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Fromupper left: Risingskylineover Bjrvika, Royal
Palace, Akershus Castle, sunset over Oslofjord,
Stortinget, OsloOperaHouse
Coat of arms
Motto: Unanimiter et constanter
(Latin: Unitedandconstant)
Coordinates: 5957N1045E
Country Norway
District stlandet
County Oslo
Established 1048
Mayor Fabian Stang (H)
Stian Berger Rsland (H)
City 454.03 km
(175.30 sq mi)
Urban 289.84 km
(111.91 sq mi)
Metro 8,900 km
(3,400 sq mi)
Elevation 23 m (75 ft)
Population (Jan. 2014)
City 634,463
Density 1,400/km
(3,600/sq mi)
Urban 951,581
Urban density 3,300/km
(8,500/sq mi)
Metro 1,502,604
Metro density 170/km
(440/sq mi)
Ethnic groups
Norwegian 71.5%
Pakistani 3.6%
Swedish 2.2%
Somali 2.0%
Polish 1.7%
Time zone CET(UTC+1)
Summer (DST) CEST(UTC+2)
Postal code 0301
Area code(s) (+47) 00
Website www.oslo.kommune.no
Oslo kommune
Coat of arms
Country Norway
County Oslo
Time zone CET(UTC+1)
Summer (DST) CEST(UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code NO-0301
DatafromStatistics Norway
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the capital of Norway. For other uses, see Oslo (disambiguation).
Oslo (English pronunciation: /zlo/, OZ-loh,
pronunciation: [ulu] ( listen) or, rarer [uslu] or [ulu]) is the capital
of Norway and most populous city in Norway. Oslo constitutes a
county and a municipality.
Founded around 1000 AD, and established a "kaupstad" or trading
place in 1048 by King Harald III, the city was elevated to a bishopric in
1070 and a capital under Haakon V around 1300. Personal unions
with Denmark from 1397 to 1523 and again from 1536 to 1814 and
with Sweden from 1814 to 1905 reduced its influence. After being
destroyed by a fire in 1624, the city was moved closer to Akershus
Castle during the reign of King Christian IV and renamed Christiania
in his honour. It was established as a municipality
(formannskapsdistrikt) on 1 January 1838. Following a spelling
reform, it was known as Kristiania from 1877 to 1925, when its
original Norwegian name was restored.
Oslo is the economic and governmental centre of Norway. The city is
also a hub of Norwegian trade, banking, industry and shipping. It is
an important centre for maritime industries and maritime trade in
Europe. The city is home to many companies within the maritime
sector, some of which are among the world's largest shipping
companies, shipbrokers and maritime insurance brokers. Oslo is a
pilot city of the Council of Europe and the European Commission
intercultural cities programme.
Oslo is considered a global city and ranked "Beta World City" in
studies performed by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group
and Network in 2008.
It was ranked number one in terms of quality
of life among European large cities in the European Cities of the
Future 2012 report by fDi Magazine.
A survey conducted by ECA
International in 2011 placed Oslo as the second most expensive city
in the world for living expenses after Tokyo.
In 2013 Oslo tied with
the Australian city of Melbourne as the fourth most expensive city in
the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)'s
Worldwide Cost of Living study.
As of January 2014 the city of Oslo has a population of 634,000.
The Metropolitan area of Oslo has a population of 1,502,604, of
whom 951,581
live in the contiguous conurbation. The population
currently increases at record rates, making it the fastest growing
major city in Europe.
This growth stems for the most part from
immigration and high birth rates among immigrants, but also from
intra-national migration. The immigrant population in the city is
growing somewhat faster than the Norwegian population,
and in
the city proper is nowmore than 25%.
Contents [hide]
1 Urban region
2 General information
2.1 Toponymy
2.2 City seal
3 History
3.1 10001600
3.2 1600s
3.3 1700s
3.4 1800s
3.5 1900present
4 Geography
4.1 Climate
5 Parks and recreation areas
6 Cityscape
6.1 Architecture
7 Politics and government
8 Economy
9 Environment
10 Education
10.1 Institutions of higher education
11 Culture
11.1 Museums, galleries
11.2 Music and events
11.3 Performing arts
11.4 Literature
11.5 Media
11.6 Sports
12 Crime
13 Transport
14 Demographics
15 Notable residents
16 International relations
16.1 Twin towns partner cities and regions
16.2 Christmas trees as gifts
17 See also
18 References
19 Further reading
20 External links
Urban region [edit]
As of January 2014, the population of the municipality of Oslo in
Coordinates: 5957N1045E
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Oslo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 7/16/2014
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oslo 1 / 12
DatafromStatistics Norway
Det Kongelige Slott (The Royal Palace) is the
home of the Royal Family.
Oslo Timeline (major events)
CA. 1000 AD First traces of buildings. The St. Clement's
Church is built.
CA. 1050 AD Oslo marked as a city. Mariakirken is built.
1152/53 AD The Cathedral school is established
1299 AD Oslo becomes the capital of Norway
CA. 1300 Construction of Akershus Fortress starts.
1350 AD Around 3/4 of the population dies under the
Black Death.
1352 AD St. Hallvard's Cathedral and the other
Sogne Churches are burned to the ground
in a major fire
1624 AD Another major fire, the cityis rebuilt and
renamed Christiania byChristian 4.
1686 AD Fire ruins 1/4 of the city.
1697 AD Domkirken is finished and opened
1716 AD The cityand the fortress conquered byKarl
1813 The Universityis opened.
1825 The foundations of Slottet are finished.
1836 The National Galleryis finished.
1837 Christiania Theatre is opened. Christiania
and Aker get a Mayor and kommunestyre.
1854 Oslo gets its first railway, which leads to
1866 Stortinget is completed.
1878 Cityexpanded. Frogner, Majorstuen,
Torshov, Kampen and Vlerengen are
populated and rebuilt. 113000 citizens.
1892 The first Holmenkollbakken is finished.
1894 The citygets its first electrical track.
1899 Nationaltheateret is finished.
1925 Cityrenamed as Oslo.
1927 The Monolith is raised.
1928 Oslo first Metro line, Majorstuen-Besserud
is opened.
