Oslo City Guide travel tourist sightseeing attractions information

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Oslo History – Overiew

There is some archaeological evidence from Christian burial sites that modern Oslo roots pre-date the end of the first millennium. It is thought that its origins as a town can be attributed to King Harald Hardrade in 1049. It became Norway’s main city at the beginning of the 14th century when King Hakon V became the first King to live in Oslo. During his reign the Akershus Castle was founded. In the 15th century during Norway’s union with Denmark the city’s was of less importance as the nations Kings were based in Copenhagen.

Oslo has been devastated by fire several times and in 1624 , King Christian 1V of Denmark Norway began to rebuild and develop the city in the Christiana area of the Oslo. Until then this area the main commercial area for of Norway. King Christian renamed Oslo Christiania. (In 1878 its name was subtly changed to Kristiania). The original part of the city built in 1624 is today known as Kvadraturen

The University of Oslo was founded in 1811 and following the dissolution of Norway’s union with Denmark in 1814 the city became Norway’s capital. Many of the country’s most important buildings were built in the following century including the Royal Palace, The Parliament (Stortinget) and the National Theatre. By 1850 it had become the most populated city in Norway (Bergen had this distinction previously). Until 1906 it was an integral part of the country’s short- lived union with Sweden. In 1924 it reverted to its original name Oslo. See also Recent Norwegian History in the Norway Country Profile.

Sightseeing & Attractions In Oslo

This fascinating city appears to date back to the very first millennium.  Oslo has suffered much devastation throughout its illustrious history including a string of horrific fires. King Christian IV of Denmark was responsible for much of the city’s restoration. There are monuments and museums which pay tribute to Norway’s viking and Nordic heritage. Oslo is very much the epicentre of Norway’s culture, heritage and tradition as is evident form their wide selection of sightseeing , attractions and amusements.

Viking Ship Museum  Huk Aveny 35 Oslo – Though it may seem a bit morbid the Viking Ship Museum with three Viking burial  ships built between 800-900 AD is worth a visit. It is a part of the museum of  Cultural history of the University of Oslo.  The ships are the Gokstad Tune and the very distinctive  Oserberg which are the finest remaining examples of authentic Viking ships in the world.  The latter was the resting place of the Royal Vikings. The museum also has a number of ceremonial sleighs, numerous tools and original household items on display.  Further details are available on the Museums website. http://www.khm.uio.no/

Oslo City Hall Raduset 0037 Oslo – The Oslo City Hall is  one of Norway’s most architecturally controversial buildings.  This post World War 2 building illustrates what squalor and deprivation the Norwegians had to suffer through during the Nazi occupation. The Murals are accompanied by Frescoes  Tapestries and sculptures.  It is one of Norway’s most infamous pieces of architecture and  was designed in a Functionalist style by Norweigian’s  Arnestein Arneberg and Magnus Poulsson. The prestigious Nobel Peace Prize ceremony is held at Oslo City Hall on December 10th the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death. website  http://www.radhusets-forvaltningstjeneste.oslo.kommune.no/

The Resistance Museum Akershus Castle / Fortress, Oslo – More Graphic accounts of the Nazi occupation can be found at the Resistance Museum which was used by the Nazi’s as a  prison and place of execution. Apart from the chilling Dungeons the Akershus Castle has several luxurious  Banqueting Halls and State meeting rooms, which are still in use today. In the summer the Castle’s grounds are utilized for musical concerts and open air stage productions. It was established in 1966 and was unveiled to the public in 1970 by Prince Harald of Norway.  and has fascinating artefacts, exhibitions and photos from that bleak second World War period [1940-45] Opening hours are  Sept-May Mon-Fri 10 am till 4 pm.website http://mil.no/Pages/default.aspx

Munch Museum Oslo  Toyengata 53 Oslo – The Munch Museum is dedicated to the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch who was most famous for the ”Scream” painting. As well as this infamous work, there is 1,000 other paintings and over 20,000 drawings from various different artists.  It was opened to the public in 1963 in commemoration of what would have been Munch’s 100th birthday. In 2004 The ”Munch” along with the famous Madonna painting were stolen in 2004 by armed thieves who stormed the museum. Fortunately these masterpieces were recovered by the Oslo Police in 2006. Opening hours are Jan-May Tues, Wed , Fri 10 am till 4pm, Thurs 10-8 pm  and 10 am till 5pm on weekends. June to August open all days from 10 am till 5 pm. Closed on Monday’s. Entry  is 60 NOK and free for children under 16. website  http://www.munch.museum.no/?lang=en

