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Akershus Fortress
Construction on Akershus Fortress was started in the 1290s by King Håkon V Magnusson, though it was modernised and given a Renaissance style by King Christian IV in the 1600s. From the mounds there are nice views of Oslo harbor.
Norway: Oslo Akershus Fortress

City Hall
Oslo City Hall is easily recognizable, dominating the view of the city from the harbor. It is perhaps most famous for being the site of the Nobel Piece Price award ceremony.

Folk Museum
Norway has one of the world's best economies. Though, this wasn't always the case. In the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History it is possible to see how Norwegians lived before oil was found in the North Sea.

Visit Oslo
Official Guide

Europe | Scandinavia | Norway | Oslo

Oslo: Fjord Capital

Norway's capital is bounded on one side by the end of the Oslo Fjord and on the other side by hilly forrests, both forming a scenic backdrop to the city. Current-day Oslo bears evidence of Norway's new found oil riches, with trendy shops, cafés and restaurants sprouting up around the city. It has also rapidly become a multicultural city, with a large proportion of the current population being immigrants or of immigrant ancestry. It has enough attractions to keep one busy for at least a couple of days.
Norway: Oslo Harbor


Oslo: Royal Castle

Det Kongelige Slott (The Royal Castle) in Oslo is the home of Norway's royal family (currently headed by King Harald V). It sits on a small hill, looking down on the parliament as well as Oslo's principal street Karl Johans Gate. The Royal Castle was completed in 1849, and was built as a residence for the Swedish King Carl Johan (Norway was in a union with Sweden between 1814 and 1905). It was originally planned to be H-shaped, but due to a lack of finances it ended up in its current U-shape. There is a changing of the guard daily at 1:30 pm.

Oslo: Viking Ships

The Viking Ship Museum in Oslo houses three original wooden viking ships (the Tune, Gokstad and Oseberg ships), all built more than 1000 years ago! The vikings believed that the deceased could bring the material belongings burried with them into the afterlife, and the ships have all been excavated from the burial sites of prominent vikings. Besides the viking ships, the museum also houses many other artifacts found along with the boats.

Oslo: Holmenkollen Ski Jump

Skiing in all its forms is an important part of the Norwegian psyche. The Holmenkollen Ski Jump is an important part of this heritage. When it's not host to competitions, visitors can enter the ski jump and get a magnificent panoramic view of Oslo from the tower. Looking down the ski jump one can also appreciate the feat of actually jumping it on a pair of skis (the current jump record is 136 meters). At the base of the ski jump is the world's oldest ski museum.

Oslo: Vigeland Park

One of Oslo's favorite attractions is the Vigeland Park, which contains 212 sculptures made by the Norwegian sculptor Gustav Vigeland. The statues (made from bronze and granite) portray all stages of life, from infancy to old age. The focus of the park is the 14 meter tall monolith, which took three stone carvers 14 years to complete. The statue closest to the hearts of Norwegians is Sinnataggen (meaning the Angry Boy), which can be seen on the bridge.

Oslo: The Great Assembly

Norway has a parliamentary system, where the government must have direct or indirect support of the parliament (as opposed to a presidential republic). In Norwegian the parliament itself is referred to as Stortinget, meaning The Great Assembly. The building was completed in 1866, and with the advent of parliamentalism in the 1880s it became a central part of the Norwegian fight for independence from Sweden (which was peacefully gained in 1905).

A new national opera for Norway is expected to open during spring 2008. Hopes are that it will do the same for Oslo as the Sydney Opera House has done for Sydney.
Norway: Oslo Opera

Kongeriket Norge

Largest city
4,627,000 (2007)
323,802 km²
Official language(s)
Constitutional monarchy

872: United into one kingdom by Harald Fairhair.
1349: Black death kills 40-50% of the Norwegian population.
1387-1814: In union with Denmark.
1814-1905: In union with Sweden.
1940-45: Occupied by Germany.
1960s: Large reserves of oil and gas are discovered in the North Sea.

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