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Oslo History

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altOslo is the oldest of the Scandinavian capitals and was founded in 1049 by the Norwegian King Harald Hardrade. Arcahealogical findings have discovered human remains dating before 1000, leading the city to celebrate its millennium in 2000. The look of the city was shaped largely by its founders, which is evident by looking at some of its buildings, among them the imposing fortress Akershus Slott, which was built by Hakon V in the thirteenth century.

Oslo was originally a wooden city and was subject to numerous fires. The most devastating fire took place in 1624 and burnt the city to the ground. The city was subsequently rebuilt by King Christian IV of Demark (and Norway, which was Then part of Denmark), who renamed the city Christiana, after himself. The city would maintain that title until 1924, when the name was switched back to Oslo.

In 1814, Norway separated from Denmark and united with Sweden in a union that would last until 1905. During this period, many of Oslo’s most notable structures were built, including the Royal Palace, the House of Parliament and the National Gallery. After World War Two, the city limits of Oslo were extended, which made it one of the largest world capitals by acreage.

The city’s population has grown over the past century, thereby increasing the financial, military, and administrative importance of Norway’s capital city. The city dominates Norway’s economy, but has recently struggled to accommodate its growing population. Locals oppose both the building of high rises that diminish Oslo’s historic feel and the creation of more sprawling residence buildings that would cut into the city’s forests. For the most part, though, Oslo’s growing population has been immensely positive for the city and has been the driving force behind Oslo’s growth into the vibrant and lively city that it is today.


Transportation/Getting Around

The metro, in Norwegian is the Tunnelbane or just T-bane. Oslo has 6 main lines, one of which ...
From the Airport
There are three conventional ways to get from the Oslo airport to the city center. The high speed ...
Bike for Hire
Another way to navigate Oslo is to rent a bicycle, which is very easy. The Oslo Citybike service ...
Driving Tips
Driving in Oslo is fairly straightforward, although it is generally preferable to use the public ...
Car for Hire
Hiring a car in Oslo is probably unnecessary since the city is fairly small and the public ...
Taxis are mad expensive. Minimum charges of 80 NOK apply and at night times this can double to 160 ...