Barnekunst Museum, Oslo  Lille Froens Vei 4 – The Barnekunst Museum is home to a truly superb collection of Children’s paintings and drawings, sculptures and tapestries. It celebrated the works of artistically gifted children  who originate from nearly 40 countries all over the globe.  The museum regards Children’s art as an integral part of  Norway’s culture and arts. There are special educational workshops available to  enthusiastic children  interested in these activities as well as dancing and different types of Music. Open Tues-Thurs 9.30 am till 2.30 pm and 11 am till 4 pm on Sunday’s. website http://www.barnekunst.no/en/

Stave Church,  Bygdoy Oslo  – The Stave Church is a Wooden church built during the Medieval period. It’s Medieval design includes a  post and beam in keeping with the Stave tradition. You can find this significant religious attraction inside the Norwegian Folk Museum (see below).  The church began its construction in 1156 and it was completed in 1216. It is a UNESCO world Heritage site.  It’s called the Gol Church because it was originally located at Gol, Hallingdal in Norway before being moved to Oslo. King Oscar II of both Sweden and Norway provided the funds for Gol’s restoration and had it relocated to Oslo in the late 19th century.  The current church is a replica of the original and the church was resurrected in 1884. website  http://www.norskfolkemuseum.no/en/Stories/Set-1/The-Stave-Church/

Norwegian Folk Museum Museumsvien, 10  Oslo – The museum is Norway’s largest cultural  history museum. It explains how people lived from the middle ages up until present day Norway. The museum boasts a whopping 230,000 artefacts from Norwegian life.  The Museum was initially established in December 1984. The 13th century Medieval  Stave Church makes for  essential viewing and they have on going folk art   Costume , toy and Sami culture exhibitions. Opening hours are  10 am till 6 pm daily and entry fee is about £10 for adults and as little as £2.50 for children. website http://www.norskfolkemuseum.no/en/

Norwegian National Theatre, Oslo Stortingsgata 15 – The national theatre is a fine example of  contemporary Norwegian architecture as it is lavishly decorated with  sculptures and paintings. Norwegian architect Henrik Bull designed the  Theatre’s main building.  It was built in 1899 and is Norway’s most prominent performing arts venue. The theatres first performance took place right at the end of the 19th century.  The theatre is often referred to as a home of Ibsen’s plays as the majority of his works have been performed at the National Theatre. show times and ticket prices vary, check the official website for details of a specific performance.website  http://www.nationaltheatret.no/

Tusenfryd Amusement Park Vinterbro Oslo – The Tusenfryd Amusement Park  is especially suitable for families and is equipped with top of the range disabled facilities. Tusenfryd is situated 20 Km south of Oslo City Centre and the name means ”land of a Thousand joys”. Its a small theme park which was opened for business in 1988. The park has 4 rollercoaster’s and one water ride amongst 25 other attractions. They average an estimated 470, 000 visitors per year. Tusenfryd is one of Oslo’s biggest employers of youth workers. Open Mon-Sun 10.30 am till 7 pm.  entry is free for children between 0 and 95 cm. Adults pay around 200 NOK for admission. website  http://www.tusenfryd.no/eng

The Vigeland Sculpture Park Oslo Kirkevein western part of Oslo  no:  – The 11 acre Sculpture park portrays Adolf Gustav’s Vigelands interpretation of  the life cycle in bronze granite and Iron sculptures. Other  attractions include a large ice rink and a swimming pool. The park is easily accessible as it is right in the centre of Oslo.  It’s been described by many visitors as a magical venue with simply splendid sculptures. There is a small play area for the children  It’s a serene setting usually filled with friendly and inquisitive people. The park is open  all year . website  http://www.vigeland.museum.no/en/vigeland-park

Slottsparken Oslo Henrik Ibensgate 1 0010 – This public Palace park is located in the heart of Oslo city centre. Every day the Changing of the Guard takes place in the gardens of the Royal Palace can be seen at 13.30 The park is open to the public but the Palace itself is not.  It is 22 hectares in area and was built in the 1840’s by  designer and architect Hans Ditlev Fransiscus Linstow. There were two thousand trees planted in this park in 1948 and this park has been redeveloped on several occasions in the past 150 years.  The gardens are amongst Oslo’s most peaceful and scenic .website http://www.kongehuset.no/c75283/artikkel/vis.html?tid=75285

 Oslo’s Architecture

Though Oslo is Norway’s capital its present and future development status is constantly subject to debate. Several Norwegian Governments have actively tried to ‘decentralise’ the county’s dependency on Oslo in response to concerns that it has caused the thin population of other areas to decrease further.

