Oslo
Overview
 
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. As a municipality (formannskapsdistrikt
Formannskapsdistrikt
Formannskapsdistrikt was the name for a Norwegian local self-government districts put into force in 1838. This system of municipality was created in a bill approved by the Storting and signed into law by King Carl Johan on 14 January 1837...

), it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway
Denmark–Norway
Denmark–Norway is the historiographical name for a former political entity consisting of the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, including the originally Norwegian dependencies of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands...

's King Christian IV
Christian IV of Denmark
Christian IV was the king of Denmark-Norway from 1588 until his death. With a reign of more than 59 years, he is the longest-reigning monarch of Denmark, and he is frequently remembered as one of the most popular, ambitious and proactive Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects...

. It was rebuilt closer to Akershus Castle, as Christiania (also spelled Kristiania in late 1800s).
Timeline

1314    King Håkon V Magnusson moves the capital of Norway from Bergen to Oslo.

1903    Roald Amundsen commences the first east-west navigation of the Northwest Passage by leaving Oslo, Norway.

1945    King Haakon VII of Norway returns with his family to Oslo after five years in exile.

2004    A version of ''The Scream'' and ''Madonna'', two paintings by Edvard Munch, are stolen at gunpoint from a museum in Oslo, Norway.

Encyclopedia
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

. As a municipality (formannskapsdistrikt
Formannskapsdistrikt
Formannskapsdistrikt was the name for a Norwegian local self-government districts put into force in 1838. This system of municipality was created in a bill approved by the Storting and signed into law by King Carl Johan on 14 January 1837...

), it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway
Denmark–Norway
Denmark–Norway is the historiographical name for a former political entity consisting of the kingdoms of Denmark and Norway, including the originally Norwegian dependencies of Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands...

's King Christian IV
Christian IV of Denmark
Christian IV was the king of Denmark-Norway from 1588 until his death. With a reign of more than 59 years, he is the longest-reigning monarch of Denmark, and he is frequently remembered as one of the most popular, ambitious and proactive Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects...

. It was rebuilt closer to Akershus Castle, as Christiania (also spelled Kristiania in late 1800s). In 1925, the city reclaimed its original Norwegian name, Oslo. The diocese of Oslo
Diocese of Oslo
Oslo bishopric is The Church of Norway's bishopric for the municipalities of Oslo, Asker and Bærum. It is one of Norway's five traditional bishoprics and was founded around the year 1070.-History:...

 is one of the five original dioceses in Norway, which originated around the year 1070.

Oslo is the cultural
Culture of Norway
Norwegian culture is closely linked to the country's history and geography. The unique Norwegian farm culture, sustained to this day, has resulted not only from scarce resources and a harsh climate but also from ancient property laws. In the 18th century, it brought about a strong romantic...

, scientific
Norwegian University of Life Sciences
The Norwegian University of Life Sciences is a public university located in Ås, Norway.It is located at Ås in Akershus, near Oslo, and has around 3800 students...

, economic
Economy of Norway
The economy of Norway is a developed mixed economy with heavy state-ownership in strategic areas of the economy. Although sensitive to global business cycles, the economy of Norway has shown robust growth since the start of the industrial era...

 and governmental
Politics of Norway
Politics in Norway take place in the framework of a parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy. Executive power is exercised by the King's council, the cabinet, led by the Prime Minister of Norway. Legislative power is vested in both the government and the Storting, elected...

 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
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

. The city is home to many companies within the maritime sector, some of which are amongst the world's largest shipping companies, shipbrokers and maritime insurance brokers. Oslo is a pilot city of the Council of Europe
Council of Europe
The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

 and the European Commission
European Commission
The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

 intercultural cities
Intercultural cities
The Intercultural City programme is a joint project of the Council of Europe and the European Commission. It aims at stimulating new ideas and practice in relation to the integration of migrants and minorities....

 programme.

Oslo is considered a global city
Global city
A global city is a city that is deemed to be an important node in the global economic system...

 and ranked "Beta World City" in studies performed by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network in 2008. For several years, Oslo has been listed as one of the most expensive cities in the world along with such other global cities, as Zurich, Geneva, Copenhagen, Paris, and Tokyo. In 2009, however, Oslo regained its status as the world's most expensive city. A survey conducted by ECA International
ECA International
ECA International is a consulting firm that provides data and software solutions to assist companies in the management of international assignees around the world...

 in 2011 placed Oslo 2nd after Tokyo.

As of 2010, the metropolitan area of Oslo
Greater Oslo Region
Greater Oslo Region is a statistical metropolitan region surrounding the Norwegian capital of Oslo. The region includes the city of Oslo , the entire county of Akershus and several municipalities in the counties of Buskerud , Oppland , Vestfold and Østfold .It is divided into...

 has a population of 1,442,318 of whom 912,046 live in the contiguous conurbation
Conurbation
A conurbation is a region comprising a number of cities, large towns, and other urban areas that, through population growth and physical expansion, have merged to form one continuous urban and industrially developed area...

. The population currently increases at a record rate of 1.64% annually, making it the fastest growing city
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 in Europe. This growth stems from immigration
Immigration to Norway
The number of immigrants in Norway is currently approximately 601,000, which corresponds to 12.2 percent of the total population . In addition to these, 213,486 are born in Norway with one immigrant parent, 31,540 are born abroad with one Norwegian parent, and 37,056 are born abroad to Norwegian...

, as the Norwegian
Norwegians
Norwegians constitute both a nation and an ethnic group native to Norway. They share a common culture and speak the Norwegian language. Norwegian people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in United States, Canada and Brazil.-History:Towards the end of the 3rd...

 population in the city is decreasing. The immigrant share of the population in the city proper now counts more than 25% of the city's total.

Urban region

The population of the municipality of Oslo is 611,491 as of 1 Oct. 2011. The urban area extends beyond the boundaries of the municipality into the surrounding county
Counties of Norway
Norway is divided into 19 administrative regions, called counties . The counties form the primary first-level subdivisions of Norway and are further divided into 430 municipalities...

 of Akershus
Akershus
- Geography :The county is conventionally divided into the traditional districts Follo and Romerike, which fill the vast part of the county, as well as the small exclave west of Oslo that consists of Asker and Bærum...

, (municipalities of Bærum
Bærum
is a municipality in Akershus county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Sandvika. Bærum was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838. A suburb of Oslo, Bærum is located on the west coast of the city....

, Asker
Asker
Asker is a municipality in Akershus county, Norway. It is part of the Viken traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Asker. The municipality is a suburb of Oslo, the national capital...

, Røyken
Røyken
Røyken is a village and municipality in Buskerud county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Midtbygda. The parish of Røken was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 ....

, Lørenskog
Lørenskog
is a municipality in Akershus county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Romerike. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Lørenskog. Lørenskog was separated from the municipality of Skedsmo on 1 January 1908.-Name:...

, Skedsmo
Skedsmo
Skedsmo is a municipality in Akershus county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Romerike. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Lillestrøm. About one third of the municipal population lives in Lillestrøm. Other important towns are Skedsmokorset, Skjetten and...

, Gjerdrum
Gjerdrum
Gjerdrum is a municipality in Akershus county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Romerike.-General information:Gjerdrum was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838 ....

, Sørum
Sørum
Sørum is a municipality in Akershus county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Romerike. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Sørumsand. Sørum was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838...

, Oppegård
Oppegård
Oppegård is a village and municipality in Akershus county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Follo. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Kolbotn. The new municipality of Oppegård was separated from the municipality of Nesodden on 1 July 1915...

) its agglomeration total 912,046 inhabitants. The metropolitan area of Oslo, also referred to as the Greater Oslo Region
Greater Oslo Region
Greater Oslo Region is a statistical metropolitan region surrounding the Norwegian capital of Oslo. The region includes the city of Oslo , the entire county of Akershus and several municipalities in the counties of Buskerud , Oppland , Vestfold and Østfold .It is divided into...

 , has a land area of 8900 km² (3,436.3 sq mi) with a population of 1,422,442 as of 1 Apr. 2010. The Inner Oslo Fjord Region, or the Capital Region made up by the 5 counties of Oslo, Akershus, Buskerud, Vestfold (west bank of the Oslo fjord) and Østfold (east bank) has a population of 1,908,231 people (01.10.2010).
The city centre is situated at the end of the Oslofjord
Oslofjord
The Oslofjord is a bay in the south-east of Norway, stretching from an imaginary line between the Torbjørnskjær and Færder lighthouses and down to Langesund in the south to Oslo in the north....

, 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 giving the city area
Urban area
An urban area is characterized by higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.Urban areas are created and further...

 more or less the shape of a reclining "Y" when seen from the north.
To the north and east, wide forested hills (Marka) rise above the city giving the location the shape of a giant amphitheatre
Amphitheatre
An amphitheatre is an open-air venue used for entertainment and performances.There are two similar, but distinct, types of structure for which the word "amphitheatre" is used: Ancient Roman amphitheatres were large central performance spaces surrounded by ascending seating, and were commonly used...

.
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 km² (44.4 sq mi) is built-up and 7 km² (2.7 sq mi) is agricultural. The open areas within the built-up zone amount to 22 km² (8.5 sq mi).

The city of Oslo was established as a municipality on 3 January 1838 (see formannskapsdistrikt
Formannskapsdistrikt
Formannskapsdistrikt was the name for a Norwegian local self-government districts put into force in 1838. This system of municipality was created in a bill approved by the Storting and signed into law by King Carl Johan on 14 January 1837...

). It was separated from the county of Akershus
Akershus
- Geography :The county is conventionally divided into the traditional districts Follo and Romerike, which fill the vast part of the county, as well as the small exclave west of Oslo that consists of Asker and Bærum...

 to become a county of its own in 1842. The rural municipality of Aker
Aker, Norway
Aker is a former municipality in Akershus, which lends its name to a municipality and a county in Norway. The name originally belonged to a farm which was located near the current Old Aker Church...

 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. The neighbouring industrial commune of Aker was incorporated into Oslo in 1948.

Toponymy

The origin of the name Oslo has been the subject of much debate. While certainly derived from Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

, it was in all probability originally the name of a large farm at the site of the first settlements in Bjørvika
Bjørvika
Bjørvika is a neighborhood in the Sentrum borough of Oslo, Norway. The area is an inlet in the inner Oslofjord, situated between Gamlebyen and Akersness. It serves as an outlet for the river Akerselva. Since the 2000s, it has been undergoing urban redevelopment, being transformed from a container...

.
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.

Erroneously, it was once assumed that Oslo meant "the mouth of the Lo river", referring to another name of the river Alna
Alna
Alna is a borough of the city of Oslo, Norway.The name is after the river Alna.The borough consists of the following neighborhoods:* Alnabru* Ellingsrud* Furuset* Haugerud* Hellerud* Lindeberg* Trosterud* Tveita-Demographics:...

. This apocryphal story is not only ungrammatical (the correct form would be Loaros, cf. Nidaros
Nidaros
Nidaros or Niðarós was during the Middle Ages, the old name of Trondheim, Norway . Until the Reformation, Nidaros remained the centre of the spiritual life of the country...

), but the name Lo is not recorded anywhere before Peder Claussøn Friis
Peder Claussøn Friis
Peder Claussøn Friis was a Norwegian author.By his translations of the old sagas he rendered great service to the history of Norway; indeed, one saga is extant only in his translation. In his Description of Norway and Adjacent Islands is to be found historical material of value...

 first used it in the same work in which he proposed this etymology. The name Lo is now believed to be a back-formation
Back-formation
In etymology, back-formation is the process of creating a new lexeme, usually by removing actual or supposed affixes. The resulting neologism is called a back-formation, a term coined by James Murray in 1889...

 arrived at by Friis in support of his spurious etymology for Oslo.