1950 Oslo CityHall opened.
1963 The Munch Museum is opened.
1980 Metro line under the city, Oslo Central
Station and Nationaltheatret Station
1997 Population over 500 000.
1998 Rikshospitalet opened. New railwayline to
2000 The citycelebrates thousand-years jubilee.
2008 Oslo Opera House is opened.
2011 Several buildings in the Regjeringskvartalet
are heavilydamaged during a terrorist
attack, resulting in 8 deaths. 69 people are
massacred on the nearbyUtya island.
excess of 634,000.
The urban area extends beyond the boundaries
of the municipality into the surrounding county of Akershus, (municipalities of Brum, Asker, Ryken, Lrenskog,
Skedsmo, Gjerdrum, Srum, Oppegrd) its agglomeration total 951,581 inhabitants.
The metropolitan area of
Oslo, also referred to as the Greater Oslo Region (Norwegian: Stor-Osloregionen), has a land area of 8,900 km
(3,400 sq mi)
with a population of 1,502,602 as of 1 April 2014. The Inner Oslo Fjord Region, or the Capital
Region made up by the five counties of Oslo, Akershus, Buskerud, Vestfold (west bank of the Oslo fjord) and stfold
(east bank) has a population of 1,980,116 people (as of January 2013). The city centre is situated at the end of the
Oslofjord, from which point the city sprawls out in three distinct "corridors" from its centre; inland north-eastwards, and
southwards along both sides of the fjord, which gives the urbanized area a shape reminiscent of an upside-down
reclining "Y" (on maps, satellite pictures, or from high above the city).
To the north and east, wide forested hills (Marka) rise above the city giving the location the shape of a giant
amphitheatre. The urban municipality (bykommune) of Oslo and county of Oslo (fylke) are two parts of the same
entity, making Oslo the only city in Norway where two administrative levels are integrated. Of Oslo's total area,
115 km
(44 sq mi) is built-up and 7 km
(2.7 sq mi) is agricultural. The open areas within the built-up zone amount to
22 km
(8.5 sq mi).
The city of Oslo was established as a municipality on 3 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt). It was separated
from the county of Akershus to become a county of its own in 1842. The rural municipality of Aker was merged with
Oslo on 1 January 1948 (and simultaneously transferred from Akershus county to Oslo county). Furthermore, Oslo
shares several important functions with Akershus county.
General information [edit]
Toponymy [edit]
For full article, see History of Oslo's name
The origin of the name Oslo has been the subject of much debate. It is certainly derived from Old Norse and wasin
all probabilityoriginally the name of a large farm at Bjrvika, but the meaning of that name is disputed. Modern
linguists generally interpret the original slo or slo as either "Meadowat the Foot of a Hill" or "MeadowConsecrated
to the Gods", with both considered equally likely.
Erroneously, it was once assumed that "Oslo" meant "the mouth of the Lo river", a supposed previous name for the
river Alna. However, not only has no evidence been found of a river "Lo" predating the work where Peder Claussn
Friis first proposed this etymology, but the very name is ungrammatical in Norwegian: the correct form would have
been Loaros (cf. Nidaros).
The name Lo is nowbelieved to be a back-formation arrived at by Friis in support of his
spurious etymology for Oslo.
City seal [edit]
Main article: Seal of Oslo
Oslo is one of very fewcities in Norway, besides Bergen and Tnsberg, that does not have a formal coat of arms, but
which uses a city seal instead.
The seal of Oslo shows the city's patron saint, St. Hallvard, with his attributes, the
millstone and arrows, with a naked woman at his feet. He is seated on a throne with lion decorations, which at the time
was also commonly used by the Norwegian Kings.
History [edit]
to the
Oslo was
1049 by
Recent archaeological research has uncovered
Christian burials which can be dated to prior to AD 1000,
evidence of a preceding urban settlement.
[citation needed]
called for the celebration of Oslo's millennium in 2000.
It has been regarded as the capital city since the reign of King
Haakon V (12991319), the first king to reside permanently in
the city. He also started the construction of the Akershus
Castle. A century later, Norway was the weaker part in a
personal union with Denmark, and Oslo's role was reduced to
that of provincial administrative centre, with the monarchs
residing in Copenhagen. The fact that the University of Oslo
was founded as late as 1811 had an adverse effect on the
development of the nation.
[citation needed]
Oslo was destroyed several times by fire, and after the
fourteenth calamity, in 1624, King Christian IV of Denmark and
Norway ordered it rebuilt at a newsite across the bay, near
Akershus Castle and given the name Christiania. Long before
this, Christiania had started to establish its stature as a centre
of commerce and culture in Norway. The part of the city built
starting in 1624 is nowoften called Kvadraturen because of its
orthogonal layout.
[citation needed]
The last plague outbreak in
Oslo occurred in 1654.
In 1814 Christiania once more
became a real capital when the union with Denmark was
Many landmarks were built in the 19th century, including the
Royal Palace (18251848); Stortinget (the Parliament) (1861
1866), the University, Nationaltheatret and the Stock
Exchange. Among the world-famous artists who lived here
during this period were Henrik Ibsen and Knut Hamsun (the
latter was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature). In 1850,
Christiania also overtook Bergen and became the most
populous city in the country. In 1877 the city was renamed
Kristiania. The original name of Oslo was restored in 1925.
10001600 [edit]
Main article: Old Town, Oslo
Under the reign of King Olav Kyrre, Oslo became a cultural
centre for Eastern Norway. St. Hallvard became the city's
patron saint and is depicted on the city's seal.
In 1174, Hovedya Abbey (Hovedya kloster) was built. The churches and abbeys became major owners of large
tracts of land, which proved important for the city's economic development, especially before the Black Death.
During the Middle Ages, Oslo reached its heights in the reign of King Haakon V. He started the building of Akershus
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Port of Christiania anno 1800
Aquatint byJohn William Edy
Amap of the urban areas of Oslo in 2005. The grey
area in the middle indicates Oslo's citycentre.
Castle and was also the first king to reside permanently in the city, which helped to make Oslo the capital of Norway.
In the end of the 12th century, Hanseatic traders from Rostock moved into the city and gained major influence in the
city. The Black Death came to Norway in 1349 and, like other cities in Europe, the city suffered greatly. The churches'
earnings from their land also dropped so much that the Hanseatic traders dominated the city's foreign trade in the
15th century.
