Oslo informationOslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. It was established as a municipality in 1838. The city was founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway. A great fire almost completely destroyed the city in 1624. It was rebuilt under the name of Christiania. In 1925, the city got its original Norwegian name, Oslo. The diocese of Oslo is one of the five original dioceses in Norway, founded around the year 1070.
Oslo is a seat of the Norwegian Government; it is the institutional, cultural, scientific and economic center of Norway. The city is also a focal point of Norwegian trade, banking, industry and shipping. It is an important center for maritime industries and maritime trade in Europe. Some of the world largest shipping companies have their seats in Oslo, including maritime insurance companies and ship-brokers. Oslo served as a pilot city of the Council of Europe. It is considered a global city and ranked as "Beta World City" according to 2008 studies. Oslo is one of the most expensive cities in the world. A survey conducted by ECA International in 2011 placed Oslo in second place after Tokyo.
According to the census of 2010, the metropolitan area of Oslo has a population of 1,442,318 while the city of Oslo itself has 912,046 inhabitants. The population increases rapidly making it the fastest growing city in Europe owing to immigrants moving to this stable and rich country. The immigrant share of the population in the city proper now counts more than 25% of the city's total. The city of Oslo that constitutes a County of Norway is governed by a city government. Many of the main attractions in Oslo are located around the city center or the harbor front where you can have delicious meals in attractive restaurants. The Government and Parliament are located here. At the end of the city’s main street, Karl Johan’s Gate, you will find the Royal Palace.
Oslo locationOslo occupies a curved area at the northernmost end of the Oslo fjord. The fjord that lies in the south is almost divided into two parts by the Nesodden peninsula opposite Oslo. From all other cardinal points Oslo is surrounded by green hills and mountains. There are 40 off-shore islands around the Oslo fjord, the largest being Malmøya (0.56 km2/0.22 sq mi). Oslo has 343 lakes, the largest being Maridalsvannet (3.91 km2/1.51 sq mi). This is also a main source of drinking water for a large part of the city.
Although Eastern Norway has a number of rivers, none of these flow into the ocean at Oslo. The waterfalls in Akerselva gave power to the first modern industry of Norway in the 1840. The River Alna flows through Groruddalen, Oslo's major suburb and industrial area. The highest point is Kirkeberget, at 629 metres (2,064 ft). Although the city's population is small compared to most European capitals, it occupies an unusually large land area, of which two thirds are protected areas of forests, hills and lakes. Its boundaries encompass many parks and open areas, giving it an airy and green appearance.
Oslo weatherOslo has a humid continental climate. Because of the city's northern latitude, daylight varies greatly, from more than 18 hours in midsummer, when it never gets completely dark at night, to around 6 hours in midwinter. Despite its northerly location, the climate is relatively mild throughout the year owing to the warm Gulf Stream.
Oslo has pleasantly mild to warm summers with average high temperatures of 20–22°C (68–72°F) and low temperatures of around 12°C (54°F). Temperatures exceed 25°C (77°F) quite often. Due to the fjord being a relatively enclosed body of water, the water temperatures can get quite high during long warm periods. Winters are cold and snowy with temperatures between -7°C (19°F) up to -1°C (30°F).
Annual precipitation is 763 millimeters (30.0 in) with moderate rainfall throughout the year. Snowfall can occur from November to April, but snow accumulation occurs mainly from January through March. Almost every winter, ice covers the innermost parts of the Oslo fjord, and during some winters the whole inner fjord freezes.
Owing to the climatic diversities outdoor activities are possible in all seasons. The warm summer climate and long daylight hours offer agreeable time for relaxing and enjoying the sunshine. However, when the snowy weather arrives each winter, with a completely different appearance, the city is prepared for the new wave of tourists coming to the adjacent ski resort at Tryvann Vinterpark.
Temperatures in the wintertime are frequently below zero.
Oslo historyThe town's history began in the Middle Ages with the first settlement built probably around the year 1000 AD. The medieval town was located below the Ekeberg hills, on the east side of the Bjørvika inlet. Around the year 1300 AD Oslo had about 3000 inhabitants. The town was the residence of King Haakon V (1299–1319) who started building of what is today known as the Akershus Fortress. Inside The Old Town called Gamlebyen you will find the remains of medieval Oslo. Here you will also find the Ladegård's Mediaeval Office, an information office located in the building dating from Middle Ages, organizing guided tours of the medieval town today.
The memorial park with ruins of the St. Hallvard Cathedral (from the 12th century) and the St. Olav convent are closely.
From 1536 Norway was in a union with Denmark. After a dramatic fire in 1624, the Danish King Christian IV decided to have the town rebuilt below Akersus, so the fortress could be used for defense of the town.
The town was named Christiania, after the king himself.
As a consequence of the Napoleonic Wars, Denmark in 1814 had to cede the territory of Norway to the Swedish king Karl Johan. That year Norway got its own Constitution on May 17th and Christiania got its official status as the capital of Norway. King Karl Johan initiated the building of the Royal Palace in 1825. The palace was completed in 1848 under King Oscar I. In 1866 the Parliament Building in Karl Johan’s Gate was finished.
The industrial era started along the river Akerselva around 1850. In the years between 1850 and 1900 the population of Christiania increased from about 30,000 to 230,000 mainly due to an inflow of workers from rural areas. In 1925 the city was renamed Oslo. The town was transformed into a bustling political center, the seat of the government, business organizations and new technologies, urban and international impulses and cultures.
Oslo tourist attractionsOslo is known for its exceptional architecture. The main landmark of the city is Akershus Fortress, the old castle built to protect Oslo during centuries.
There are numerous museums in the city displaying all kinds of artifacts important for the past and present of Norway.
The main museums are Norsk Folkemuseum, the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History at Bygdøy, a large open-air museum, The Armed Forces Museum, The Historical Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, The Holmenkollen Ski Museum, Holmenkollen, The Kon-Tiki Museum, The Munch Museum, Tøyen, The Norwegian Maritime Museum, The Oslo City Museum and The Viking Ship Museum that displays ships from Gokstad, Oseberg and Tune.
The City Hall, where the annual Nobel Prize ceremony is held is very popular with tourists. Other places attractive for tourists are The Henie-Onstad Art Centre, Høvikodden in Bærum, Oslo Cathedral, the Storting - the Parliament Building and Vigeland Sculpture Park - the most famous park in Norway.
Oslo National Art Gallery (Nasjonalgalleriet) displays an extensive collection of pre-WWII works of art, including masterpieces by famous artists such as Picasso and Delacroix.
If you are interested in the Viking period in the town’s history, you will certainly make a tour of the impressive Viking Ship Museum (Vikingskiphuset). There you will see a lot of Viking artifacts and three restored Viking ships, such as the Gokstadship and Oseberg. This museum is a must see for all those interested in the city's rich Norse past.
The Holmenkollen Ski Jump is located within the suburbs of Oslo and this skiing ground has become famous all over the world. In the winter season, various skiing competitions take place here while in summer you can learn skiing on a realistic simulator.
From the tall observation tower you can enjoy the beautiful view of the surrounding area and the city of Oslo. There you will also find an interesting museum, which traces the history of skiing over the past 4,000 years.
Strategically set on the eastern side of Oslo Harbour, the Akershus Castle and Fortress dominates over the waterfront and has long been one of the city's most imposing landmarks. The outer rampart was demolished in the early 19th century when the city expanded outside its walls and in the following century restoration of many buildings was at work.
In 1950 Oslo Radhus, a twin-towered red brick building was built on the occasion of the official commemoration of the 900th anniversary of the city. The interior was richly decorated and tourists may visit this interesting building on guided tours.