City seal

Oslo is one of very few cities in Norway, besides Bergen
Bergen
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway with a population of as of , . Bergen is the administrative centre of Hordaland county. Greater Bergen or Bergen Metropolitan Area as defined by Statistics Norway, has a population of as of , ....

 and Tønsberg
Tønsberg
is a city and municipality in Vestfold county, southern Norway, located around north-east of Sandefjord. The administrative centre of the municipality is the city of Tønsberg....

, that does not have a formal coat-of-arms
Coat of arms
A coat of arms is a unique heraldic design on a shield or escutcheon or on a surcoat or tabard used to cover and protect armour and to identify the wearer. Thus the term is often stated as "coat-armour", because it was anciently displayed on the front of a coat of cloth...

, but which uses a city seal instead. The seal of Oslo shows the city's patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

, St. Hallvard
Hallvard Vebjørnsson
Hallvard Vebjørnsson , commonly referred to as Saint Hallvard, is the patron saint of Oslo. He is considered a martyr because of his defence of an innocent woman.-Background:...

, with his attributes, the millstone
Millstone
Millstones or mill stones are used in windmills and watermills, including tide mills, for grinding wheat or other grains.The type of stone most suitable for making millstones is a siliceous rock called burrstone , an open-textured, porous but tough, fine-grained sandstone, or a silicified,...

 and arrow
Arrow
An arrow is a shafted projectile that is shot with a bow. It predates recorded history and is common to most cultures.An arrow usually consists of a shaft with an arrowhead attached to the front end, with fletchings and a nock at the other.- History:...

s, 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


According to the Norse saga
Saga
Sagas, are stories in Old Norse about ancient Scandinavian and Germanic history, etc.Saga may also refer to:Business*Saga DAB radio, a British radio station*Saga Airlines, a Turkish airline*Saga Falabella, a department store chain in Peru...

s, Oslo was founded around 1049 by King Harald Hardråde. Recent archaeological research has uncovered Christian burials which can be dated to prior to 1000 CE, evidence of a preceding urban settlement. This called for the celebration of Oslo's millennium in 2000.

It has been regarded as the capital city since the reign of King Håkon V
Haakon V of Norway
Haakon V Magnusson was king of Norway from 1299 until 1319.-Biography:Haakon was the younger surviving son of Magnus the Lawmender, King of Norway, and his wife Ingeborg of Denmark. Haakon was descended from king Saint Olav and is considered to have been the last Norwegian king in the Fairhair...

 (1299–1319), 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
Personal union
A personal union is the combination by which two or more different states have the same monarch while their boundaries, their laws and their interests remain distinct. It should not be confused with a federation which is internationally considered a single state...

 with Denmark, and Oslo's role was reduced to that of provincial administrative centre, with the monarchs residing in Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

. The fact that the University of Oslo
University of Oslo
The University of Oslo , formerly The Royal Frederick University , is the oldest and largest university in Norway, situated in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. The university was founded in 1811 and was modelled after the recently established University of Berlin...

 was founded as late as 1811 had an adverse effect on the development of the nation.

Oslo was destroyed several times by fire, and after the fourteenth calamity, in 1624, King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway
Christian IV of Denmark
Christian IV was the king of Denmark-Norway from 1588 until his death. With a reign of more than 59 years, he is the longest-reigning monarch of Denmark, and he is frequently remembered as one of the most popular, ambitious and proactive Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects...

 ordered it rebuilt at a new site 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
Market town
Market town or market right is a legal term, originating in the medieval period, for a European settlement that has the right to host markets, distinguishing it from a village and city...

 and culture in Norway. The part of the city built starting in 1624 is now often called Kvadraturen because of its orthogonal layout.
The last plague outbreak ravaged Oslo in 1654. In 1814 Christiania once more became a real capital when the union with Denmark was dissolved.

Many landmarks were built in the 19th century, including the Royal Palace
Royal Palace, Oslo
The Royal Palace in Oslo was built in the first half of the 19th century as the Norwegian residence of Norwegian and Swedish king Charles III and is the official residence of the present Norwegian Monarch. The crown prince couple resides at Skaugum in Asker west of Oslo...

 (1825–1848); Stortinget (the Parliament) (1861–1866), the University
University of Oslo
The University of Oslo , formerly The Royal Frederick University , is the oldest and largest university in Norway, situated in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. The university was founded in 1811 and was modelled after the recently established University of Berlin...

, Nationaltheatret and the Stock Exchange
Oslo Stock Exchange
The Oslo Stock Exchange serves as the main market for trading in the shares of Norwegian companies. It opens at 9:00am and closes 5:30pm local time...

. Among the world-famous artists who lived here during this period were Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of prose drama" and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre...

 and Knut Hamsun
Knut Hamsun
Knut Hamsun was a Norwegian author, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. He was praised by King Haakon VII of Norway as Norway's soul....

 (the latter was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature). In 1850, Christiania also overtook Bergen
Bergen
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway with a population of as of , . Bergen is the administrative centre of Hordaland county. Greater Bergen or Bergen Metropolitan Area as defined by Statistics Norway, has a population of as of , ....

 and became the most populous city in the country. In 1877 the city was renamed Kristiania. The original name of Oslo was restored
Geographical renaming
Geographical renaming is the changing of the name of a geographical feature or area. This can range from the uncontroversial change of a street name to a highly disputed change to the name of a country. Some names are changed locally but the new names are not recognised by other countries,...

 in 1925.

1000–1700

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, Hovedøya Abbey
Hovedøya Abbey
Hovedøya Abbey was a Cistercian monastery on the island of Hovedøya in Oslo Fjord, founded in 1147 and dissolved in 1532 just before the Reformation.-History:...

 (Hovedøya 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
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

.

During the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, Oslo reached its heights in the reign of King Håkon V. He started the building of Akershus 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
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

 traders from Rostock
Rostock
Rostock -Early history:In the 11th century Polabian Slavs founded a settlement at the Warnow river called Roztoc ; the name Rostock is derived from that designation. The Danish king Valdemar I set the town aflame in 1161.Afterwards the place was settled by German traders...

 moved into the city and gained major influence in the city. The Black Death
Black Death
The Black Death was one of the most devastating pandemics in human history, peaking in Europe between 1348 and 1350. Of several competing theories, the dominant explanation for the Black Death is the plague theory, which attributes the outbreak to the bacterium Yersinia pestis. Thought to have...

 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.

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
Christian IV of Denmark
Christian IV was the king of Denmark-Norway from 1588 until his death. With a reign of more than 59 years, he is the longest-reigning monarch of Denmark, and he is frequently remembered as one of the most popular, ambitious and proactive Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects...

 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
Vaterland, Norway
Vaterland is a neighborhood in Oslo, Norway. It is located north of the tracks at Oslo Central Station, between Jernbanetorget, Storgata and Akerselva river. The area features Oslo Central Station and Oslo Bus Terminal, the shopping centers Oslo City and Byporten, Galleri Oslo, Radisson Blu Plaza...

 and Grønland
Grønland
Grønland is a neighbourhood in central Oslo, Norway. It is served by several tram and bus lines, as well as the Oslo Metro at the Grønland Station....

 near Gamle Oslo a new, unmanaged part of the city grew up with citizens of low status.

1700s

In the 18th century, after the Great Northern War
Great Northern War
The Great Northern War was a conflict in which a coalition led by the Tsardom of Russia successfully contested the supremacy of the Swedish Empire in northern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The initial leaders of the anti-Swedish alliance were Peter I the Great of Russia, Frederick IV of...

, the city's economy boomed with shipbuilding and trade. The strong economy transformed Christiania into a trading port.

1800s

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
Akerselva
Akerselva, or Akerselven, is a river which flows through Oslo. It starts at Maridalsvannet in Oslomarka, and follows the urban areas Nordre Aker, Sagene, Grünerløkka, Oslo centre and Grønland, whereby it finally ends at Paulsenkaien and Oset in Bjørvika. The river is considered to be a part of the...

. 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.

1900–present

Auctioning off of children was prohibited by law (Fattigloven) in 1900, as a result of court cases related to children having died/been killed.

The kommune
Municipality
A municipality is essentially an urban administrative division having corporate status and usually powers of self-government. It can also be used to mean the governing body of a municipality. A municipality is a general-purpose administrative subdivision, as opposed to a special-purpose district...

  developed new areas such as Ullevål Hageby
Ullevål Hageby
Ullevål Hageby is a residential area and garden city in borough Nordre Aker of Oslo, Norway. All housing in the area is part of the housing cooperative Oslo Havebyselskap...

 (1918–1926) and Torshov
Torshov
Torshov is an area in the borough Sagene in Oslo, Norway.Vogts gate serves as the neighborhood's main street. In the street there are trams between the city centre and Kjelsås. Along Vogts gate are several coffee shops, restaurants and cafes....

 (1917–1925). City Hall
Oslo City Hall
Oslo City Hall houses the city council, city administration, and art studios and galleries. The construction started in 1931, but was paused by the outbreak of World War II, before the official inauguration in 1950. Its characteristic architecture, artworks and the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, held...

 was constructed in the former slum area of Vika
Vika, Oslo
Vika is a neighborhood in the borough Frogner in Oslo, Norway. It is located between the Oslofjord, Aker Brygge, Pipervika, Slottsparken and Oslo City Hall....

, from 1931–1950. The municipality of Aker
Aker, Norway
Aker is a former municipality in Akershus, which lends its name to a municipality and a county in Norway. The name originally belonged to a farm which was located near the current Old Aker Church...

 was incorporated into Oslo in 1948, and suburbs were developed, such as Lambertseter
Lambertseter
Lambertseter is a suburb of the city of Oslo, Norway, and is part of the borough of Nordstrand.Lambertseter was built over a short period starting from 1951, and was the very first modern suburb of Oslo...

 (from 1951). Aker Brygge
Aker Brygge
Aker Brygge is an area in Oslo, Norway. It is a popular meeting place for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Oslo residents, tourists from all over the world, business people on the move, as well as musicians, artists, actors, A-, B- and C-celebrities find Aker Brygge their favourite place to...

 was constructed on the site of the former shipyard
Shipyard
Shipyards and dockyards are places which repair and build ships. These can be yachts, military vessels, cruise liners or other cargo or passenger ships. Dockyards are sometimes more associated with maintenance and basing activities than shipyards, which are sometimes associated more with initial...

 Akers Mekaniske Verksted
Aker ASA
Aker ASA is a Norwegian holding company engaged in offshore fishing, construction and engineering. The company is listed on Oslo Stock Exchange and is controlled by Kjell Inge Røkke with 66.66% ownership through TRG Holding...

, from 1982–1998.

On 22 July 2011, Oslo was hit by a bomb blast that ripped through the city central government district, also damaging Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg
Jens Stoltenberg
is a Norwegian politician, leader of the Norwegian Labour Party and the current Prime Minister of Norway. Having assumed office on 17 October 2005, Stoltenberg previously served as Prime Minister from 2000 to 2001....