1600s [edit]
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 transformation of the city went slowly for the first hundred years. Outside the city, near Vaterland and Grnland
near Old Town, Oslo, a new, unmanaged part of the city grewup with citizens of lowstatus.
1700s [edit]
In the 18th century, after the Great Northern War, the city's economy boomed with shipbuilding and trade. The strong
economy transformed Christiania into a trading port.
1800s [edit]
In the 19th century, several state institutions were established and the city's
role as a capital intensified. Christiania expanded its industry from 1840, most
importantly around Akerselva. The expansion prompted the authorities to
construct several important buildings, most of which remain as tourist
attractions. There was a brief building boom from 1880, with many new
houses, but the boom collapsed in 1889.
1900present [edit]
The municipality developed newareas such as Ullevl Hageby (19181926) and Torshov (19171925). City Hall was
constructed in the former slum area of Vika, from 19311950. The municipality of Aker was incorporated into Oslo in
1948, and suburbs were developed, such as Lambertseter (from 1951). Aker Brygge was constructed on the site of
the former shipyard Akers Mekaniske Verksted, from 19821998.
In the 2011 Norway terror attacks, Oslo was hit by a bomb blast that ripped through the Government quarter,
damaging several buildings including the building that houses the Office of the Prime Minister. Eight people were
killed in the bomb attack.
The seal of Haakon V Magnusson, the
King who made Oslo the capital of

Tallship Christiania in Oslo Norway

Medieval Oslo

Christiania in 1814 by MK Tholstrup

The Barcode skyline seen from a new
residential neighbourhood in the
harbour district.
Geography [edit]
See also: Oslo Graben
Aker Brygge
Oslo occupies an arc of land at the northernmost end of the Oslofjord. The fjord, which is nearly bisected by the
Nesodden peninsula opposite Oslo, lies to the south; in all other directions Oslo is surrounded by green hills and
mountains. There are 40 islands within the city limits, the largest being Malmya (0.56 km
or 0.22 sq mi), and scores
more around the Oslofjord. Oslo has 343 lakes, the largest being Maridalsvannet (3.91 km
or 1.51 sq mi). This is
also a main source of drinking water for large parts of Oslo.
Although Eastern Norway has a number of rivers, none of these
flowinto the ocean at Oslo. Instead Oslo has two smaller rivers:
Akerselva (draining Maridalsvannet, which flows into the fjord in
Bjrvika), and Alna. The waterfalls in Akerselva gave power to
the first modern industry of Norway in the 1840, and later in the
century, the river became the symbol of the stable and consistent
economic and social divide of the city into an East End and a
West End; the labourers' neighbourhoods lie on both sides of the
river, and the divide in reality follows Uelands street a bit further
west. River Alna flows through Groruddalen, Oslo's major suburb
and industrial area. The highest point is Kirkeberget, at 629
metres (2,064 ft). Although the city's population is small
compared to most European capitals, it occupies an unusually large land area, of which two-thirds are protected
areas of forests, hills and lakes. Its boundaries encompass many parks and open areas, giving it an airy and green
[citation needed]
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Aclimate chart of Oslo, Norway. The
red line depicts daytime high; blue is
nighttime low.
Frogner Park
Holmenkollen ski jump
Climate [edit]
Oslo officially has a humid continental climate (Dfb according to the Kppen
climate classification system) however due to the effects of global warming it's
climate is evolving into a warm-summer Mediterranean climate with hot dry
summers interrupted with occasional thunderstorms and mild winters.
Because of the city's northern latitude, daylight varies greatly, from more than
18 hours in midsummer, when it never gets completely dark at night, to
around 6 hours in midwinter.
Despite its high latitude and northerly
location, the climate is not severely cold due to the onshore air-masses in
winter and the coastal location of the city.
Oslo has mild to warm summers with average high temperatures of around
1924 C (6675 F) and lows of around 12 C (54 F). The highest
temperature ever recorded was 35 C (95 F) on 21 July 1901. Winters are
cold and snowy with temperatures between 7 C (19 F) up to 1 C (30 F). The coldest temperature recorded is
27.1 C (16.8 F) in January 1942.
Temperatures have tended to be higher in recent years.
Annual precipitation is 763 millimetres (30.0 in) with moderate rainfall throughout the year. Snowfall can occur from
October to May, but snowaccumulation occurs mainly from January through March. Almost every winter, ice develops
in the innermost parts of the Oslofjord, and during some winters the whole inner fjord freezes. As it is far from the mild
Atlantic water of the west coast, this large fjord can freeze over completely, although this has become rare.
receives around 1,650 hours of sunshine annually, which is about average for the northern half of Europe.
Climate data for Oslo (1961-1990)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high C(F)
Average high C(F)
Daily mean C(F)
Average low C(F)
Record low C(F)
Precipitation mm (inches)
Snowfall cm (inches)
Avg. precipitation days ( 1.0 mm) 9 8 8 7 8 10 11 11 11 11 10 9 113
Avg. snowydays 12 9 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 12 15 53
%humidity 81 78 72 65 64 65 67 72 76 80 80 81 73.4
Mean monthlysunshine hours 40 76 126 178 220 250 246 216 144 86 51 35 1,668
Source#1: Eklima , TheWeather Network,
Minifacts about Norway(Statistics Norway)
Source#2: yr.no
Parks and recreation areas [edit]
Main article: Parks and open spaces in Oslo
Oslo has a large number of parks and green areas within
the city core, as well as outside it.
Frogner Park is a large park located a fewminutes
walk away from the city centre. This is the biggest and
most reputed park in Norway with a large collection of
sculptures of Gustav Vigeland
Bygdy is a large green area, commonly called the
Museum Peninsula of Oslo. The area is surrounded
by the sea and is one of the most expensive districts
in Norway.
[citation needed]
St. Hanshaugen Park is an old public park on a high
hill in central Oslo. 'St. Hanshaugen' is also the name
of the surrounding neighborhood as well as the larger administrative district (borough) that includes major parts of
central Oslo.
Tyen Park stretches out behind the Munch Museum, and is a vast, grassy expanse. In the north, there is a
viewing point known as Ola Narr. The Tyen area also includes the Botanical Garden and Museum belonging to
the University of Oslo.
