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Oslo History

Around 1049, King Harald Hardråde founded Oslo. However, recent archaeological research revealed Christian burials from before 1000, indicating early urban settlement. Håkon V (1299 – 1319) was the first king to reside in the city permanently. He started the construction of the Akershus Fortress.

Oslo was shattered several times by fires. In 1624, after the fourteenth calamity, King Christian IV rebuilt the area near the Akershus Fortress and named it Christiana, which became a real capital in 1814 when Denmark was destoyed. The Royal Palace, Stortinget, the University, National theatre and the Stock Exchange were established in the 19th century. Christiana overtook Bergen and became the most popular city in 1850 and in 1878 it was renamed Kristiana. Oslo, the original name, was re-established in 1925.

From 1850’s to 1900’s, the city flourished with many constructions. The slum area was knocked down in the 1960’s and apartments with modern concrete and glass took its place.

The municipality of Oslo urbanized the city and established new areas such as Ullevål garden city (1918–1926) and Torshov (1917–1925). The City Hall was constructed in the former slum area of Vika, from 1931–1950. In 1948 the municipality of Aker was integrated in Oslo, and at the same time other suburbs such as Lambertseter were developed. Aker Brygge was also constructed on the site of the ex-shipyard Akers Mekaniske Verksted, from 1982–1998.

In 2011 the Oslo city was hit by a bomb blast that ripped through the Government quarter and damaged several buildings like the Office of the Prime Minister. Eight people were also killed in that bomb attack which shook the entire country.

Recommended Activities

Panoramic Oslo City Sightseeing Tour

Duration: 2 hours (approx.)

City Sightseeing Oslo Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Valid for 24 hours (approx.)

Visit Oslo Pass

Varies (approx.)

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