facts and figures, Oslo kommune)
Attractions and sights
situated in wonderful surroundings - between the fjord and the forrests and
mountains. The city has a broad range of sightseeing attractions. Most
popular is Holmenkollen ski jump arena. Oslo also hosts the
the sculpture park of Gustav Vigeland and a number of historical museums:
The Fram museum,
Kon-Tiki museum and The
Vikingship museum. See complete list of attractions on
Karl Johan street and the Royal Castle (above)
The Vikingship, Kon-Tiki and Fram museums on Bygdøy.
(Photos: Bjørn-Ove Indrøy)