Oslo (with neighbouring Sandvika-Asker) is built in a horseshoe shape on the shores of the Oslofjord and limited in
most directions by hills and forests. As a result, any point within the city is relatively close to the forest. There are two
major forests bordering the city: stmarka (literally "Eastern Forest", on the eastern perimeter of the city), and the
very large Nordmarka (literally "Northern Forest", stretching from the northern perimeter of the city deep into the
The municipality operates eight public swimming pools.
Tyenbadet is the largest indoor swimming facility in Oslo
and one of the fewpools in Norway offering a 50-metre main pool. The outdoor pool Frognerbadet also has the 50-
metre range.
Cityscape [edit]
Oslo's cityscape is being redeveloped as a modern city with
various access-points, an extensive metro-system with a new
financial district and a cultural city. In 2008, an exhibition was
held in London presenting the award-winning Oslo Opera House,
the urban regeneration scheme of Oslo's seafront,
Munch/Stenersen and the newDeichman Library. Most of the
buildings in the city and in neighbouring communities are lowin
height with only the Plaza, Postgirobygget and the highrises at
Bjrvika considerably taller.
Architecture [edit]
See also: Norwegian architecture
Oslo's architecture is very diverse. The architect Carl Frederik
Stanley (17691805), who was educated in Copenhagen, spent
some years in Norway around the turn of the 19th century. He did
minor works for wealthy patrons in and around Oslo, but his
major achievement was the renovation of the Oslo Katedralskole,
completed in 1800.
[citation needed]
He added a classical portico to
the front of an older structure, and a semicircular auditorium that
was sequestered by Parliament in 1814 as a temporary place to
assemble, nowpreserved at Norsk Folkemuseum as a national
When Christiania was made capital of Norway in 1814, there were
practically no buildings suitable for the many newgovernment
institutions. An ambitious building program was initiated, but
realised very slowly because of economic constraints. The first
major undertaking was the Royal Palace, designed by Hans Linstowand built between 1824 and 1848. Linstowalso
Oslo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 7/16/2014
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Stortinget is the seat of Norway's
planned Karl Johans gate, the avenue connecting the Palace and the city, with a monumental square halfway to be
surrounded by buildings for University, the Parliament (Storting) and other institutions. Only the university buildings
were realised according to this plan. Christian Heinrich Grosch, one of the first architects educated completely within
Norway, designed the original building for the Oslo Stock Exchange (18261828), the local branch of the Bank of
Norway (1828), Christiania Theatre (18361837), and the first campus for the University of Oslo (18411856). For
the university buildings, he sought the assistance of the renowned German architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. German
architectural influence persisted in Norway, and many wooden buildings followed the principles of Neoclassicism. In
Oslo, the German architect Alexis de Chateauneuf designed Trefoldighetskirken, the first neo-gothic church,
completed by von Hanno in 1858.
A number of landmark buildings, particularly in Oslo, were built in the Functionalist style (better known in the US and
Britain as Modernist), the first being Skansen restaurant (19251927) by Lars Backer, demolished in 1970. Backer
also designed the restaurant at Ekeberg, which opened in 1929. Kunstnernes Hus art gallery by Gudolf Blakstad and
Herman Munthe-Kaas (1930) still shows the influence of the preceding classicist trend of the 1920s. The
redevelopment of Oslo Airport (by the Aviaplan consortium) at Gardermoen, which opened in 1998, was Norway's
largest construction project to date.
Oslo Harbor

Grand Central Station at night

The Opera house with the sculpture She Lies in the

Akershus fortress

Fort Oslo Marina


Aker brygge

The art gallery of Astrup Fearnley Museum of
Modern Art in Oslo.

The skyline of Oslo.
Politics and government [edit]
Main article: Politics and government of Oslo
Oslo is the capital of Norway, and as such is the seat of Norway's national
government. Most government offices, including that of the Prime Minister, are
gathered at Regjeringskvartalet, a cluster of buildings close to the national
Parliamentthe Storting.
Constituting both a municipality and a county of Norway, the city of Oslo is
represented in the Storting by seventeen members of parliament. Six MPs are
from the Labour Party; the Conservative Party and the Progress Party have
three each; the Socialist Left Party and the Liberals have two each; and one is
from the Christian Democrats.
[needs update]
The combined municipality and county of Oslo has had a parliamentary
system of government since 1986. The supreme authority of the city is the
City Council (Bystyret), which currently has 59 seats. Representatives are
popularly elected every four years. The City Council has five standing
committees, each having its own areas of responsibility. The largest parties in
Oslo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 7/16/2014
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Oslo Cityhall
Office buildings and apartments in Bjrvika, part of
the redesign of former dock and industrial land in
Oslo known as The Barcode Project.
The facultyof Law, Universityof
Norwegian School of Management
(BI) main building.
Universityof Oslo Library
the City Council after the 2011-elections are the Conservatives and the
Labour Party, with 22 and 20 representatives respectively.
The Mayor of Oslo is the head of the City Council and the highest ranking
representative of the city. This used to be the most powerful political position
in Oslo, but following the implementation of parliamentarism, the Mayor has
had more of a ceremonial role, similar to that of the President of the Storting at the national level. The current Mayor
of Oslo is Fabian Stang.
Since the local elections of 2003, the city government has been a coalition of the Conservative Party and the
Progress Party. Based mostly on support from the Christian Democrats and the Liberals, the coalition maintains a
workable majority in the City Council. After the 2007 local elections on 10 September, the conservative coalition
remained in majority. After the elections in 2011 the Conservative Party remained in power after a strong election.
The Progress Party chose to leave the city government after losing support in the election and a dispute over the new
Munch Museum. The Liberals and the Christian Democrats replaced the Progress Party in the city government.
The Governing Mayor of Oslo is the head of the City government. The post was created with the implementation of
parliamentarism in Oslo and is similar to the role of the prime minister at the national level. The current governing
mayor is Stian Berger Rsland.
Economy [edit]
Main article: Economy of Greater Oslo
Oslo has a varied and strong economy and was ranked number
one among European large cities in economic potential in the fDi
Magazine report European Cities of the Future 2012.
