Things about Oslo

While visiting Norway in November, I will be staying in Oslo, the capital city of Norway.

From upper left: Rising skyline over Bjørvika, Royal Palace, Akershus Castle, sunset over the Oslofjord, Stortinget, Oslo Opera House

Oslo is actually the third city to serve as the capital of Norway. The first capital was Nidaros, now known as Trondheim, from 997-1070 AD, followed by Bjørgvin, now known as Bergen from 1070-1299 AD. In 1624, after a fire destroyed Oslo, it was rebuilt and re-named Christiania (which was changed to Kristiania in 1877). In 1814, Christiania became a real capital again once the Union with Denmark was dissolved, and then the former name Oslo was restored in 1925.

Map of Southern Norway

Map of Southern Norway

Oslo is located in the Southern portion of Norway, and is built right beside Oslofjord. The city’s population is around 647,676, and is the largest city in Norway. Oslo is very far north compared to most cities in the world, however, Oslo does not see midnight sun or constant dark. During summer, however, the sun is up for 18 hours, and during winter, it is only up for 6. The record high in Norway is 34ºC (94ºF), though the average July high is 22ºC (71ºF). The record low is -25ºC (-13ºF), though the average Jan/Feb low is -7ºC (20ºF). During my trip, it will probably range anywhere from -6ºC (22ºF) to 3ºF (38ºF). Snowfall typically begins in late November, early December, so I should be there in plenty of time to see it!

Oslo has a number of museums and parks, including Frogner Park, which is semi-famous due to its huge collection of statues by the sculptor Gustav Vigeland. The Oslo Opera House was designed by Tarald Lundevall, and is Norway’s largest cultural building. It is home to the Norwegian National Opera and Ballet. Akershus Fortress is a castle that was contructed back in 1290 AD or so, and was used for defense, as well as a prison, and is still in official and military use today. The Norwegian Parliment, (called Stortinget) is located in Oslo, and has met in this building since 5 March 1866. However, many surrounding buildings are used for some of the legislative procedures, as the Parliment building itself is not large enough. Det kongelige slott, The Royal Palace, is the official residence of the Norwegian Royal Family, and was built in the first half of the 1800’s.

The Monolith at Frogner Park

Oslo Opera House seen from Langkaia

Akershus Castle in Oslo, Norway.

Stortinget (The Norwegian Parliment)

The Royal Palace in the center of the capital of Norway, the City of Oslo.

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