Oslo Tourist Attractions
Oslo lies at the north end of the Oslofjord, which cuts deep inland and is joined by the Akerselv. The city is surrounded by forest-covered hills from which there are far-ranging views.
Capital of NorwayOslo, known from 1624 to 1877 as Christiania and from 1877 to 1924 as Kristiania, is the capital of Norway and, in terms of area, one of the largest capitals in the world. Of the city's total area of 450sq.km/175sq.mi, only around 20% is built-up. Oslo has an underground railroad and a suburban railroad system.ImportanceOslo is the seat of government and the chief town of the two counties of Oslo and Akershus, the see of a Lutheran and (since 1953) a Roman Catholic bishop, and a university town, with two universities and several other higher educational institutions. It has numerous cultural institutions, including museums, libraries, theaters and Norway's only opera house.Port; industryOslo is Norway's most important port, the base of many shipping lines, with a large merchant fleet and shipyards. Its principal industries, in addition to shipbuilding, are electrical engineering, printing and publishing, foodstuffs and clothing manufacture.HistoryOslo, the oldest Scandinavian capital, is thought to have been founded in 1050 by King Harald Hårdråde, but it is likely that there was already a landing-place for ships and a small settlement on the site. Harald's son, Olav Kyrre, made the town the see of a bishop and built a cathedral, and thereafter Oslo remained for centuries Norway's religious center, while the kings resided in Bergen. Around 1300, however, Håkon V moved his capital from Bergen to Oslo and began to build the stronghold of Akershus. About the same time the Hanseatic League established a trading station in Oslo. This period of prosperity came to an end when plague wiped out a third of Norway's population in 1349. Then in 1397 Norway came under Danish rule, and Oslo declined steadily in importance. After a great fire in 1624 Christian IV rebuilt the town on the north side of Akershus Castle and renamed it Christiania. It was only after the separation of Norway from Denmark in 1814 that Christiania again became the capital of Norway and the residence of the king; and during the reign of King Carl XIV Johan it enjoyed a new rise to prosperity. In 1925 the town reverted to its old name of Oslo.Oslo has 40 islands within its city limits and two-thirds of its land area is protected forests, hills and lakes. The summer months are mild to warm making the Oslofjord a popular recreational area including the beaches. The winter months are cold and wet but ideal for icefishing, ice-skating and even cross-country skiing.
The Oslo region (Oslomarka), with Nordmarka, Krogskogen, Vestmarka, Østmarka, etc., offers excellent skiing, with a reasonable assurance of good snow conditions from January to March.The Nordmarka is most easily reached on the Holmenkollen railroad. There are 2,200km/1,400mi of prepared cross-country trails, 200km/125mi with floodlighting. There are downhill pistes, with lifts, at Tryvannskleiva, Rødkleiva, Wyllerløypa, Kirkerudbakken, Ingierkollen, Grefsenkleiva, Fjellstadbakken, Trollvannskleiva, Vardåsen and Varingskollen. The most easily accessible Alpine skiing area is on the Norefjell (northwest of the city, via Hønefoss and Noresund; 2.5 hours by car), with four lifts up to 1,800m/5,700ft. In the surrounding area there is a ski school and ski-hiring station (Voksenkollen Stasjon). Within the city itself there are three ice rinks.
The Oslo Underground (T-Banen) was opened in 1966 and is made up of seven lines with 98km of track, 14.5km of which are underground. There are sixty-five stations, thirteen of which are underground. The system has a flat fare structure with full integration of fares with other modes of transport in the city.The system serves about fifty-five million passengers yearly with a rolling stock of 205 cars. During peak hours trains run every one and three-quarter minutes.
More Oslo Pictures
Map of Oslo Attractions