It was
ranked 2nd in the category of business friendliness, behind
Oslo is an important centre of maritime knowledge in Europe and
is home to approximately 1980 companies and 8,500 employees
within the maritime sector, some of which are the world's largest
shipping companies, shipbrokers, and insurance brokers.
Norske Veritas, headquartered at Hvik outside Oslo, is one of
the three major maritime classification societies in the world, with
16.5% of the world fleet to class in its register.
The city's port
is the largest general cargo port in the country and its leading passenger gateway. Close to 6,000 ships dock at the
Port of Oslo annually with a total of 6 million tonnes of cargo and over five million passengers. The gross domestic
product of Oslo totalled NOK268.047 billion ( billion) in 2003, which amounted to 17% of the national GDP.
compares with NOK165.915 billion ( billion) in 1995. The metropolitan area, bar Moss and Drammen, contributed 25%
of the national GDP in 2003 and was also responsible for more than one quarter of tax revenues. In comparison, total
tax revenues from the oil and gas industry on the Norwegian Continental Shelf amounted to about 16%.
Oslo is one of the most expensive cities in the world.
As of 2006, it is ranked tenth according to the Worldwide Cost
of Living Survey provided by Mercer Human Resource Consulting
and first according to the Economist Intelligence
The reason for this discrepancy is that the EIUomits certain factors from its final index calculation, most
notably housing. Although Oslo does have the most expensive housing market in Norway, it is comparably cheaper
than other cities on the list in that regard. Meanwhile, prices on goods and services remain some of the highest of any
city. Oslo hosts 2654 of the largest companies in Norway. Within the ranking of Europe's largest cities ordered by
their number of companies Oslo is in fifth position. A whole group of oil and gas companies is situated in Oslo.
According to a report compiled by Swiss bank UBS in the month of August 2006,
Oslo and London were the world's
most expensive cities.
Environment [edit]
Oslo is a compact city. It is easy to move around by public transportation and you can access rentable city bikes all
over the city centre. In 2003, Oslo received The European Sustainable City Award and in 2007 Reader's Digest
ranked Oslo as number two on a list of the world's greenest, most liveable cities.
See also Transportation
Education [edit]
Institutions of higher education [edit]
University of Oslo (Universitetet i Oslo (UiO))undergraduate, graduate
and PhD programs in most fields.
Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences (Hgskolen i
Oslo og Akershus (HiOA)), former Oslo University College. Focuses on 3
4-year professional degree programs.
BI Norwegian Business School (Handelshyskolen BI)primarily
economics and business administration.
Norwegian School of Information Technology (Norges
Informasjonsteknologiske Hyskole (NITH))
Oslo School of Architecture and Design (Arkitektur- og designhgskolen i
Oslo (AHO))
Norwegian School of Sport Sciences (Norges idrettshgskole (NIH))
offers opportunities to study at the Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral
Norwegian Academy of Music (Norges musikkhgskole)
MF Norwegian School of Theology (Det teologiske Menighetsfakultet
Oslo National Academy of the Arts (Kunsthgskolen i Oslo KHIO)
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (Universitetet for Milj og
Biovitenskap UMB) located in s, right outside of Oslo
Norwegian Army Academy (Krigsskolen)
The Norwegian Defence University College (Forsvarets hgskole)
The Norwegian Police University College (Politihgskolen PHS)
Norwegian School of Veterinary Science (Norges Veterinrhgskole)
Oslo Academy of Fine Arts (Statens kunstakademi)
Oslo School of Management (Markedshyskolen MH) located at the
Campus Kristiania education center.
The level of education and productivity in the workforce is high in Norway. Nearly half of those with education at
tertiary level in Norway live in the Oslo region, placing it among Europe's top three regions in relation to education. In
2008, the total workforce in the greater Oslo region (5 counties) numbered 1,020,000 people. The greater Oslo
region has several higher educational institutions and is home to more than 73,000 students. The University of Oslo is
the largest institution for higher education in Norway with 27,400 students and 7,028 employees in total.
Culture [edit]
Oslo has a large and varied number of cultural attractions, which include several buildings containing artwork from
Edvard Munch and various other international artists but also several Norwegian artists. Several world-famous writers
have either lived or been born in Oslo. Examples are Knut Hamsun and Henrik Ibsen. The government has recently
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Munch Museum
Historic buildings at Norsk Folkemuseum
Nobel Peace Center
Norwegians gather to greet Nobel
Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus
in 2006
The National Theatre is the largest theatre in Norway
invested large amounts of money in cultural installations, facilities, buildings and festivals in the City of Oslo. Bygdy,
outside the city centre is the centre for history and the Norwegian Vikings' history. The area contains a large number
of parks and seasites and many museums. Examples are the Fram Museum, Vikingskiphuset and the Kon-Tiki
Museum. Oslo hosts the annual Oslo Freedom Forum, a conference described by The Economist as on its way to
becoming a human-rights equivalent of the Davos economic forum.
Oslo is also known for giving out the Nobel
Peace Prize every year.
Museums, galleries [edit]
Oslo houses several major museums and galleries. The Munch Museum
contains The Scream and other works by Edvard Munch, who donated all his
work to the city after his death.
The City-Council is currently planning a
newMunch Museum which is most likely to be built in Bjrvika, in the
southeast of the city.
The museum will be named Munch/Stenersen.
different museums are located around the city.
Folkemuseet is located on
the Bygdy peninsula and is dedicated to Folk art, Folk Dress, Sami culture
and the viking culture. The outdoor museum contains 155 authentic old
buildings from all parts of Norway, including a Stave Church.
The Vigeland
Museum located in the large Frogner Park, is free to access and contains over 212 sculptures by Gustav Vigeland
including an obelisk and the Wheel of Life.
Another popular sculpture is Sinnataggen, a baby boy stamping his
foot in fury. This statue is very well known as an icon in the city.
There is also a newer landscaped sculpture park,
Ekebergparken Sculpture Park, with works by Norwegian and international artists such as Salvador Dali.
The Viking Ship Museum features three Viking ships found at Oseberg, Gokstad and Tune and several other unique
items from the Viking age.
The Oslo City Museum holds a permanent exhibition about the people in Oslo and the
history of the city.
