Oslo, the Viking city, the culture city, the winter capital, the city of rolling green hills and spectacular fjords is the capital city of Norway, founded around 1049 by King Harald Hardråde. 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.
Over the years, fire destroyed major parts of the city many times, as many of the city's buildings were built entirely of wood. After the last fire in 1624, which lasted for three days, King Christian IV decided that the old city should not be rebuilt again. His men built a network of roads in Akershagen near Akershus Castle. He demanded that all citizens should move their shops and workplaces to the newly built city of Christiania.
The origin of the name Oslo has been the subject of much debate. While certainly derived from Old Norse, it was in all probability originally the name of a large farm at the site of the first settlements in Bjørvika. Most modern linguists lean toward an interpretation of "Oslo/Åslo" as either "the meadow at the foot of the hill", with the name serving a topographical description, or the possibility of the name referring to an ancient site of worship in "the meadow consecrated to the gods". Both interpretations are considered equally likely.
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This beautiful city is full of historic sites, museums, parks, shops and a variety of restaurants. Visit a restaurant with the Norwegian Foodprints mark of quality to enjoy homemade food, Norwegian ingredients and food with a local identity. Innovation Norway has in cooperation with The Norwegian Farmers' Unionand Hanen developed an independent marketing channel for good Norwegian eateries.
In order to become an approved Norwegian Foodprints restaurant there are strict criteria that must be met. It is emphasized that the food is made from scratch, use of Norwegian, local products and good local knowledge of food and dishes.
|Vigeland Sculpture Park|
The Oslofjord is perfect for boat sightseeing, swimming, boating and island hopping, whilst the city’s forests offer great opportunities for biking, hiking and cross-country skiing.
Stay in Oslo during the winter months and combine the buzz of a capital city with skiing, fresh air and tranquil forests. In the summer, golfers can choose from several great courses.
In Oslo there is a variety of theatres, operas, folk dances, concerts and festivals throughout the year. The Norwegian Wood Music Festival, the Øya Festival, the Inferno Festival, Oslo Jazz Festival and Oslo Chamber Music Festival all attract world-class musicians and thousands of fans to Oslo.
- The National Gallery. The National Gallery houses Norway's largest public collection of paintings, drawings and sculptures. The museum's central attractions include Edvard Munch's The Scream and Madonna and paintings by Cézanne and Manet. The museum was founded in 1837. The museum's exhibitions present older art, with principal emphasis on art from Norway. The permanent exhibition shows highlights from the collection and national icons from the romantic period until the mid-1900s. Also on display are works by international painters and sculptors, including the French impressionists.
- The Norwegian Museum of Cultural History. is one of Europe's largest open-air museums. It consists of 155 traditional houses from all over Norway and a Stave Church from the year 1200. The museum's indoor exhibits show traditional handicraft items, folk costumes, Sami culture, weapons, toys, pharmaceutical history and other historic artifacts. In summer you can experience lefse baking, horse and carriage rides, feeding of the animals, guided tours, handicraft demonstrations and much more. The museum hosts many events such as folk dancing, exhibitions, arts and crafts activities, baking and church services.
- The Viking Ship Museum. Great Viking ship discoveries from Gokstad, Oseberg and Tune as well as other finds from Viking tombs around the Oslo Fjord. The world's two best-preserved wooden Viking ships built in the 9th century. Small boats, sledges, cart with exceptional ornamentation. Implements, tools, harness, textiles and household utensils.
- Akershus Fortress. Located in the city centre by the Oslo Fjord, is a great place to discover Oslo's history and a beautiful place to enjoy a summer day. The building of Akershus Castle and Fortress was commenced in 1299 under king Håkon V. The medieval castle, which was completed in the 1300s, had a strategical location at the very end of the headland, and withstood a number of sieges throughout the ages. King Christian IV (1588-1648) had the castle modernised and converted into a Renaisssance castle and royal residence. During the 17th and 18th century the castle fell into decay, and restoration work only started in 1899. The Fortress area is used for a number of big events, including concerts, holiday celebrations and ceremonies. Changing of the guards (HM The King's Guards) takes place every day at 1.30 pm.
- Vigeland Sculpture Park. Vigelandsparken is one of Norway's most visited attractions with more than 1 million visitors every year. The unique sculpture park is the life work of the sculptor Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943) with more than 200 sculptures in bronze, granite and cast iron. Vigeland was also responsible for the design and architectural outline of the park. A monumental artistic creation with a human message that is well worth seeing.
The park is open all year at all times and is a popular recreation area.