's office while he was absent and the nearby Ministry of Petroleum. The terrorist blast
2011 Norway attacks
The 2011 Norway attacks were two sequential terrorist attacks against the government, the civilian population and a summer camp in Norway on 22 July 2011....

 killed at least eight people prior to a shooting spree
Spree killer
A spree killer is someone who embarks on a murderous assault on two or more victims in a short time in multiple locations. The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics defines a spree killing as "killings at two or more locations with almost no time break between murders."-Definition:According to the...

 on the island of Utøya
Utøya
Utøya is a small island in the Tyrifjorden lake in Hole municipality, in the county of Buskerud, Norway. The island is , situated off the shore, by the E16 road, driving distance north-west of Oslo city centre.-Overview:...

 on lake Tyrifjorden
Tyrifjorden
Tyrifjorden is Norway's fifth largest lake with an area of 137 km2. It has a volume of 13 km3, is 295 meters deep at its deepest, and lies 63 meters above sea level...

, which killed 69 youths participating in a Norwegian Labour Party youth camp. The suspect is Anders Behring Breivik
Anders Behring Breivik
Anders Behring Breivik is a Norwegian terrorist, paranoid schizophrenic and the confessed perpetrator of the Norway attacks on 22 July 2011: the bombing of government buildings in Oslo that resulted in eight deaths, and the mass shooting at a camp of the Workers' Youth League of the Labour Party...

.

Geography

Oslo occupies an arc of land at the northernmost end of the Oslofjord
Oslofjord
The Oslofjord is a bay in the south-east of Norway, stretching from an imaginary line between the Torbjørnskjær and Færder lighthouses and down to Langesund in the south to Oslo in the north....

. The fjord
Fjord
Geologically, a fjord is a long, narrow inlet with steep sides or cliffs, created in a valley carved by glacial activity.-Formation:A fjord is formed when a glacier cuts a U-shaped valley by abrasion of the surrounding bedrock. Glacial melting is accompanied by rebound of Earth's crust as the ice...

, which is nearly bisected by the Nesodden
Nesodden
Nesodden is a municipality in Akershus county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Follo. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Nesoddtangen. The parish of Næsodden was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838...

 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 Malmøya
Malmøya
Malmøya is an island situated only 3 kilometres outside Oslo - the capital of Norway. The island is mostly known for its large quantities of fossils from the Cambro-Silurian period, and rare flowers.- External links :* http://www.malmoya.no...

 (0.56 km² (0.21621720881182 sq mi)), and scores more around the Oslofjord. Oslo has 343 lakes, the largest being Maridalsvannet (3.91 km² (1.5 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 flow into the ocean at Oslo. Instead Oslo has two smaller rivers: Akerselva
Akerselva
Akerselva, or Akerselven, is a river which flows through Oslo. It starts at Maridalsvannet in Oslomarka, and follows the urban areas Nordre Aker, Sagene, Grünerløkka, Oslo centre and Grønland, whereby it finally ends at Paulsenkaien and Oset in Bjørvika. The river is considered to be a part of the...

 (draining Maridalsvannet, which flows into the fjord in Bjørvika
Bjørvika
Bjørvika is a neighborhood in the Sentrum borough of Oslo, Norway. The area is an inlet in the inner Oslofjord, situated between Gamlebyen and Akersness. It serves as an outlet for the river Akerselva. Since the 2000s, it has been undergoing urban redevelopment, being transformed from a container...

), and Alna
Alna
Alna is a borough of the city of Oslo, Norway.The name is after the river Alna.The borough consists of the following neighborhoods:* Alnabru* Ellingsrud* Furuset* Haugerud* Hellerud* Lindeberg* Trosterud* Tveita-Demographics:...

. 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
East End and West End of Oslo
The East End and West End are used as names for the two parts of Oslo, Norway, formed by the economic and social separation line that has historically passed along the street Uelands gate...

; 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 (2,063.6 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 area
Protected area
Protected areas are locations which receive protection because of their recognised natural, ecological and/or cultural values. There are several kinds of protected areas, which vary by level of protection depending on the enabling laws of each country or the regulations of the international...

s of forests, hills and lakes. Its boundaries encompass many parks and open areas
Parks and open spaces in Oslo
Parks and open spaces are an integral part of the landscape of Oslo, the capital and largest city of Norway. The various parks and open spaces are interconnected by paths so that the city's inhabitants can walk between them....

, giving it an airy and green appearance.

Climate

Oslo has a humid continental climate
Humid continental climate
A humid continental climate is a climatic region typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot summers and cold winters....

 (Dfb according to the Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 system).
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 northerly location, the climate is relatively mild throughout the year because of the Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream
The Gulf Stream, together with its northern extension towards Europe, the North Atlantic Drift, is a powerful, warm, and swift Atlantic ocean current that originates at the tip of Florida, and follows the eastern coastlines of the United States and Newfoundland before crossing the Atlantic Ocean...

.

Oslo has pleasantly mild to warm summers with average high temperatures of 20–22 °C (68–71.6 F) and lows of around 12 °C (54 °F). Temperatures exceed 25 °C (77 °F) quite often, and heatwaves are common during the summer. The highest temperature ever recorded was 35 °C (95 °F) on 21 July 1901. Due to the fjord being a relatively enclosed body of water, the water temperatures can get quite high during long warm periods. Winters are cold and snowy with temperatures between -7 C up to -1 C. The coldest temperature recorded is -27.1 °C in January 1942. Temperatures have tended to be higher in recent years.

Annual precipitation is 763 millimetres (30 in) with moderate rainfall throughout the year. Snowfall can occur from November to April, but snow accumulation 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. Even for its latitude, Oslo is outstandingly cloudy, receiving a diminutive average of 1,668 hours of bright sunshine annually. Of the 4,456 possible sunshine hours that could be received annually, Oslo receives only 1,668 (37%) of that total.

Parks and recreation areas

Oslo has a large number of parks and green areas within the city core, as well as outside it.
  • Frogner Park
    Frogner Park
    Frogner Park is a public park located in the borough of Frogner in Oslo, Norway. The park contains the world famous Vigeland Sculpture Park designed by Gustav Vigeland....

     is a large park located a few minutes 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
    Gustav Vigeland
    Gustav Vigeland was a Norwegian sculptor. Gustav Vigeland occupies a special position among Norwegian sculptors, both in the power of his creative imagination and in his productivity. He is most associated with Vigeland Sculpture Park in Oslo...

  • Bygdøy
    Bygdøy
    Bygdøy or Bygdø is a peninsula on the western side of Oslo, Norway. Administratively, Bygdøy belongs to the borough of Frogner.Bygdøy has several museums, like the Kon-Tiki Museum, which shows all year long the legendary expeditions of Thor Heyerdahl; the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History ; the...

     is a huge and green area, commonly called the Museum Peninsula of Oslo. The beautiful location, surrounded by the sea, makes it the most expensive Norwegian district.
  • St. Hanshaugen Park
    St. Hanshaugen Park
    St. Hanshaugen Park is the first large public park outside the city center of Oslo, Norway. St. Hanshaugen Park is a classic city park located within the Oslo borough of St. Hanshaugen, named for the park which lies within its center. Years ago the park location was regarded as worthless and was...

     is an old public park on a high hill in central Oslo. 'St. Hanshaugen' is also the name of the surrounding neighbourhood as well as the larger administrative district (borough) that includes major parts of central Oslo.
  • Tøyen Park stretches out behind the Munch Museum
    Munch Museum
    Munch Museum is an art museum in Oslo, Norway dedicated to the life and works of the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.-Munch Museum:...

    , and is a vast, grassy expanse. In the north, there is a viewing point known as Ola Narr. The Tøyen 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: Østmarka
Østmarka
Østmarka is a forested area to the east of Oslo and part of the congregation of woodland areas known as Oslomarka. The area is situated within the municipalities Oslo, Lørenskog, Rælingen, Ski and Enebakk...

 (literally "Eastern Forest", on the eastern perimeter of the city), and the very large Nordmarka
Nordmarka
Nordmarka is the mostly forested region which makes up the northern part of Oslo, Norway. The area called "Nordmarka" also extends into the municipalities of Hole, Ringerike, Lunner, Jevnaker and Nittedal. It is the largest part of the Marka borough. The forests are popular sites for hiking and...

 (literally "Northern Forest", stretching from the northern perimeter of the city deep into the hinterland).

The municipality operates eight public swimming pools.
Tøyenbadet
Tøyenbadet
Tøyenbadet in Oslo is Norway's busiest indoor swimming facility. Situated in Helgesens Gate 90, it was designed by architect Gert Walter Thuesen. It was built in 1976 and contains indoor and outdoor swimming pools. It was closed for refurbishment in spring 2007 and reopened in autumn 2008, six...

 is the largest indoor swimming facility in Oslo and one of the few pools in Norway offering a 50-metre main pool. The outdoor pool Frognerbadet
Frognerbadet
Frognerbadet is a pool complex in the borough of Frogner in Oslo, Norway. It was designed by architect Frode Rinnan.Located adjacent to Frognerparken, it opened in 1956, and doubles as a public bath and swimming pool and a professional swimming venue. Also, the festival Norwegian Wood is hosted...

 also has the 50-metre range.

Cityscape

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
Oslo Opera House
The Oslo Opera House is the home of The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, and the national opera theatre in Norway. The building is situated in the Bjørvika neighborhood of central Oslo, at the head of the Oslofjord. It is operated by Statsbygg, the government agency which manages property for...

, the urban regeneration scheme of Oslo's seafront, Munch/Stenersen
Munch/Stenersen
Munch/Stenersen is an upcoming building in Bjørvika, Oslo scheduled for completion in the year of the Munch jubilee in 2013. The building is designed by Juan Herreros .There has been a lot of conflict around the building...

 and the new Deichman Library.
Most of the buildings in the city and in neighbouring communities are low in height with only the Plaza
Oslo Plaza
Oslo Plaza is situated in Oslo city centre. At high, it is Norway's largest hotel. Like almost all modern buildings in Oslo, this tower is disliked by certain groups...

, Postgirobygget
Postgirobygget (building)
Postgirobygget is a commercial building located at Biskop Gunnerus' gate 14 in Oslo, Norway.The building was designed by Norwegian architect Rolf Christian Krognes and constructed in 1975....

 and the highrises at Bjørvika considerably taller.

Architecture

Oslo's architecture is very diverse. Architect Carl Frederik Stanley (1769–1805), who was educated in Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, 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
Oslo katedralskole
Schola Osloensis, known in Norwegian as Oslo katedralskole and more commonly as "Katta" is an upper secondary school located in Oslo, Norway. The school offers the college preparatory studiespesialisering of the Norwegian school system...

, completed in 1800. He added a classical portico to the front of an older structure, and a semi-circular auditorium that was sequestered by Parliament in 1814 as a temporary place to assemble, now preserved at Norsk Folkemuseum
Norsk Folkemuseum
Norsk Folkemuseum, the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History at Bygdøy in Oslo, is a large open air museum. Norsk Folkemuseum is one of Norway’s largest museum of cultural history....

 as a national monument.

Christiania, in 1814 promoted to the status of a capital city, had practically no buildings suitable for the many new government institutions. An ambitious building program was initiated, but realised very slowly because of a strained economy. The first major undertaking was the Royal Palace
Royal Palace, Oslo
The Royal Palace in Oslo was built in the first half of the 19th century as the Norwegian residence of Norwegian and Swedish king Charles III and is the official residence of the present Norwegian Monarch. The crown prince couple resides at Skaugum in Asker west of Oslo...

, designed by Hans Linstow and built between 1824 and 1848. Linstow also planned Karl Johans gate
Karl Johans gate
Karl Johans gate is the main street of the city of Oslo, Norway. The street was named in honor of King Karl Johan, who was King of Sweden and of Norway....