The Kon-Tiki Museum houses Thor Heyerdahl's Kontiki and Ra2.
The National Museum holds and preserves, exhibits and
promotes public knowledge about Norway's most extensive
collection of art.
The Museum shows permanent exhibitions of
works from its own collections but also temporary exhibitions that
incorporate work loaned from elsewhere.
The National
Museums exhibition avenues are the National Gallery, the
Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Museum, the Museum
of Decorative Arts and the National Museum of Architecture.
newNational Museum in Oslo will be built in the next 10 years
and the building will be located at Vestbanen behind the Nobel
Peace Center.
The Nobel Peace Center is an independent
organisation opened on 11 June 2005 by the King Harald V as
part of the celebrations to mark Norway's centenary as an
independent country.
The building houses a permanent exhibition, expanding every year when a newNobel Peace
Prize winner is announced, containing information of every winner in history. The building is mainly used as a
communication centre.
Music and events [edit]
A large number of festivals are held in Oslo, such as Oslo
Jazz festival, a six-day Jazz festival which has been held
annually in August for the past 25 years.
biggest Rock festival is yafestivalen or simply "ya". It
draws about 60,000 people to the Medieval Park east in
Oslo and last for four days.
The Oslo International Church Music Festival
been held annually since 2000. The Oslo World Music
Festival showcases people who are stars in their own
country but strangers in Norway. The Oslo Chamber
Music Festival is held in August every year and world-
class chambers and soloists gather in Oslo to perform at
this festival. The Norwegian Wood Rock Festival is held
every year in June in Oslo.
The Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony is headed by the Institute; the award ceremony is held annually in The City Hall on
10 December.
Even though Sami land is far away from the capital, the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History
marks the Sami National Day with a series of activities and entertainment.
The World Cup Biathlon in Holmenkollen is held every year and here male
and female competitors compete against each other in Sprint, Pursuit and
Mass Start disciplines.
Other examples of annual events in Oslo are Desucon, a convention focusing
on Japanese culture
and Frderseilasen, the world's largest overnight
regatta with more than 1100 boats taking part every year.
Rikard Nordraak, composer of the Norwegian national anthem, was born in
Oslo in 1842.
Norway's principal orchestra is the Oslo Philharmonic, based at the Oslo
Concert Hall since 1977. Although it was founded in 1919, the Oslo
Philharmonic can trace its roots to the founding of the Christiania Musikerforening (Christiania Musicians Society) by
Edvard Grieg and Johan Svendsen in 1879.
Oslo has hosted the Eurovision Song Contest twice.
Performing arts [edit]
Oslo houses over 20 theatres, such as the Norwegian
Theatre and the National Theatre located at Karl Johan
Street. The National Theatre is the largest theatre in
Norway and is situated between the royal palace and the
parliament building, Stortinget.
The names of Ludvig
Holberg, Henrik Ibsen and Bjrnstjerne Bjrnson are
engraved on the faade of the building over the main
entrance. This theatre represents the actors and play-
writers of the country but the songwriters, singers and
dancers are represented in the form of a newly opened
Oslo Opera House, situated in Bjrvika. The Opera was
opened in 2008 and is a national landmark, designed by
the Norwegian architectural firm, Snhetta. There are two
houses, together containing over 2000 seats. The
building cost 500 million euro to build and took five years
to build and is known for being the first Opera House in the world to let people walk on the roof of the building. The
foyer and the roof are also used for concerts as well as the three stages.
Literature [edit]
Most great Norwegian authors have lived in Oslo for some period in their life. For instance, Nobel Prize-winning author
Sigrid Undset grewup in Oslo, and described her life there in the autobiographical novel Elleve r (1934; translated
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Bislett Stadion during a friendlybetween Lyn Oslo and
Liverpool F.C.
Oslo Courthouse
Grand Central Station Oslo
Bridge over Grand Central Station
as The longest years; NewYork 1971).
The playwright Henrik Ibsen is probably the most famous Norwegian author. Ibsen wrote plays such as Hedda Gabler,
Peer Gynt, A Doll's House and The Lady from the Sea. The Ibsen Quotes project completed in 2008 is a work of art
consisting of 69 Ibsen quotations in stainless steel lettering which have been set into the granite sidewalks of the city's
central streets.
In recent years, novelists like Lars Saabye Christensen, Tove Nilsen and Roy Jacobsen have described the city and
its people in their novels. Early 20th-century literature from Oslo include poets Rudolf Nilsen and Andr Bjerke.
Media [edit]
The newspapers Aftenposten, Dagbladet, Verdens Gang, Dagens Nringsliv, Finansavisen, Dagsavisen,
Morgenbladet, Vrt Land, Nationen and Klassekampen are published in Oslo. The main office of the national
broadcasting company NRK is located at Marienlyst in Oslo, near Majorstuen, and NRK also has regional services via
both radio and television. TVNorge (TVNorway) is also located in Oslo, while TV 2 (based in Bergen) and TV3 (based
in London) operate branch offices in central Oslo. There is also a variety of specialty publications and smaller media
companies. A number of magazines are produced in Oslo. The two dominant companies are Aller Media and Hjemmet
Mortensen AB.
Sports [edit]
Holmenkollen National Arena and Holmenkollbakken is
the country's main biathlon and Nordic skiing venue. It
hosts annual world cup tournaments, including the
Holmenkollen Ski Festival. It has hosted Biathlon World
Championships in 1986, 1990, 1999 and 2002. FIS
Nordic World Ski Championships have been hosted in
1930, 1966, 1982 and 2011, as well as the 1952 Winter
Ullevl Stadion is the home arena for the Tippeligaen
football side Vlerenga Fotball, the Norwegian national
football team and the Football Cup Final. The stadium
has previously hosted the finals of the UEFA Women's
Championship in 1987 and 1997, and the 2002 UEFA
European Under-19 Football Championship.
Ra IL is
Oslo's only team in the women's league, Toppserien. Each year, the international youth football tournament Norway
Cup is held on Ekebergsletta and other places in the city.
