Oslo, Norway History

By | January 15, 2022


According to Naturegnosis.com, Oslo was founded by King Harald Hardrade in approximately 1048 AD but in its beginnings it was not one of the first cities in importance of the country since the flourishing and consolidated commercial city of Bergen and the religious capital called Nidaros far exceeded it in expansion and development.

In 1314 King Haakon V, who was the first monarch to permanently reside in the city, was the one who names it as the capital.

The city was almost entirely destroyed by several fires that raged in the Middle Ages but it was rebuilt.

It lost its capital status during the union with Denmark, as Norway was the weakest party; for which it was reduced only to be the administrative city of the Danish power.

In the 16th century, with the arrival of the Reformation, the many churches and convents abundant in resources, were plundered and abandoned to ruin after the fires that ravaged the city, many of them were destroyed to use the Stone in other construction works.. This reform marked a setback in the development of the city.

After being burned and destroyed, it was rebuilt in the early eighteenth century, which was a time of prosperity, which experienced economic growth thanks to maritime trade and the export of wood.

The nineteenth century was a period of progress and expansion for the city and several buildings were built such as the Royal Palace, the University, the Storting and the National Theater among others, in this stage new neighborhoods emerged where immigrants seeking employment in the new factories that were established in the second half of this century. This growth was responsible for Cristianía (the name given to the city years ago) displacing Bergen as the most populous city in Norway in 1850.

The city continued to grow as more areas were incorporated until in 1924, the original name of Oslo was restored.

In 1950 the Oslo City Hall was finally inaugurated, which is the place where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded every December 10.

In April of 1940 the German invasion of Norway was among the main objectives to Oslo, because the Nazis needed this port to maintain supplies to troops in Narvik, to the north.

The Nazis decided to stop the naval attack on Oslo due to the strong coastal defenses that even sank the German cruiser Blücher on April 9, however the attack was immediate and the Norwegian government was able to escape from the capital, taking with it the Gold reserves, but German paratroopers seized the [[airfield | Airfield] |, which offered little resistance and thus entered and occupied Oslo.

Today Oslo continues to be a source of controversy and friction due to its importance as a political, cultural and economic capital within the whole of Norway.


The municipality of Oslo is divided into 15 districts which are the following:

  • Gamle Oslo: the oldest in the city, corresponding to the medieval city. It contains Hallvard’s Cathedral, St. Olaf’s Monastery, and the Munch Museum.
  • Grünerløkka: it is an industrial area and houses for the working classes, it has many cafes, bars and parks, which is why it is quite frequented by the youth.
  • Sagene: It is the smallest district, it stretches along the Akerselva River and is home to various modern industries, especially information technology and design.
  • Hanshaugen: occupies the center of Oslo, which includes most of the city’s sites of interest, as well as the administrative area and the commercial and business area.
  • Frogner: it is one of the richest districts of Oslo, occupied by luxurious mansions located in a central area by the sea. There the Frogner Park and several museums are located, among which the Vigeland Museum, the Viking Ship Museum and the Norwegian Folk Museum stand out.
  • Ullern: is one of the western limits of the municipality, includes single-family neighborhoods and modern commercial and office areas, also has Skoyen Park and the western section of Frogner Park.
  • Vestre Aker: it is located in the northwest of the city, in an area of hills and forests called Holmenkollen, it is one of its richest districts. includes the old neighborhoods of Vinderen and Roa. Here is the Holmenkollen ski jumping jump, which is one of the most famous in the world.
  • Nordre Aker: it is located north of the city; close to downtown and wooded areas, it includes single-family residences and horizontal condominiums, but also an important sporting activity. Here is located Lake Maridalsvannet, one of Oslo’s main drinking water reserves.
  • Bjerke: It is one of the most densely populated areas of the city, with condominium houses and apartment buildings.
  • Grorud: It is an old rural area that includes multi-family houses. Here lives a considerable immigrant population.
  • Stovner: it is located east of the Grorud industrial zone, it is a residential area where the Stovner Center shopping center is located, one of the largest in the city.
  • Alna: It is an important industrial district that has a dense area largely populated by workers. It is the most populated district, with more than 45,000 residents according to the 2008 census.
  • Ostensjø: southern suburb of the city. It is a picturesque residential area where is located the Lake Østensjøvannet important Nature reserve of wildlife.
  • Nordstrand: it is located east of the Oslo Fjord. It has high-level residential areas.
  • Søndre Nordstrand: marks the southern limit of the municipality and is considered the newest district, it is the area with the largest immigrant population in Oslo.


It is the main city from the educational point of view of all Norway and home to several university institutions, it has the largest and oldest university in all of Norway with about 30,000 students which is the University of Oslo, which was founded in 1811.

The city also has the University College of Oslo, an institution that carries out the largest offer of professional studies and constitutes the largest public university in Norway with more than 11,000 students.

In the world of the arts, it has the National Academy of Arts and the National Higher School of Music, which makes it the center of this sphere of education.

The city also has several important public institutes at the national level such as the specialized university colleges of Veterinary Medicine, Physical Education, Architecture, Design and one of the two Police, it also has the War School.

In the area of private institutions, it has the largest private higher school in Norway and one of the largest trade schools in Europe, the BI Higher School of Trade, with an enrollment of 18,700 students. Another important center is the Rudolf Steiner School, consecrated in the teaching of Pedagogy.

The city has some more schools but these are religious in nature, dedicated to training catechists, deacons and pastors, although they also offer studies on Nursing, Health, social work and Occupational Therapy.

Oslo, Norway History