, the avenue connecting the Palace and the city, with a monumental square halfway to be surrounded by buildings for the University, the Parliament (Storting) and other institutions. Only the University buildings were realised according to this plan. Christian Heinrich Grosch
Christian Heinrich Grosch
Christian Heinrich Grosch was a Norwegian architect.He was born in Halden and educated by his father, Heinrich August Grosch and in Germany and Copenhagen....

, one of the first fully educated architects in Norway, designed the original building for the Oslo Stock Exchange
Oslo Stock Exchange
The Oslo Stock Exchange serves as the main market for trading in the shares of Norwegian companies. It opens at 9:00am and closes 5:30pm local time...

 (1826–1828), the local branch of the Bank of Norway
Bank of Norway
Norges Bank / Noregs Bank is the central bank of Norway. Apart from having traditional central bank responsibilities such as financial stability and price stability, it manages The Government Pension Fund of Norway, a stabilization fund that is world's largest investment pool.On 31 December 2010,...

 (1828), Christiania Theatre
Christiania Theatre
Christiania Theatre, or Kristiania Theatre, was Norway's finest stage for the spoken drama between October 4, 1836 - September 1, 1899. It was located at Bankplassen by the Akershus Fortress in central Christiania, in Norway...

 (1836–1837), and the first campus for the University of Oslo
University of Oslo
The University of Oslo , formerly The Royal Frederick University , is the oldest and largest university in Norway, situated in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. The university was founded in 1811 and was modelled after the recently established University of Berlin...

 (1841–1856). For the University buildings, he sought the assistance of the renowned German architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel
Karl Friedrich Schinkel
Karl Friedrich Schinkel was a Prussian architect, city planner, and painter who also designed furniture and stage sets. Schinkel was one of the most prominent architects of Germany and designed both neoclassical and neogothic buildings.-Biography:Schinkel was born in Neuruppin, Margraviate of...

.

The German architectural influence persisted in Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, and many wooden buildings followed the principles of Neoclassicism
Neoclassicism
Neoclassicism is the name given to Western movements in the decorative and visual arts, literature, theatre, music, and architecture that draw inspiration from the "classical" art and culture of Ancient Greece or Ancient Rome...

.
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 structures, particularly in Oslo, were built in the functionalist
Functionalism (architecture)
Functionalism, in architecture, is the principle that architects should design a building based on the purpose of that building. This statement is less self-evident than it first appears, and is a matter of confusion and controversy within the profession, particularly in regard to modern...

 style, the first one being the Skansen
Skansen
Skansen is the first open air museum and zoo in Sweden and is located on the island Djurgården in Stockholm, Sweden. It was founded in 1891 by Artur Hazelius to show the way of life in the different parts of Sweden before the industrial era....

 restaurant (1925–1927) by Lars Backer
Lars Backer
Lars Thalian Backer was a Norwegian architect.Backer was educated at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts under the supervision of Herman Major Schirmer and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, from which he graduated in 1915....

, demolished in 1970. Backer also designed the restaurant at Ekeberg, opened in 1929. The art gallery Kunstnernes Hus
Kunstnernes Hus
Kunstnernes Hus is an art gallery in Oslo, Norway. It is Norway's largest gallery under the direction of artists, and has served as a major center for exhibits of Norwegian and international contemporary art. It is also a prominent example of Functionalist architecture and houses the Office for...

 by Gudolf Blakstad
Gudolf Blakstad
Gudolf Blakstad was a Norwegian architect.Born in Gjerpen, Blakstad was educated at the Norwegian Institute of Technology, worked with Arnstein Arneberg and Herman Munthe-Kaas...

 and Herman Munthe-Kaas
Herman Munthe-Kaas
Herman Munthe-Kaas was a Norwegian architect. Herman Munthe-Kaas was primarily known for his Functionalist building designs.-Biography:...

 (1930) still shows influence from the preceding classicist trend of the 1920s.
Oslo Airport
Gardermoen
Gardermoen may refer to:* Gardermoen, Norway* Oslo Airport, Gardermoen* Gardermoen Air Station* Gardermoen Line* Gardermoen Station...

 (by the Aviaplan consortium at Gardermoen was Norway's largest construction project ever.

Politics and government

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
Prime Minister of Norway
The Prime Minister of Norway is the political leader of Norway and the Head of His Majesty's Government. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Stortinget , to their political party, and ultimately the...

, are gathered at Regjeringskvartalet, a cluster of buildings close to the national Parliament—the 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
Norwegian Labour Party
The Labour Party is a social-democratic political party in Norway. It is the senior partner in the current Norwegian government as part of the Red-Green Coalition, and its leader, Jens Stoltenberg, is the current Prime Minister of Norway....

; the Conservative Party
Conservative Party of Norway
The Conservative Party is a Norwegian political party. The current leader is Erna Solberg. The party was since the 1920s consistently the second largest party in Norway, but has been surpassed by the growth of the Progress Party in the late 1990s and 2000s...

 and the Progress Party
Progress Party (Norway)
The Progress Party is a political party in Norway which identifies as conservative liberal and libertarian. The media has described it as conservative and right-wing populist...

 have three each; the Socialist Left Party
Socialist Left Party (Norway)
The Socialist Left Party or SV, is a Norwegian left-wing political party. At one point one of the smallest parties in Parliament, it became the fourth-largest political party in Norway for the first time in the 2001 parliamentary election, and has been so ever since...

 and the Liberals have two each; and one is from the Christian Democrats.

The combined municipality and county of Oslo has had a parliamentary system
Parliamentary system
A parliamentary system is a system of government in which the ministers of the executive branch get their democratic legitimacy from the legislature and are accountable to that body, such that the executive and legislative branches are intertwined....

 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 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
Fabian Stang
Richard Fabian Stang is a Norwegian politician for the Conservative Party. He was elected Mayor of Oslo in 2007.Stang, a lawyer, is the son of celebrated Norwegian actress Wenche Foss and entrepreneur Thomas Stang.-References:...

.

Since the local elections of 2003, the city government
Local government
Local government refers collectively to administrative authorities over areas that are smaller than a state.The term is used to contrast with offices at nation-state level, which are referred to as the central government, national government, or federal 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 loosing 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
Governing Mayor of Oslo
The Governing Mayor of Oslo is the head of the city government of Oslo. The Governing Mayor appointes and removes the members of the city government and decides how the departments and the central administration are organised. The City Government consists of 8 members.- Current :The current...

 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 Røsland
Stian Berger Røsland
Stian Berger Røsland is a Norwegian politician for the Conservative Party. He succeeded Erling Lae as Governing Mayor of Oslo in 2009....

.

Economy

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. Det Norske Veritas
Det Norske Veritas
Stiftelsen Det Norske Veritas is a classification society organized as a foundation, with the objective of "Safeguarding life, property, and the environment". The organization's history goes back to 1864, when the foundation was established in Norway to inspect and evaluate the technical condition...

, headquartered at Høvik
Høvik
Høvik is a suburban centre in the municipality of Bærum, Akershus, Norway. Mainly a residential area, its population is 4,311.Høvik has a church, a small shopping area and a railway station served by Drammensbanen. Flytoget does not stop at Høvik. Nearby is the Henie-Onstad Art Centre...

 outside Oslo, is one of the three major maritime classification societies
Classification society
A classification society is a non-governmental organization that establishes and maintains technical standards for the construction and operation of ships and offshore structures...

 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 (€33.876 billion) in 2003, which amounted to 17% of the national GDP. This compares with NOK165.915 billion (€20.968 billion) in 1995. The metropolitan area, bar Moss
Moss, Norway
is a coastal city and a municipality in Østfold county, Norway. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Moss. The city of Moss was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838...

 and Drammen
Drammen
Drammen is a city in Buskerud County, Norway. The port and river city of Drammen is centrally located in the eastern and most populated part of Norway.-Location:...

, contributed 25% of the national GDP in 2003 and was also responsible for more than one quarter of tax revenue
Tax revenue
Tax revenue is the income that is gained by governments through taxation.Just as there are different types of tax, the form in which tax revenue is collected also differs; furthermore, the agency that collects the tax may not be part of central government, but may be an alternative third-party...

s. In comparison, total tax revenues from the oil and gas industry on the Norwegian Continental Shelf
Norwegian continental shelf
The Norwegian continental shelf is the continental shelf over which Norway exercises sovereign rights as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea...

 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
Cost-of-living index
Cost of living is the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living. Changes in the cost of living over time are often operationalized in a cost of living index. Cost of living calculations are also used to compare the cost of maintaining a certain standard of living in different geographic areas...

 Survey provided by Mercer Human Resource Consulting and first according to the Economist Intelligence Unit
Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit is part of the Economist Group.It is a research and advisory company providing country, industry and management analysis worldwide and incorporates the former Business International Corporation, a U.S. company acquired by the parent organization in 1986...

. The reason for this discrepancy is that the EIU omits certain factors from its final index calculation, most notably housing. Although Oslo does have the most expensive housing market
Real estate economics
Real estate economics is the application of economic techniques to real estate markets. It tries to describe, explain, and predict patterns of prices, supply, and demand...

 in Norway, it is comparably cheaper than other cities on the list in that regard. Meanwhile, prices on goods and services
Goods and services
In economics, economic output is divided into physical goods and intangible services. Consumption of goods and services is assumed to produce utility. It is often used when referring to a Goods and Services Tax....

 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
Banking in Switzerland
All banks in Switzerland are regulated by Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority , which derives its authority from a series of federal statutes...

 UBS in the month of August 2006, Oslo and London were the world's most expensive cities.

Environment

Oslo is a compact city
Compact City
The Compact City or city of short distances is an urban planning and urban design concept, which promotes relatively high residential density with mixed land uses. It is based on an efficient public transport system and has an urban layout which – according to its advocates – encourages walking and...

. 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

Institutions of higher education

  • University of Oslo
    University of Oslo
    The University of Oslo , formerly The Royal Frederick University , is the oldest and largest university in Norway, situated in the Norwegian capital of Oslo. The university was founded in 1811 and was modelled after the recently established University of Berlin...

     (Universitetet i Oslo) – undergraduate, graduate and PhD programs in most fields.
  • Oslo University College
    Oslo University College
    Oslo University College , Norwegian: Høgskolen i Oslo is the largest state university college in Norway, with more than 11,000 students and approx. 1100 employees...

     (Høgskolen i Oslo) – focuses on 3–4 year professional degree
    First professional degree
    A professional degree prepares the holder for a particular profession by emphasizing competency skills along with theory and analysis. These professions are typically licensed or otherwise regulated by a governmental or government-approved body...

     programs.
  • BI Norwegian Business School (Handelshøyskolen BI) – primarily economics and business administration
    Management
    Management in all business and organizational activities is the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives using available resources efficiently and effectively...

    .
  • Norwegian School of Information Technology
    Norwegian School of Information Technology
    Norwegian School of Information Technology is a Norwegian information technology university college located in Oslo, Norway.It previously had schools located in Bergen, Stavanger and Bærum, but these were later shut down....

     (Norges Informasjonsteknologiske Høyskole)
  • Oslo School of Architecture and Design
    Oslo School of Architecture and Design
    The Oslo School of Architecture and Design, AHO, is one of Norway's three architectural schools.AHO is an autonomous institution within the Norwegian university system. The school was established directly after World War II as a «crisis course» for students of architecture who were unable to finish...