Bislett Stadion is the city's main track and field venue, and hosts the annual Bislett Games, part of IAAF Diamond
League. Bjerke Travbane is the main venue for harness racing in the country. Oslo Spektrum is used for large ice
hockey and handball matches. Bkkelagets SK and Nordstrand IF plays in the women's Postenligaen in handball,
while Vlerenga Hndball plays in the men's league. Jordal Amfi, the home of the ice hockey team Vlerenga
Ishockey, and Manglerudhallen is the home of Manglerud Star, both of whom play in GET-ligaen. The 1999 IIHF World
Championship in ice hockey were held in Oslo, as have three Bandy World Championships, in 1961, 1977 and 1985.
The UCI Road World Championships in bicycle road racing were hosted 1993.
Oslo is currently bidding to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Crime [edit]
Oslo Police District is Norway's largest police district with over 2,300
employees. Over 1,700 of those are police officers, nearly 140 police lawyers
and 500 civilian employees. Oslo Police District has five police stations
located around the city. The National Criminal Investigation Service is located
in Oslo, which is a Norwegian special police division under the NMJP. PST is
also located in the Oslo District. PST is a security agency which was
established in 1936 and is one of the non-secret agencies in Norway.
Oslo police stated that the capital is one of Europe's safest, but statistics have
showed that crime in Oslo is on the rise, and some media have reported that
there are four times as many thefts and robberies in Oslo than in NewYork
City for example.
According to the Oslo Police, they receive more than 15,000 reports of petty thefts annually.
Approximately 0.8% of those cases get solved.
On 22 July 2011, Oslo was the site of one of two terrorist attacks: the bombing of Oslo government offices.
Transport [edit]
Oslo has Norway's most extensive public transport system, managed by
This includes the six-line Oslo Metro,
the world's most extensive
metro per resident, the six-line Oslo Tramway
and the eight-line Oslo
Commuter Rail.
The tramway operates within the areas close to the city
centre, while the metro, which runs underground through the city centre,
operates to suburbs further away; this includes two lines that operate to
Brum, and the Ring Line which loops to areas north of the centre.
Oslo is
also covered by a bus network consisting of 32 city lines as well as regional
buses to the neighboring county of Akershus.
Oslo Central Station acts as the central hub,
and offers rail services to most major cities in southern Norway as
well as Stockholm and Gothenburg in Sweden.
The Airport Express Train operates along the high-speed
Gardermoen Line. The Drammen Line runs under the city centre in the Oslo Tunnel.
Some of the city islands and
the neighbouring municipality of Nesodden are connected by ferry.
Daily cruiseferry services operate to
Copenhagen and Frederikshavn in Denmark, and to Kiel in Germany.
Many of the motorways pass through the downtown and other parts of the city in tunnels. The construction of the
roads is partially supported through a toll ring. The major motorways through Oslo are European Route E6 and E18.
There are three beltways, the innermost which are streets and the outermost, Ring 3 which is a beltway.
The main airport serving the city is Gardermoen Airport, located in Ullensaker, 47 kilometres (29 mi) from the city
centre of Oslo.
It acts as the main international gateway to Norway,
and is the sixth-largest domestic airport in
Gardermoen is a hub for Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle and Widere. Oslo is also served
by two secondary airports, which serve some low-cost carriers, such as Ryanair:
Rygge Airport
and Torp
Airport, the latter being 110 kilometres (68 mi) from the city.
Airports in the Oslo area
Airport IATA/ICAO Passengers (2013)
Gardermoen OSL/ENGM 22,956,540
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Population of Oslo from 18012006,
with yearlydata from 19502006.
Historical population
Year Pop. %
1500 2,500
1951 434,365 +17274.6%
1961 475,663 +9.5%
1971 481,548 +1.2%
1981 452,023 6.1%
1991 461,644 +2.1%
2001 508,726 +10.2%
2011 599,230 +17.8%
2014 634,463 +5.9%
2021? 720,271 +13.5%
2031? 790,570 +9.8%
Source: Statistics Norway .
Torp TRF/ENTO 1,856,897
Rygge RYG/ENRY 1,849,294
Flytoget (Airport Express Train); a High-speed
rail connecting the city with its main airport,
Oslo-Gardermoen Airport.

Metro train leaving. Nationaltheatret (station)

Postgirobygget at Oslo central station.

A rental bicycle station in the city center.
Demographics [edit]
See also: East End and West End of Oslo
The population of Oslo was by 2010 increasing at a record rate of nearly 2%
annually (17% over the last 15 years), making it the fastest-growing
Scandinavian capital.
According to the most recent census 432,000 Oslo residents (70.4% of the
population) were ethnically Norwegian, an increase of 6% since 2002
Oslo has the largest population of immigrants and Norwegian-
born to immigrant parents in Norway, both in relative and absolute figures. Of
Oslos 624,000 inhabitants, 189,400 were immigrants or Norwegian-born to
immigrant parents, which is 30.4 per cent of the capitals entire population. All
suburbs in Oslo were above the national average of 14.1 per cent. The
suburbs with the highest proportions of immigrants and Norwegian-born to
immigrant parents were Sndre Nordstrand, Stovner og Alna, with around 50
per cent.
Pakistanis make up the single largest ethnic minority, followed by Swedes, Somalis,
and Poles these are the four largest ethnic minority groups. Other large immigrant
groups are people from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Turkey, Morocco, Iraq and
In 2013, 40% of Oslo's primary school pupils were registered as having a first
language other than Norwegian or Sami.
The western part of the city is
predominantly ethnic Norwegian, with several schools having less than 5% pupils
with an immigrant background. The eastern part of Oslo is more mixed, with some
schools up to 97% immigrant share.
Schools are also increasingly divided by
ethnicity, with white flight being present in some of the northeastern suburbs of the
In the borough Groruddalen in 2008 for instance, the ethnic Norwegian
population decreased by 1,500, while the immigrant population increased by
Oslo is a city with various religious communities. In 2008 63% of the population were members of the Church of
Norway, lower than the national average of 82%.
In 2011 almost 20% of the population were registered in other
religious or life stance communities.
In 2012, there were about 48,000 registered Muslims in Oslo, making up about 8% of the population, and about
33,000 registered Catholics.
Life stance communities, mainly the Norwegian Humanist Association, had about
18,000 members in 2011.
