About Oslo & Oslo fjord

Oslo - Norway's capital - is centrally located in the heart of Scandinavia , bounded by the fjord and forested hills. Arriving Oslo by plane or ship is a beautiful scenic experience, with all the small charming islands in the Oslofjord.

In the 8th century, a settlement was built right at the top of the Oslo Fjord. This little Norwegian village grew rapidly during Viking times: agriculture, trade and shipbuilding were important commercial activities, and Oslo has truly earned its title of "Viking Capital".

Oslo was founded long after the town had been developed by the Vikings. According to the Viking sagas, the city of Oslo was founded by King Harald Hardråde in approximately year 1050 AD. More recent archeological findings, however, prove that the city was founded as far back as in 1000 AD.

The founding of the city took place in the turbulent period between the Viking Age and Norway's Catholic Middle Ages.

Many remnants and ruins from Ancient Oslo can be found in the Memorial Park. The city had a fascinating, interesting and dramatic history. Oslo´s population was substantially reduced during the time of the Black Death in 1348 which claimed over 50% of the inhabitants. This epidemic also had political consequences for Norway, which became reduced to a province of Denmark. During this period Copenhagen was the actual capital of Norway.

Oslo was also greatly affected by the Lutheran-Protestant Reformation of 1537, with religious conflicts, political separation from the Catholic Church and the foundation of a Protestant National Church. Many ruins of churches and monasteries (for example Cistersienserklosteret - the Cistercian Abbey - at Hovedøya) bear witness to this process.

Attractions, sights, and geography

Oslo, the capital of Norway, sits on the country’s southern coast at the head of the Oslofjord. It’s known for its green spaces and museums. Many of these are on the Bygdøy Peninsula, including the waterside Norwegian Maritime Museum and the Viking Ship Museum, with Viking ships from the 9th century. The Holmenkollbakken is a ski-jumping hill with panoramic views of the fjord. It also has a ski museum.

Oslo is also home to 2 adjacent museums housing the 19th-century polar exploration ship Fram and the Kon-Tiki, the log raft on which Thor Heyerdahl crossed the Pacific in 1947. The Norsk Folkemuseum has open-air exhibits of daily life and architecture from the 16th century onwards. Restaurants, galleries and shops line the harborfront Aker Brygge district. The contemporary iceberg-like Oslo Opera House is home to national opera and ballet companies. The Vigelandsparken is an outdoor sculpture park with 20th-century works by Gustav Vigeland, while the Munch Museum’s works by the famed Norwegian painter include “The Scream.”