     (Arkitektur- og designhøgskolen i Oslo)
  • Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
    Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
    The Norwegian School of Sport Sciences is a public university located at Sognsvann in Oslo, Norway. It has the national responsibility for education and research related within sport sciences. It provides education at Bachelor, Master and Doctorate level....

     (Norges idrettshøgskole) – offers opportunities to study at the Bachelor, Masters and Doctoral level
  • Norwegian Academy of Music
    Norwegian Academy of Music
    The Norwegian Academy of Music is a music conservatory located in Oslo, Norway, in the neighbourhood of Majorstuen, Frogner. It is the largest music academy in Norway and offers the country's highest level of music education. As a university college, it offers both undergraduate and postgraduate...

     (Norges musikkhøgskole)
  • MF Norwegian School of Theology
    MF Norwegian School of Theology
    The Norwegian School of Theology , is a private, independent, accredited Norwegian specialised university...

     (Det teologiske Menighetsfakultet — MF)
  • Oslo National Academy of the Arts
    Oslo National Academy of the Arts
    The Oslo National Academy of the Arts is a university college in Oslo, Norway, that provides education in visual arts, design and performing arts...

     (Kunsthøgskolen i Oslo KHIO)
  • Norwegian University of Life Sciences
    Norwegian University of Life Sciences
    The Norwegian University of Life Sciences is a public university located in Ås, Norway.It is located at Ås in Akershus, near Oslo, and has around 3800 students...

     (Universitetet for Miljø og Biovitenskap-UMB) located right outside of Oslo
  • Norwegian Military Academy
    Norwegian Military Academy
    The Norwegian Army Academy was established in 1750. It is the oldest university-level educational institution in Norway, and one of the oldest active military academies in the world. Krigsskolen primarily educates officers for the Norwegian Army. There are separate academies for the Royal...

     (Krigsskolen)
  • Norwegian School of Veterinary Science
    Norwegian School of Veterinary Science
    Norwegian School of Veterinary Science or NVH is a public university located at Adamstuen in Oslo, that educates veterinarians and veterinary nurses as well as research within aquatic medicine, food safety, comparative medicine and mammalian diseases, health and welfare. The institution has about...

     (Norges Veterinærhøgskole)
  • Oslo Academy of Fine Arts (Statens kunstakademi)
  • Oslo School of Management
    Oslo School of Management
    The Oslo School of Management is located in central Oslo. The school offers degrees within the areas of Human Resource Management, Tourism, Hotel Management, Marketing, Sales Management and Innovation and Entrepreneurship....

     (Markedshøyskolen)

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 educational institution with 27,700 students and 5,900 employees.

Culture

Oslo has a large and varied number of cultural attractions, which include several buildings containing artwork from Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch was a Norwegian Symbolist painter, printmaker and an important forerunner of expressionist art. His best-known composition, The Scream, is part of a series The Frieze of Life, in which Munch explored the themes of love, fear, death, melancholia, and anxiety.- Childhood :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
Knut Hamsun
Knut Hamsun was a Norwegian author, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1920. He was praised by King Haakon VII of Norway as Norway's soul....

 and Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of prose drama" and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre...

. The government has recently invested large amounts of money in cultural installations, facilities, buildings and festivals in the City of Oslo. Bygdøy
Bygdøy
Bygdøy or Bygdø is a peninsula on the western side of Oslo, Norway. Administratively, Bygdøy belongs to the borough of Frogner.Bygdøy has several museums, like the Kon-Tiki Museum, which shows all year long the legendary expeditions of Thor Heyerdahl; the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History ; the...

, outside the city centre is the centre for history and the Norwegian Vikings' history. The area contains a large amount of parks and seasites and a large amount of museums. Examples are the Fram Museum
Fram Museum
The Fram Museum is a museum telling the story of Norwegian polar exploration. It is located on the peninsula of Bygdøy in Oslo, Norway.Fram Museum is situated in an area with several other museums, including the Kon-Tiki Museum; the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History; the Viking Ship Museum;...

, Vikingskiphuset and the Kon-Tiki Museum
Kon-Tiki Museum
The Kon-Tiki Museum is a museum at the archipelago Bygdøy in Oslo, Norway. It houses vessels and maps from the Kon-Tiki expedition, as well as a library with about 8000 books. It was opened in a provisional building in 1949. In 1957, the current building—designed by architects F. S. Platou and Otto...

. 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
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

 every year.

Museums, galleries

Oslo houses several major Museums and galleries. The Munch Museum
Munch Museum
Munch Museum is an art museum in Oslo, Norway dedicated to the life and works of the Norwegian artist Edvard Munch.-Munch Museum:...

 contains the Scream
The Scream
Scream is the title of Expressionist paintings and prints in a series by Norwegian artist Edvard Munch, showing an agonized figure against a blood red sky...

 and other work by Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch was a Norwegian Symbolist painter, printmaker and an important forerunner of expressionist art. His best-known composition, The Scream, is part of a series The Frieze of Life, in which Munch explored the themes of love, fear, death, melancholia, and anxiety.- Childhood :Edvard Munch...

 who donated all his work to the city after his death.
The City-Council is currently planning a new Munch Museum which is most likely to be built in Bjørvika
Bjørvika
Bjørvika is a neighborhood in the Sentrum borough of Oslo, Norway. The area is an inlet in the inner Oslofjord, situated between Gamlebyen and Akersness. It serves as an outlet for the river Akerselva. Since the 2000s, it has been undergoing urban redevelopment, being transformed from a container...

, in the southeast of the city. The museum will be named Munch/Stenersen
Munch/Stenersen
Munch/Stenersen is an upcoming building in Bjørvika, Oslo scheduled for completion in the year of the Munch jubilee in 2013. The building is designed by Juan Herreros .There has been a lot of conflict around the building...

. 50 different museums are located around the city. Folkemuseet
Norsk Folkemuseum
Norsk Folkemuseum, the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History at Bygdøy in Oslo, is a large open air museum. Norsk Folkemuseum is one of Norway’s largest museum of cultural history....

 is located on the Bygdøy
Bygdøy
Bygdøy or Bygdø is a peninsula on the western side of Oslo, Norway. Administratively, Bygdøy belongs to the borough of Frogner.Bygdøy has several museums, like the Kon-Tiki Museum, which shows all year long the legendary expeditions of Thor Heyerdahl; the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History ; the...

 peninsula and is dedicated to Folk art
Folk art
Folk art encompasses art produced from an indigenous culture or by peasants or other laboring tradespeople. In contrast to fine art, folk art is primarily utilitarian and decorative rather than purely aesthetic....

, Folk Dress, Sami
Sami people
The Sami people, also spelled Sámi, or Saami, are the arctic indigenous people inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway. The Sámi are Europe’s northernmost...

 culture and the viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

 culture. The outdoor museum contains 155 authentic old buildings from all parts of Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, including a Stave Church
Stave church
A stave church is a medieval wooden church with a post and beam construction related to timber framing. The wall frames are filled with vertical planks. The load-bearing posts have lent their name to the building technique...

.
The Vigeland Museum
Vigeland Museum
The Vigeland Museum is a museum in Oslo, Norway.Its history began in 1919 when noted sculptor Gustav Vigeland made an offer to Oslo Municipality to donate his works sometime in the future. Vigeland's total body of works consisted not only of sculptures, but also woodcuts, drawings, sketches and...

 located in the large Vigeland Park by many people known as the Frognerpark 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.
Vikingskiphuset contains three vikingships found at Oseberg, Gokstad and Tune and several other unique items from the Viking age.
The Oslo City Museum
Oslo City Museum
Oslo City Museum is located in the Frogner Manor in Oslo, the capital of Norway.The museum has an extensive library with the purpose of documenting the history of the City of Oslo, as well as the former municipality Aker. The museum also has one of the largest and most important photo collections...

 holds a permanent exhibition about the people in Oslo and the history of the city.
The Kon-Tiki Museum
Kon-Tiki Museum
The Kon-Tiki Museum is a museum at the archipelago Bygdøy in Oslo, Norway. It houses vessels and maps from the Kon-Tiki expedition, as well as a library with about 8000 books. It was opened in a provisional building in 1949. In 1957, the current building—designed by architects F. S. Platou and Otto...

 houses Thor Heyerdahl
Thor Heyerdahl
Thor Heyerdahl was a Norwegian ethnographer and adventurer with a background in zoology and geography. He became notable for his Kon-Tiki expedition, in which he sailed by raft from South America to the Tuamotu Islands...

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.
A new National Museum in Oslo will be built in the next 10 years. The winner was Forum Artis, and the building will be located at Vestbanen
Oslo Vestbanestasjon
Oslo West Station or Oslo V, is a former railway station located in Vika in Oslo, Norway. It was the terminus of the Drammen Line between 1872 and 1980, until the Oslo Tunnel opened. The station remained in use until 1989, when all traffic was moved to the new Oslo Central Station...

 behind the Nobel Peace Center
Nobel Peace Center
Nobel Peace Center is a showcase for the Nobel Peace Prize and the ideals it represents. The Center is also an arena where culture and politics merge to promote involvement, debate and reflection around topics such as war, peace and conflict resolution....

.
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
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 centenary as an independent country.
The building houses a permanent exhibition, expanding every year when a new Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes bequeathed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.-Background:According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who...

 winner is announced, containing information of every winner in history. The building is mainly used as a communication centre.

Music and events

A large number of festivals are held in Oslo, such as Oslo Live, a rock and roll event, and the Oslo Jazz festival is a six-day festival which has been held annually in August for the past 25 years. Oslo's biggest Rock festival is Øyafestivalen or simply "Øya". It draws about 60,000 people to the Medieval Park east in Oslo and last for four days.

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
Norwegian Nobel Institute
The Norwegian Nobel Institute was established in 1904 in Kristiania , Norway.The principal duty of the Nobel Institute is to assist the Norwegian Nobel Committee in the task of selecting the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize and to organize the annual Nobel event in Oslo.The institute is situated...

; the award ceremony is held annually in The City Hall on 10 December. Even though Sami
Sami people
The Sami people, also spelled Sámi, or Saami, are the arctic indigenous people inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of far northern Sweden, Norway, Finland, the Kola Peninsula of Russia, and the border area between south and middle Sweden and Norway. The Sámi are Europe’s northernmost...

 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
Holmenkollen
Holmenkollen is a neighborhood in the Vestre Aker borough of Oslo, Norway. In addition to being a residential area, the area has been a ski recreation area since the late 19th century, with its famous, eponymous, ski jump arena hosting competitions since 1892...

 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 Færderseilasen
Færderseilasen
Færderseilasen, also called Færder'n, is a regatta that held on the second weekend in June by the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club.The regatta starts in Oslo for ordinary sailboats and in Son for old yachts. The fastest of the sailboats reach Færder lighthouse. The endpoint is in Horten. Smaller boats...

, the world's largest overnight regatta with more than 1100 boats taking part every year.

Rikard Nordraak
Rikard Nordraak
Rikard Nordraak was a Norwegian composer. He is best known as the composer of the Norwegian national anthem.-Biography:...

, 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
Oslo Concert Hall
Oslo Concert Hall is a concert hall located in Vika, a part of Oslo city centre in Norway. It is the base of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra , but it also aims to be one of the premier music venues for the general musical and cultural life of Norway, offering a broad variety of musical styles from...