This has adversely effected the country’s rural areas and industries such as farming and fishing. Efforts to address these issues have only had minimal gain and Oslo is now faced with a serious shortage of housing due to the lack of investment because of this decentralisation policy.

Architecturally the city has many buildings from the 19th century and it also is influenced by the sporadic outbreaks of ugly low rise buildings which have taken place since 1960s. Plans to build high rise blocks, even for housing are not popular but there may be little alternative as the land on the city borders is not owned by the state and few people want to be swallowed up in a sprawling Oslo anyway.

It would after all undermine one of the city’s great attractions – the fact that a short car or train journey delivers you into a memorable and beautiful part of Europe.

Restaurants In Oslo

Euromost researchers have noted that eating out in Oslo  can be very expensive compared with other European capitals. Visitors should be aware that some restaurants close for weekly holidays at Easter and in July, and may also close for a slightly longer time over Christmas and the New Year.

Babette’s Gjestehus in Central Oslo (Roald Amundsens gate 6, Rådhuspassasjen, Oslo, Norway 0160) is thought by many Norwegians to be one the country’s finest restaurants and you would need to book a table long in advance of your visit. The restaurant offers exceptional fare – game including reindeer with lingon berries, pheasant breast in mushroom sauce, and rabbit . Other European and Scandinavian dishes are available. The traditional antique decor gives the restaurant a rare style and ambience. Tele· 22-41-64-64.

Another establishment in the main Paleet shopping area and held in a similar regard is Blom (Karljohans gate 39/41, Oslo, Norway 0162 · Tel 23-13-95-00) which maintains a second to none reputation for its seafood dishes. Its grilled fillet of red fish and scallops are legendary as is the the grilled reindeer liver in a very agreeable walnut sauce. There is also a truly outstanding dessert menu. Again reservation made well in advance are essential.

The Restaurant Det Gamle Raadhus is not quite as pricey and can be found in the Old Oslo Town Hall which was built in 1641. Not surprisingly at 367 years of age it is the city’s oldest restaurant and it offers a very diverse menu of traditional Norwegian game and seafood dishes. The renowned house specialty is Lutefisk a fried fish dish soaked in lye and then poached in broth. The restaurant at Nedre Slotts gate 1, Oslo, Norway 0157 Tel· 22-42-01-07 is comfortable with a relaxed atmosphere also offers European fare.

Less expensive establishments include the endearing Maud’s at Brynjulf Bulls plass 1, Oslo, Norway 0250 · Tel 22-83-72-28. This restaurant which is close to the Town Hall and renders an excellent view of the harbour has a very Norwegian menu with specialties that include a memorable smoked salmon marinated in aquavit and accompanied by a lobster salad. It is a good place to lunch, and offers outdoor dining weather permitting. Dress informal. Also worth a mention is Hos Thea at Gabelsgt. 11, via Drammensvn., Oslo, Norway Telephone 22-44-68-74. This cosy restaurant serves contemporary food with French and Spanish dishes a specialty. The menu is not vast with half a dozen choices for each course but the quality of the food is very good. Can be a little noisy. The Engebret Café at Bankplassen 1, Christiania Theatre, Oslo, Norway 0151 ·Telephone 22-33-66-94 in the heart of Oslo von the northern side of the Akershus Castle is 150 year old. It is a a little bohemian in ambience and offers an extensive menu including reindeer game, and see seafood. The main dishes are accompanied by some very intricate compliments. The dessert are also notable with the cloudbery parfait a joy. The Vegeta VertshusMunkedamsvn. 3B, Oslo, Norway Tele: 22-83-42-32 offers good vegetarian pasta dishes, curries pizza, curries, and quiches on a buffett basis.

 Clubbing & Nightlife In Oslo

 For our detailed nightclub guide for Oslo with club reviews please follow this link

Crime & Personal Safety & Security In Oslo / Norway Oslo has a far lower crime rate than most European Capitals. Petty crime may occur in the busier tourist areas particularly the Central Railway Station and at Gardermoen Airport.

The Norwegian Authorities have a low tolerance of drug & alcohol abuse especially in respect of motorists an area where strict laws apply.

Oslo Norway Tourist Board Information http://www.visitoslo.com/
Oslo Norway Weather Details:
Oslo City – Norway Weather Forecast
monthly average and extreme temperatures in Oslo Norway:

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