Number of minorities (1st and 2nd
generation) in Oslo by country of origin per
1. January 2012
Rank Ancestry Number
1 Pakistan 22,034
2 Sweden 13,665
3 Somalia 12,779
4 Poland 12,180
5 Sri Lanka 7,365
6 Iraq 7,336
7 Turkey 6,206
8 Morocco 6,116
9 Vietnam 5,822
10 Iran 5,729
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religion percent
Christianity 69.83%
Islam 3.59%
Buddhism 0.51%
Other 26.07%
Norway portal
11 Philippines 4,968
12 India 4,064
13 Germany 3,501
14 Denmark 3,477
15 Afghanistan 2,986
16 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2,861
17 Russia 2,809
18 China, People's Republic of 2,658
19 United Kingdom 2,644
20 Kosovo 2,535
Notable residents [edit]
Main category: People from Oslo
Sigrid Undset (18821949), writer, awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1928
Jens Stoltenberg (b. 1959), former Prime Minister
Fabian Stang (b. 1955), mayor
Kjetil Andr Aamodt (b. 1971), alpine skier
Vilhelm Bjerknes (18621951), meteorologist
Espen Bredesen (b. 1968), ski jumper, Olympic champion
Gro Harlem Brundtland (b. 1939), Prime Minister and Director-General of WHO
Lars Saabye Christensen (b. 1953), author
Sandra Drouker (1875-1944), pianist and pedagogue
Thorbjrn Egner (19121990), Playwright, songwriter and illustrator
John Fredriksen (b. 1944), shipping magnate
Ragnar Frisch (18951973), economist, Nobel Prize laureate (1969)
Johan Galtung (b. 1930), sociologist, founder of peace and conflict studies
Torleif S. Knaphus (18811965), monument sculptor in America
Christian Krohg (18521925), painter
Hans Gude
(18251903), landscape painter
Tine Thing Helseth (b. 1987), trumpeter
Sonja Henie (19121969), Norwegian figure skater and actress
Eva Joly (b. 1943), magistrate
Henrik Ibsen (18281906), playwright, theatre director and poet
Erling Kagge (b. 1963), polar explorer
Espen Knutsen (b. 1972), former professional ice hockey player
Edvard Munch (18631944), painter
Fridtjof Nansen (18611930), polar explorer, scientist, diplomat, Nobel laureate
Jo Nesb (b. 1960), author and musician
Lars Onsager (19031976), physical chemist, Nobel Prize laureate
Brge Ousland (b. 1962), polar explorer, writer
Grete Waitz (19532011), marathon runner
Knut Johannesen (b. 1933),speed skater
International relations [edit]
Oslo is a pilot city of the Council of Europe and the European Commission Intercultural cities programme.
Twin towns partner cities and regions [edit]
See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Norway
Oslo has cooperation agreements with the following cities/regions:
Gothenburg, Sweden
Mbombela, South Africa
Saint Petersburg, Russia
Schleswig-Holstein, Germany
Shanghai, China
Vilnius, Lithuania
Warsaw, Poland
Oslo was formerly twinned with Madison, Wisconsin, Tel Aviv and Vilnius, but has since abolished the concept of twin
Christmas trees as gifts [edit]
Oslo has a tradition of sending a Christmas tree every year to the cities of Washington D.C., NewYork City, London,
Edinburgh, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and Reykjavk.
Since 1947, Oslo has sent a 6580-foot (2025 m) high, 50 to
100-year-old spruce, as an expression of gratitude toward Britain for its support of Norway during World War
See also [edit]
East End and West End of Oslo
Oslo Accords
Parks and open spaces in Oslo
Timeline of transport in Oslo
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Further reading [edit]
Published in the 19th century
David Brewster, ed. (1830). "Christiania" . Edinburgh Encyclopaedia. Edinburgh: William Blackwood.
John Thomson (1845), "Christiania" , NewUniversal Gazetteer and Geographical Dictionary, London: H.G. Bohn
"Description of Christiania" . Traveler's Guide in Sweden and the Most Interesting Places in Norway. Stockholm:
Adolf Bonnier. 1871.
"Christiania" . Norway: illustrated handbook for travellers. Christiania: Chr. Tnsberg. 1875.
John Ramsay McCulloch (1880), "Christiania" , in Hugh G. Reid, A Dictionary, Practical, Theoretical and
Historical of Commerce and Commercial Navigation, London: Longmans, Green, and Co.
"Christiania" , Hand-book for Travellers in Norway (7th ed.), London: J. Murray, 1880
Maturin Murray Ballou (1887), "Capital of Norway" , Due North; or, Glimpses of Scandinavia and Russia, Boston:
Ticknor and Company
Hunger. Knut Hamsun (1890). The ultimate book set in Oslo, "this wondrous city that no one leaves before it has
made its marks upon him".
Published in the 20th century
"Christiania" . Bennett's Handbook for Travellers in Norway. Christiana: T. Bennett & Sons. 1902.
"Christiania" . Bradshaw's Through Routes to the Capitals of the World, and Overland Guide to India, Persia,
and the Far East. London: Henry Blacklock. 1903.
"Christiania" , Encyclopaedia Britannica (11th ed.), NewYork: Encyclopaedia Britannica Co., 1910,
OCLC 14782424
"Christiania" , Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, Leipzig: Karl Baedeker, 1912
Esther Singleton (1913), "City of Christiania" , Great Cities of Europe, Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page
The Big Foxhunt. Ingvar Ambjrnsen (1983). Set in the late 1970s, telling the story of a young hash dealer.
Beatles. Lars Saabye Christensen (1984). About growing up in the 1960s.
Shyness and Dignity. Dag Solstad (1994).
External links [edit]
City of Oslo: Official website (Norwegian)
City of Oslo: Official website (English)
Official Travel and Visitors Guide to Oslo
Oslo The official travel guide to Norway
Oslo Local Travel Information Guide Oslo city
Oslo Attractions Guide
Where in Oslo Community based city guide in English
Oslo Key facts www.visitnorway.com
Links to related articles
Categories: Oslo 1040s establishments in Norway Capitals in Europe Cities and towns in Norway
Counties of Norway Populated coastal places in Norway Populated places established in the 11th century
Port cities and towns in Norway Port cities and towns of the North Sea Viking Age populated places
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