 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
Edvard Grieg
Edvard Hagerup Grieg was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor, for his incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt , and for his collection of piano miniatures Lyric Pieces.-Biography:Edvard Hagerup Grieg was born in...

 and Johan Svendsen
Johan Svendsen
Johan Severin Svendsen was a Norwegian composer, conductor and violinist. Born in Christiania , Norway, he lived most his life in Copenhagen, Denmark....

 in 1879.

Performing arts

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
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 and is situated between the castle and the Storting.
The names of Ludvig Holberg
Ludvig Holberg
Ludvig Holberg, Baron of Holberg was a writer, essayist, philosopher, historian and playwright born in Bergen, Norway, during the time of the Dano-Norwegian double monarchy, who spent most of his adult life in Denmark. He was influenced by Humanism, the Enlightenment and the Baroque...

, Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of prose drama" and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre...

 and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson
Bjørnstjerne Martinius Bjørnson was a Norwegian writer and the 1903 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. Bjørnson is considered as one of The Four Greats Norwegian writers; the others being Henrik Ibsen, Jonas Lie, and Alexander Kielland...

 are engraved on the façade 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
Oslo Opera House
The Oslo Opera House is the home of The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, and the national opera theatre in Norway. The building is situated in the Bjørvika neighborhood of central Oslo, at the head of the Oslofjord. It is operated by Statsbygg, the government agency which manages property for...

, situated in Bjørvika
Bjørvika
Bjørvika is a neighborhood in the Sentrum borough of Oslo, Norway. The area is an inlet in the inner Oslofjord, situated between Gamlebyen and Akersness. It serves as an outlet for the river Akerselva. Since the 2000s, it has been undergoing urban redevelopment, being transformed from a container...

. The Opera was opened in 2008 and is a national landmark, designed by the Norwegian architectural firm, Snøhetta. 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
Opera house
An opera house is a theatre building used for opera performances that consists of a stage, an orchestra pit, audience seating, and backstage facilities for costumes and set building...

 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

Most great Norwegian authors have lived in Oslo for some period in their life. For example Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

 author Sigrid Undset
Sigrid Undset
Sigrid Undset was a Norwegian novelist who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1928.-Biography:Undset was born in Kalundborg, Denmark, but her family moved to Norway when she was two years old. In 1924, she converted to Catholicism and became a lay Dominican...

 grew up Oslo, and has described her life here in the autobiographical novel Elleve år (1934; translated as The longest years; New York 1971).

Playwright Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen
Henrik Ibsen was a major 19th-century Norwegian playwright, theatre director, and poet. He is often referred to as "the father of prose drama" and is one of the founders of Modernism in the theatre...

 is probably the most famous Norwegian author. Ibsen wrote plays such as Peer Gynt
Peer Gynt
Peer Gynt is a five-act play in verse by the Norwegian dramatist Henrik Ibsen, loosely based on the fairy tale Per Gynt. It is the most widely performed Norwegian play. According to Klaus Van Den Berg, the "cinematic script blends poetry with social satire and realistic scenes with surreal ones"...

, A Doll's House
A Doll's House
A Doll's House is a three-act play in prose by the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. It premièred at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen, Denmark, on 21 December 1879, having been published earlier that month....

 and The Lady from the Sea
The Lady from the Sea
The Lady from the Sea is a play written in 1888 by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen.Kvinnan från havet is a ballet by choreographer Birgit Cullberg, and based on Ibsen's play...

. The Ibsen Quotes
Ibsen quotes, Oslo
The Ibsen quotes is a permanent work of art in Oslo, Norway, officially known as Ibsen Sitat. Famous quotes from Henrik Ibsen are incorporated into the sidewalks of prominent city streets.-History:...

 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
Lars Saabye Christensen
Lars Saabye Christensen, born 21 September 1953 in Oslo, is a Norwegian author.Saabye Christensen was raised in the Skillebekk neighbourhood of Oslo, but lived for many years in Sortland in northern Norway; both places play a major role in his work...

, Tove Nilsen
Tove Nilsen
Tove Nilsen is a Norwegian novelist, children's writer and literary critic.She made her literary debut in 1974 with the novel Aldri la dem kle deg forsvarsløst naken. Her adolescence novel from a dormitory town, Skyskraperengler was a bestseller.She was awarded the Riksmål Society Literature...

 and Roy Jacobsen
Roy Jacobsen
Roy Jacobsen is a Norwegian novelist and short-story writer. Born in Oslo, he made his publishing début in 1982 with the short-story collection Fangeliv , which won Tarjei Vesaas' debutantpris...

 have described the city and its people in their novels. Early 20th century literature from Oslo include poets Rudolf Nilsen
Rudolf Nilsen
Rudolf William Nilsen was a Norwegian poet and journalist.He was born in Kristiania on 28 February 1901. A child of the working class, Nilsen became part of the left-wing revolutionary movement and joined the organisation Norges Socialdemokratiske Ungdomsforbund .In 1921, he stood trial for...

 and André Bjerke
André Bjerke
Jarl André Bjerke was a Norwegian writer and poet. His debut was in 1940 with a collection of poems, Syngende Jord . He has written a wide range of material: poems , mystery novels , essays, and articles...

.

Media

The newspapers Aftenposten
Aftenposten
Aftenposten is Norway's largest newspaper. It retook this position in 2010, taking it from the tabloid Verdens Gang which had been the largest newspaper for several decades. It is based in Oslo. The morning edition, which is distributed across all of Norway, had a circulation of 250,179 in 2007...

, Dagbladet
Dagbladet
Dagbladet is Norway's second largest tabloid newspaper, and the third largest newspaper overall with a circulation of 105,255 copies in 2009, 18,128 papers less than in 2008. The editor in chief is Lars Helle....

, Verdens Gang
Verdens Gang
Verdens Gang , generally known under the abbreviation VG, is a Norwegian tabloid newspaper...

, Dagens Næringsliv
Dagens Næringsliv
Dagens Næringsliv, commonly known as DN, is a Norwegian tabloid specializing in business reporting with a claimed daily circulation of 82,775 copies in 2008, making it the 8th largest newspaper in Norway. The editor in chief is Amund Djuve. Its name is Norwegian for "Today's Business".Originally...

, Finansavisen
Finansavisen
Finansavisen is a Norwegian business newspaper with six weekly issues and published in Oslo by Hegnar Media. It had a circulation of 23,274 in 2006. It was established in 1992 by Trygve Hegnar, who is also Editor-in-Chief....

, Dagsavisen
Dagsavisen
Dagsavisen is a daily newspaper published in Oslo, Norway. The former party organ of the Norwegian Labour Party, the ties loosened over time from 1975 to 1999, and it is now fully independent...

, Morgenbladet
Morgenbladet
Morgenbladet is a Norwegian weekly newspaper. It was founded in 1819 by the book printer Niels Wulfsberg, and was the country's first daily newspaper. For a long time, it was also the country's biggest newspaper. It was closed down by the German Wehrmacht during World War II...

, Vårt Land
Vårt Land (Norwegian newspaper)
Vårt Land is a daily newspaper published in Oslo. It has a nationwide target audience. Its average daily circulation in 2007 was 27.146, it was Norway's 23rd largest newspaper...

, Nationen
Nationen
Nationen is a Norwegian daily newspaper, founded in 1918. It has a circulation of approximately 14,000 and primarily targets farmers and the agriarian sector, with focus on district politics, farming, commentaries and features. It is based in Oslo, with offices in Trondheim and Fagernes, and edited...

 and Klassekampen
Klassekampen
Klassekampen is a Norwegian daily newspaper, which styles itself as "the daily left-wing newspaper".Klassekampen was founded in 1969 with a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist platform. Until recently, it was owned by The Workers' Communist Party...

 are published in Oslo. The main office of the national broadcasting company NRK is located at Marienlyst
Marienlyst
Marienlyst is an area in the borough of St. Hanshaugen in Oslo. It is best known as the site of the national headquarters of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation , and "Marienlyst" is often used synonymously with NRK....

 in Oslo, near Majorstuen
Majorstuen
Majorstuen is a neighbourhood in the Frogner borough in the western part of Oslo, Norway.Majorstuen is known for its vibrant downtown, especially its shopping area. The area has several elegant townhouses circa 1880-1890. The area is also an important public transport junction in Oslo, where all...

. TVNorge
TVNorge
TVNorge is a Norwegian television channel.TVNorge went on the air December 5, 1988 and was the first advertising-supported Norwegian channel. The channel was started with 50 000 NOK...

 (TVNorway) is also located in Oslo, while TV 2
TV 2 (Norway)
TV 2 is the largest commercial television station in Norway. Over 30% of the time Norwegians spend watching TV is spent watching TV 2. The station has 65% of the market for TV commercials in Norway....

 (based in Bergen
Bergen
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway with a population of as of , . Bergen is the administrative centre of Hordaland county. Greater Bergen or Bergen Metropolitan Area as defined by Statistics Norway, has a population of as of , ....

) and TV3
TV3 (Viasat)
TV3 is the brand name used by Viasat's flagship channels in Scandinavia, the Baltic States, and Slovenia. Viasat is part of the Swedish media company Modern Times Group...

 (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

Holmenkollen National Arena and Holmenkollbakken is the country's main biathlon
Biathlon
Biathlon is a term used to describe any sporting event made up of two disciplines. However, biathlon usually refers specifically to the winter sport that combines cross-country skiing and rifle shooting...

 and Nordic skiing
Nordic skiing
Nordic skiing is a winter sport that encompasses all types of skiing where the heel of the boot cannot be fixed to the ski, as opposed to Alpine skiing....

 venue. It hosts annual world cup tournaments, including the Holmenkollen Ski Festival
Holmenkollen ski festival
The Holmenkollen Ski Festival is a traditional annual Nordic skiing event in Holmenkollen, Oslo, Norway. The full official name of the event is Holmenkollen FIS World Cup Nordic. It takes place in March and has been arranged every year since 1892, except for 1898 and during World War II...

. It has hosted Biathlon World Championships
Biathlon World Championships
The first Biathlon World Championships was held in 1958, with individual and team contests for men. The number of events has grown significantly over the years. Beginning in 1984, women biathletes had their own World Championships, and finally, from 1989, both genders have been participating in...

 in 1986
Biathlon World Championships 1986
The 22nd Biathlon World Championships for men were held in 1986 in Oslo, Norway. The 3rd women's world championships were held in Falun, Sweden.-10 km sprint:Peter Angerer, West Germany, was stripped of silver due to use of a forbidden substance....

, 1990
Biathlon World Championships 1990
The 25th Biathlon World Championships were held in 1990 for the third time in Minsk, Belarus, at that time part of the Soviet Union, in Oslo, Norway and in Kontiolahti, Finland. Due to unconducive weather conditions during the season it was only possible to hold the individual competitions in Minsk...

, 1999
Biathlon World Championships 1999
The 34th Biathlon World Championships were held in 1999 in Kontiolahti, Finland. Due to the cold, the individual and the mass start events were moved to Oslo, Norway...

 and 2002
Biathlon World Championships 2002
The 37th Biathlon World Championships held in 2002 for the third time in Oslo, Norway were only for the mass start because these events were not part of the Olympic programme in Salt Lake City.-15 km mass start:-12.5 km mass start:-Medal table:...

. FIS Nordic World Ski Championships
FIS Nordic World Ski Championships
The FIS Nordic World Ski Championships have been held in various numbers and types of events since 1925 for men and since 1954 for women. Championship events include nordic skiing's three disciplines: cross-country skiing, ski jumping, and nordic combined...

 have been hosted in 1930, 1966, 1982 and 2011, as well as the 1952 Winter Olympics
1952 Winter Olympics
The 1952 Winter Olympics, officially known as the VI Olympic Winter Games, took place in Oslo, Norway, from 14 to 25 February 1952. Discussions about Oslo hosting the Winter Olympic Games began as early as 1935; the city wanted to host the 1948 Games, but World War II made that impossible...

.

Ullevål Stadion is the home arena for the Tippeligaen
Tippeligaen
Tippeligaen is a Norwegian professional league for association football clubs. At the top of the Norwegian football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. The league is also unofficially known under its neutral name Eliteserien , although the name has never been official...

 football side Vålerenga Fotball, the Norwegian national football team and the Football Cup Final
Norwegian football cup
The Norwegian Football Cup is the main knockout cup competition in Norwegian football. It is run by the Football Association of Norway and has been contested since 1902, making it the oldest football tournament in the country. The tournament is commonly known as Cupen or NM, an acronym formed...

. The stadium has previously hosted the finals of the UEFA Women's Championship
UEFA Women's Championship
The UEFA European Women's Championship, also called the UEFA Women's Euro and unofficially the "European Cup", held every fourth year, is the main competition in women's association football between national teams of the UEFA Confederation...

 in 1987
1987 European Competition for Women's Football
The 1987 European Competition for Women's Football took place in Norway. It was won by the hosts in a final against defending champions Sweden. Once again, the competition began with four qualifying groups, but this time a host nation was selected for the semi-final stage onwards after the four...

 and 1997, and the 2002 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship
2002 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship
The 2002 UEFA Under-19 Championship was held in Norway between 21 July and 28 July 2002. The top three finishers in each group qualified for the 2003 FIFA World Youth Championship. Players born on or after 1 January 1983 were eligible to participate in this competition.It was the first tournament...

. Røa IL
Røa IL
Røa IL is a Norwegian sports club from Røa in the borough of Vestre Aker, Oslo. It was founded on 11 November 1900, and has sections for football, gymnastics, bandy and cross-country skiing. Football, bandy and nordic skiing has been dominant in Røa. In bandy, the team has twice made it to the...

 is Oslo's only team in the women's league, Toppserien. Each year, the international youth football tournament Norway Cup
Norway Cup
Norway Cup is an international youth football tournament held annually in Oslo, Norway since 1972.The world's largest arenaNorway Cup has in modern times developed into the world's biggest football tournament with 1400 - 1600 participating teams every year...

 is held on Ekebergsletta
Ekebergsletta
Ekebergsletta is a field in Ekeberg, Oslo, Norway.For most people, Ekebergsletta is known as the place where the Norway Cup started in 1972 and which is still one of many places around Oslo where the game is held....

 and other places in the city.

Bislett Stadion
Bislett stadion
Bislett Stadion is a sports stadium in Oslo, Norway. Bislett is Norway's most well known sports arena internationally, with 15 speed skating world records and more than 50 track and field world records having been set here...

 is the city's main track and field venue, and hosts the annual Bislett Games
Bislett Games
The Bislett Games is an annual track and field event at the Bislett Stadion in Oslo, Norway. Previously one of the IAAF Golden League events, it is now part of the IAAF Diamond League. It is sponsored by ExxonMobil and officially known as the ExxonMobil Bislett Games.-History:The first...

, part of IAAF Diamond League
IAAF Diamond League
The Samsung Diamond League is an annual series of track and field meetings held from 2010 onwards, beginning with the 2010 IAAF Diamond League...

. Bjerke Travbane is the main venue for harness racing
Harness racing
Harness racing is a form of horse racing in which the horses race at a specific gait . They usually pull a two-wheeled cart called a sulky, although racing under saddle is also conducted in Europe.-Breeds:...

 in the country. Oslo Spektrum
Oslo Spektrum
Oslo Spektrum is an indoor multi-purpose arena in east central Oslo, Norway. It opened in December 1990. It is currently owned and operated by Norges Varemesse , who also own and operate the Norges Varemesse conference center in Lillestrøm which is Norway's largest conference center...

 is used for large ice hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

 and handball
Team handball
Handball is a team sport in which two teams of seven players each pass a ball to throw it into the goal of the other team...

 matches. Bækkelagets SK
Bækkelagets SK
Bækkelagets Sportsklub is a Norwegian sports club from Bekkelaget in southern Oslo, founded in 1909. The club has sections for skiing , orienteering, handball, football, floorball and track and field athletics...

 and Nordstrand IF
Nordstrand IF
Nordstrand Idrettsforening is a sports club in Oslo, Norway. It was founded in 1919 as a merge between Skiklubben Freidig and Sportsklubben Grane. Among the club's activities are orienteering, skiing and handball. In handball the club has won the National championships several times, both the...

 plays in the women's Postenligaen
Postenligaen
-2010–11 season teams:*BSK/NIF*Drammen HK*Elverum*Follo*Fyllingen*Haslum HK*Oppsal IF*Runar*Stord*Viking HK*Vålerenga*ØIF Arendal- External links:*...

 in handball, while Vålerenga Håndball plays in the men's league. Jordal Amfi
Jordal Amfi
Jordal Amfi is an indoor sporting arena located in Oslo, Norway. The capacity of the arena is 4,450 and was opened in 1952. It is the home arena of the Vålerenga ice hockey team.-History:Jordal Amfi is one of Norway's most legendary sporting arenas...

, the home of the ice hockey team Vålerenga Ishockey
Vålerenga Ishockey
Vålerenga Ishockey is an Oslo-based ice hockey club, and a part of the Vålerenga IF multi-sports club. Their home arena is Jordal Amfi, located in eastern Oslo. Jordal Amfi was built for the 1952 Winter Olympics. The mother club was founded in 1913, but the did not take up ice hockey until the late...

, and Manglerudhallen
Manglerudhallen
Manglerudhallen is an indoor ice hockey arena located in Manglerud, Oslo, Norway. The capacity of the arena is 2,000 and it was opened in 1979. It is the home arena of the Manglerud Star ice hockey team....

 is the home of Manglerud Star
Manglerud Star Ishockey
Manglerud Star Ishockey is a Norwegian ice hockey team from Manglerud.The club has delivered more players to professional hockey leagues around the world than any other hockey team in Norway...

, both of whom play in GET-ligaen
GET-ligaen
GET-ligaen is the premier Norwegian ice hockey league, organised by the Norwegian Ice Hockey Federation. The league was known as 1. divisjon until 1990, when it was reorganized and named Eliteserien . That name was held until 2004 when cable TV company UPC became main sponsor...

. The 1999 IIHF World Championship
1999 IIHF World Championship
The 1999 Men's Ice Hockey World Championships were held in Oslo, Hamar and Lillehammer in Norway from May 1 to May 16.-Venues:- Qualifying Round :...

 in ice hockey were held in Oslo, as have three Bandy World Championships
Bandy World Championships
The Bandy World Championships are a competition between bandy-playing nations. The tournament is administrated by the Federation of International Bandy....

, in 1961
Bandy World Championship 1961
The Bandy World Championship 1961 was contested between 4 men's Bandy playing nations. The championship was played in Norway from 22 February-26 February 1961. The Soviet Union became champions.-Premier tour:* 22 February...

, 1977
Bandy World Championship 1977
The Bandy World Championship 1977 was contested between 4 men's Bandy playing nations. The championship was played in the Soviet Union from 23–30 January 1977. The Soviet Union became champions.-Premier tour:* 23 January...

 and 1985
Bandy World Championship 1985
The Bandy World Championship 1985 was contested between as many as 5 men's Bandy playing nations, more than ever before, as the United States entered the championship for the first time. The championship was played in Norway from 3 February-10 February 1985...

. The UCI Road World Championships
UCI Road World Championships
The UCI Road World Championships are the annual world championships for bicycle road racing organized by the Union Cycliste Internationale...

 in bicycle road racing were hosted 1993
1993 UCI Road World Championships
- Events summary :...

.

Crime

Oslo Police District is Norway's largest police district with over 2300 employees. Over 1700 of those are policemen, nearly 140 police lawyers and 500 civil employees.
Oslo Police District has five police stations located around the city. Kripos
Kripos
Den nasjonale enhet for bekjempelse av organisert og annen alvorlig kriminalitet is a Norwegian special police division under the Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police....

 is located in Oslo, which is a Norwegian special police division under the NMJP
Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police
The Royal Norwegian Ministry of Justice and the Police is a Norwegian government ministry in charge of justice, police and domestic intelligence. The main purpose of the Ministry is to provide for the maintenance and development of the basic guarantees of the rule of law...

.

PST
Politiets sikkerhetstjeneste
The Norwegian Police Security Service is the police security agency of Norway, somewhat comparable to the British MI5. The agency was previously known as POT , the name change was dictated by the Parliament of Norway on 2 June 2001.The service was established in 1936 or 1937...

 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. At least two known underground NATO facilities are located in The Oslo District, one underground in Kolsås
Kolsås
Kolsås is a wooded mountain ridge in the municipality of Bærum, Norway. Geologically, Kolsås belongs to the Oslo Graben area. Its two peaks consist of hard rhomb porphyric lava covering softer rocks, forming steep cliffs to the east, south and west....

 near NSM
Nasjonal Sikkerhetsmyndighet
The National Security Authority is a Norwegian security agency established on 1 January 2003 as the successor to Forsvarets sikkerhetsstab...

 which is one of Norway's major national security authorities.

On 22 July 2011, Oslo was the site of one of two terrorist attacks
2011 Norway attacks
The 2011 Norway attacks were two sequential terrorist attacks against the government, the civilian population and a summer camp in Norway on 22 July 2011....

: a bombing of Oslo government offices, and a shooting at a youth camp in Utøya
Utøya
Utøya is a small island in the Tyrifjorden lake in Hole municipality, in the county of Buskerud, Norway. The island is , situated off the shore, by the E16 road, driving distance north-west of Oslo city centre.-Overview:...

.

Transportation

Oslo has Norway's most extensive public transport system, managed by Ruter
Ruter
Ruter As is the public transport authority for Oslo and Akershus, Norway. The company, organized as a limited company is responsible for managing, but not operating, public transport in the two counties, including bus, the Oslo Metro, the Oslo Tramway and ferries...

. 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
Oslo Commuter Rail
Oslo Commuter Rail is a commuter rail centered in Oslo, Norway, connecting the capital to six counties in Eastern Norway. The system is operated by the Norwegian State Railways and its subsidiary NSB Gjøvikbanen, using Class 69 and Class 72 electric multiple units . The network spans eight routes...

. 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 which operate to Bærum, and the Ring Line which loops to areas north of the centre.

Oslo Central Station acts as the central hub, and offers train services to most major cities in southern Norway as well as Stockholm
Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

 and Gothenburg
Gothenburg
Gothenburg is the second-largest city in Sweden and the fifth-largest in the Nordic countries. Situated on the west coast of Sweden, the city proper has a population of 519,399, with 549,839 in the urban area and total of 937,015 inhabitants in the metropolitan area...

 in Sweden. The Airport Express Train
Flytoget
is a Norwegian high-speed airport rail link connecting Oslo Airport, Gardermoen to Oslo Central Station in nineteen minutes. Run by Flytoget AS , it operates on the high-speed Gardermoen Line using sixteen GMB Class 71 electric trains. Normal service frequency is once every ten minutes, with half...

 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
Nesodden
Nesodden is a municipality in Akershus county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Follo. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Nesoddtangen. The parish of Næsodden was established as a municipality on 1 January 1838...

 are connected by ferry. Daily cruiseferry
Cruiseferry
A cruiseferry is a ship that combines the features of a cruise ship with a Ro-Pax ferry. Many passengers travel with the ships for the cruise experience, staying only a few hours at the destination port or not leaving the ship at all, while others use the ships as means of...

 services operate to Copenhagen
Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

 and Frederikshavn
Frederikshavn
This article is about a Danish town. For the German town, see Friedrichshafen, and for the Finnish town, see Fredrikshamn .Frederikshavn is a Danish town in Frederikshavn municipality, Region Nordjylland on the northeast coast of the Jutland peninsula in northern Denmark. Its name translates to...

 in Denmark, and to Kiel
Kiel
Kiel is the capital and most populous city in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, with a population of 238,049 .Kiel is approximately north of Hamburg. Due to its geographic location in the north of Germany, the southeast of the Jutland peninsula, and the southwestern shore of the...

 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
Toll road
A toll road is a privately or publicly built road for which a driver pays a toll for use. Structures for which tolls are charged include toll bridges and toll tunnels. Non-toll roads are financed using other sources of revenue, most typically fuel tax or general tax funds...

. The major motorways through Oslo are European Route E6
European route E6
European route E 6 is the designation for the main north-south road in Norway, and the west coast of Sweden, running from the southern tip of Sweden, at Trelleborg, into Norway and through almost all of the country north to Finnmark. The route ends close to the Norwegian border with Russia...

 and E18
European route E18
European route E18 runs from Craigavon in the United Kingdom to Saint Petersburg in Russia, passing through Norway, Sweden, and Finland. It is about 1,890 km in length.-United Kingdom:...

. There are three beltways, the innermost which are streets and the outermost, Ring 3
Ring 3 (Oslo)
Norwegian National Road 150, also known as Ring 3 and formerly Store Ringvei is a beltway limited-access road which circumnavigates Oslo, Norway. It runs from Ryen, through the Sinsen Interchange to Lysaker in Bærum.-History:...

 which is an expressway.

The main airport serving Oslo is Oslo Airport, Gardermoen
Oslo Airport, Gardermoen
Oslo Airport, Gardermoen is the principal airport serving Oslo, Norway. It acts as the main domestic hub and international airport for Norway, and the second-busiest airport in the Nordic countries. A hub for Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle, and a focus city for Widerøe, it is...

, located in Ullensaker
Ullensaker
Ullensaker is a municipality in Akershus county, Norway. It is part of the traditional region of Romerike. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Jessheim. It has a population of approximately 30,000 inhabitants...

, 47 kilometres (29.2 mi) from the city centre of Oslo. It acts as the main international gateway to Norway, and is the sixth-largest domestic airport in Europe. Gardermoen is a hub for Scandinavian Airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle
Norwegian Air Shuttle
Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA , trading as Norwegian, is the second-largest airline in Scandinavia. In 2010, it transported 13.0 million people. As of October 2011, Norwegian operates a total fleet of 62 aircraft; 17 Boeing 737-300s and 45 Boeing 737-800s...

 and Widerøe
Widerøe
Widerøe's Flyveselskap AS, trading as Widerøe, is a regional airline in Norway and part of the SAS Group. It operates a fleet of 34 Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft , serving 41 domestic and 6 international destinations...

. Oslo is also served by two secondary airports, which serve some low-cost carriers, such as Ryanair
Ryanair
Ryanair is an Irish low-cost airline. Its head office is at Dublin Airport and its primary operational bases at Dublin Airport and London Stansted Airport....

: Moss Airport, Rygge
Moss Airport, Rygge
Moss Airport, Rygge is an international airport serving Moss, Oslo and Eastern Norway, located in Rygge. It is both a regional airport for Østfold as well as an airport for low-cost airlines. The airport is located outside Moss and outside Oslo and is owned and operated by the private company...

 and Sandefjord Airport, Torp, the latter being 110 kilometres (68.4 mi) from the city.

Demographics


An estimated 28 % of Oslo's residents are of an immigrant or non-Norwegian background (about 170,000 inhabitants), predicted to increase to between 44% and 51% around 2030. In 2008, the immigrant population accounted for about 82% of the population growth
Population growth
Population growth is the change in a population over time, and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals of any species in a population using "per unit time" for measurement....

 of the city. From 1970 to 2007, the ethnic Norwegian population decreased by 10.1% while the immigrant population increased by 823.6%. Pakistanis make up 20,812 of the city's inhabitants, followed by Somalis
Somali people
Somalis are an ethnic group located in the Horn of Africa, also known as the Somali Peninsula. The overwhelming majority of Somalis speak the Somali language, which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family...

 (10,780), Swedes
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 (9,250), and Poles (8,854)—these being the four largest ethnic minority
Minority group
A minority is a sociological group within a demographic. The demographic could be based on many factors from ethnicity, gender, wealth, power, etc. The term extends to numerous situations, and civilizations within history, despite the misnomer of minorities associated with a numerical statistic...

 groups. Other large immigrant groups are people from Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

, Vietnam, Turkey
Turkey
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

, Morocco, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and Denmark.

By June 2009, more than 40% of Oslo schools had a majority of people of immigrant backgrounds, with some schools having up to a 97% immigrant share. Schools are also increasingly divided by ethnicity, with white flight
White flight
White flight has been a term that originated in the United States, starting in the mid-20th century, and applied to the large-scale migration of whites of various European ancestries from racially mixed urban regions to more racially homogeneous suburban or exurban regions. It was first seen as...

 being widespread. In the borough Groruddalen
Grorud Valley
The Grorud Valley is a broad valley in eastern Oslo. Four of Oslo's boroughs, Bjerke in the west, Alna in the south, Grorud in the north, and Stovner in the east, lie within the valley....

 in 2008 for instance, the ethnic Norwegian population decreased by 1,500, while the immigrant population increased by 1,600. From 2000–2007, 7,250 ethnic Norwegians moved out of the city, while 32,700 persons of immigrant background, mostly non-western, moved in.

The population of Oslo is currently increasing at a record rate of nearly 2% annually (17% over the last 15 years), making it the fastest-growing Scandinavian capital. The increase is due, in almost equal degree, to high birth-rates and immigration, though both is largely due to immigration, seeing that the ethnic Norwegian population is actually decreasing. In particular, immigration from Poland and the Baltic states
Baltic states
The term Baltic states refers to the Baltic territories which gained independence from the Russian Empire in the wake of World War I: primarily the contiguous trio of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania ; Finland also fell within the scope of the term after initially gaining independence in the 1920s.The...

 has increased sharply since the accession of these countries to the EU in 2004.

Oslo is a city with various religious communities. The city has a low percentage of Christians in contrast to other parts of the country. As of 2009, 11% of the population of Oslo are Muslim, but just 3.59% are registered Muslims.

Number of minorities (1st and 2nd generation) in Oslo by country of origin per 1. January 2011.
Rank Ancestry Number
1  Pakistan 21,629
2  Somalia 12,248
3  Sweden 12,088
4  Poland 10,430
5  Sri Lanka 7,238
6  Iraq 7,100
7  Turkey 6,130
8  Morocco 5,993
9  Vietnam 5,694
10  Iran 5,521
11  Philippines 4,642
12  India 3,823
13  Denmark 3,377
14  Germany 3,263
15  Afghanistan 2,741
16  Bosnia and Herzegovina 2,736
17  People's Republic of China 2,557
18  United Kingdom 2,535
19  Russia 2,502
20  Republic of Kosovo 2,347

Notable residents

International relations

  • Oslo is a pilot city of the Council of Europe
    Council of Europe
    The Council of Europe is an international organisation promoting co-operation between all countries of Europe in the areas of legal standards, human rights, democratic development, the rule of law and cultural co-operation...

     and the European Commission
    European Commission
    The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union's treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union....

     Intercultural cities
    Intercultural cities
    The Intercultural City programme is a joint project of the Council of Europe and the European Commission. It aims at stimulating new ideas and practice in relation to the integration of migrants and minorities....

     programme.

Twin towns – partner cities – and regions

Oslo is twinned or has cooperation agreements with the following cities/regions:
Alfaz del Pi, Spain Gothenburg
Gothenburg
Gothenburg is the second-largest city in Sweden and the fifth-largest in the Nordic countries. Situated on the west coast of Sweden, the city proper has a population of 519,399, with 549,839 in the urban area and total of 937,015 inhabitants in the metropolitan area...

, Sweden London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, United Kingdom Gujrat
Gujrat
Gujrat is a city in Pakistan. It is the capital of Gujrat District and the Gujrat Tehsil subdivision in the Punjab Province. People living in Gujrat refer to themselves as Gujratis, which sometimes leads to confusion with people from the Indian state of Gujarat which adjoins Pakistan...

, Pakistan Mazarrón
Mazarrón
Mazarrón is a municipality in the autonomous community and province of Murcia, southeastern Spain. The municipality has an area of , and a population of more than 34,351 inhabitants...

, Spain Mbombela, South Africa St. Petersburg, Russia Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein
Schleswig-Holstein is the northernmost of the sixteen states of Germany, comprising most of the historical duchy of Holstein and the southern part of the former Duchy of Schleswig...

, Germany Shanghai, China Vilnius
Vilnius
Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, and its largest city, with a population of 560,190 as of 2010. It is the seat of the Vilnius city municipality and of the Vilnius district municipality. It is also the capital of Vilnius County...

, Lithuania Warsaw
Warsaw
Warsaw is the capital and largest city of Poland. It is located on the Vistula River, roughly from the Baltic Sea and from the Carpathian Mountains. Its population in 2010 was estimated at 1,716,855 residents with a greater metropolitan area of 2,631,902 residents, making Warsaw the 10th most...

, Poland

Christmas trees as gifts

Oslo has a tradition of sending a Christmas tree
Christmas tree
The Christmas tree is a decorated evergreen coniferous tree, real or artificial, and a tradition associated with the celebration of Christmas. The tradition of decorating an evergreen tree at Christmas started in Livonia and Germany in the 16th century...

 every year to the cities of Washington, D.C., New York, London, Rotterdam
Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

, Antwerp, and Reykjavík
Reykjavík
Reykjavík is the capital and largest city in Iceland.Its latitude at 64°08' N makes it the world's northernmost capital of a sovereign state. It is located in southwestern Iceland, on the southern shore of Faxaflói Bay...

. Since 1947, Oslo has sent a 65–80-foot (20–25 m) high, 50 to 100 year-old spruce
Norway Spruce
Norway Spruce is a species of spruce native to Europe. It is also commonly referred to as the European Spruce.- Description :...

, as an expression of gratitude toward Britain for its support of Norway during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

See also

  • East End and West End of Oslo
    East End and West End of Oslo
    The East End and West End are used as names for the two parts of Oslo, Norway, formed by the economic and social separation line that has historically passed along the street Uelands gate...

  • List of books about Oslo
  • Oslo Accords
    Oslo Accords
    The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles , was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict...

  • Parks and open spaces in Oslo
    Parks and open spaces in Oslo
    Parks and open spaces are an integral part of the landscape of Oslo, the capital and largest city of Norway. The various parks and open spaces are interconnected by paths so that the city's inhabitants can walk between them....

  • Timeline of transport in Oslo
    Timeline of transport in Oslo
    Timeline of transport in Oslo covers key incidents within transport in Oslo, the capital of Norway.The first railway opened in 1854, in 1875 the first horsecar tramway and in 1966 the rapid transit....


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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