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coat of arms map
Coat of arms of the Oslo municipality
Oslo (Norway)
Basic data
Commune number : 0301
Province  (fylke) : Oslo
Administrative headquarters: Oslo
Coordinates : 59 ° 55 '  N , 10 ° 45'  E Coordinates: 59 ° 55 '  N , 10 ° 45'  E
Height : 1 moh.
Surface: 454.12 km²
Residents: 697.010  (Jan. 1, 2021)
Population density : 1,535 inhabitants per km²
Language form : Bokmål
Postal code : 0010-1295
Structure: 15 districts
Web presence:
Mayoress: Marianne Borgen  ( SV ) (October 21, 2015)
Oslo surrounded by the province of Viken
Oslo surrounded by the province of Viken

Audio file / audio sample Oslo ? / i (German: [ ˈʔɔslo ],Norwegian: [ ˈʊʂlʊ ], [ ˈʊʃlʊ ] or [ ˈʊslʊ ]) is thecapital oftheKingdom of Norway. In the past it was also calledChristiania(1624 to 1924) orKristiania(alternative spelling from 1877/1897 to 1924).

The municipality of Oslo has 697,010 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2021). It forms an independent province ( Fylke ) and is also the administrative seat for the neighboring province of Viken .

With 1,019,513 inhabitants, Oslo is by far the largest metropolitan area in the country. More than 1.5 million people live in the Greater Oslo region, almost a third of Norway's total population of around 5.3 million.

Place name

Oslo's harbor with town hall
View from Akershus Fortress to the Rådhusbrygga quay
Oslo, from the direction of Ekeberg (2005)
Christiania Torv , a sculpture by Wenche Gulbransen in the square

Both o are - as in most words - pronounced in Norwegian like German u , ie [ ˈʊʃlʊ ] or [ ˈʊslʊ ]. The most common explanation derives the name Oslo from the river Alnaelva , which was called Lo (en) in earlier times . Norwegian os is the estuary. Compared to the numerous other estuaries such as Nidaros and Namsos , however, the word components river name and estuary are interchanged, which means that two identical vowels are avoided.

After a major fire in 1624, the city was relocated about a kilometer northwest under the Danish King Christian IV and renamed Christiania . In 1877, under the Swedish-Norwegian King Oskar II, the official spelling in the registry and in the state calendar in Kristiania was changed , while the city administration kept the original spelling until 1897. It was not until 1924, twenty years after Norway had achieved its independence, that it was decided to give the city the original name of Oslo on January 1, 1925, after around 300 years . The monumental Oslo City Hall , the construction of which took 35 years from 1915 (first architectural competition ) to 1950, can be seen as a symbol of the newly won independence.

Oslo was also called Tigerstaden (Tiger City) after a poem by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson ("Sidste Sang", 1870) , as he sees it as a dangerous and ruthless city. In front of the town hall and the train station, tiger sculptures are reminiscent of this name, which has since lost its negative sound. Also Knut Hamsun , the city in hunger (novel) 1890, Norwegian and Danish "Sult", according to his feelings very negative picture.


Christiania, view from Ekeberg (1814)
Panorama around 1895
Fjord à Christiania , painting by Claude Monet (1895).

Prehistoric traces can be found in the rock carvings on the Ekeberg .

In Heimskringla , a story of the kings of Norway , the Icelandic scholar Snorri Sturluson claims that Oslo was founded by King Harald III in 1048 . was founded. Recent excavations have uncovered Christian graves from around 1000. For this reason, the city celebrated its millennium in 2000, while in 1950 it was only its 900th birthday.

The medieval city had two castles, the royal court and the bishop's castle. Within the city walls there were nine churches, including St. Clement's and Hallvard's Cathedral , a hospital, and around 400 townhouses owned by merchants and craftsmen. The houses were made of wood.

King Håkon V made Oslo the capital of Norway in 1299, initiated the construction of Akershus fortress and took care of a number of other building activities such as the construction of St. Mary's Church . In the late Middle Ages , Oslo developed into an important merchant and residential city. The population doubled to 3,500.

In 1308 Oslo was sacked and burned down by Duke Erik av Södermanland . The still unfinished Akershus fortress, however, survived the siege.

The city was repeatedly ravaged by city fires, but always rebuilt. After the Reformation, the monastery and most of the numerous churches fell into disrepair. After the fires, these buildings were demolished and the stones were used for other construction purposes. During the Swedish siege in 1537, the city burned again.

After the great fire of 1624, however, the city was not rebuilt, but rather moved closer to Akershus Fortress on the orders of the Danish King Christian IV - Norway was a province of Denmark at the time.

The newly built city was built according to the ideal of the Renaissance with rectangular quarters and wide streets and received a fortress with bastions. The houses were now built in stone or out of masonry half-timbering to prevent the spread of fires. At the same time the city was named Christiania , after which King Christian IV.

Old Oslo was now outside the city walls of Christiania. Despite a royal ban, it was repopulated, mainly by the poor and landless who could not afford the expensive life in modern Christiania.

The Johannes Kirke was built in 1875 and demolished in 1928.

In the city center, prices are unusually high for Europe. In corresponding rankings, based on standardized shopping carts, the city regularly takes top positions. According to The Economist , Oslo replaced Tokyo as the world's most expensive city in 2006 . Until then, the Japanese capital had been number one for 14 years.

The University of Oslo , with about 30,000 students, the largest in the country and was in 1811, modeled on the Berlin Friedrich-Wilhelms University founded. In 1952 the Olympic Winter Games took place in Oslo, including at Holmenkollen .

At the beginning of the 1990s, the first secret negotiations between the parties to the dispute, PLO and Israel , took place in Oslo with Norwegian mediation.

Photo of a crowd behind laid down wreaths of flowers and candles
In memory of the victims of the July 22nd 2011 attacks

On July 22, 2011, the assassin Anders Behring Breivik killed eight people in a bomb attack in the government district in Oslo . The assassin then shot another 69 people on the island of Utøya .



View from Holmenkollen south towards Nesodden
View of the Oslofjord

Oslo is located in the inner fjord area and is surrounded by forest and fjord. The Akerselva rises from the Maridalsvannet , flows through the city from north to south and flows into the Oslofjord , where the Alnaelva also flows. In the south lies the Østensjøvannet lake .


Due to its location on the Oslofjord, Oslo has a strongly maritime, humid continental climate ( Köppen : Dfb ), which is characterized by mild winters and a rainy late summer postponed to the second half of the year. Summers are pleasant and sunny. In the higher peripheral areas it is often significantly cooler than in the city center. The temperature differences can often be more than 10 ° C, especially in March / April when there is still a solid snow cover in the forests on the outskirts of the city.

Climate diagram
J F. M. A. M. J J A. S. O N D.
Temperature in ° Cprecipitation in mm
Source: wetterkontor.de
Average monthly temperatures and rainfall for Oslo
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max. Temperature ( ° C ) −2.0 −0.7 3.7 9.5 16.1 20.0 22.3 20.8 15.6 9.2 3.4 0.2 O 9.9
Min. Temperature (° C) −7.4 −7.2 −4.3 0.7 5.7 10.0 12.8 11.8 7.7 2.9 −1.0 −4.4 O 2.3
Precipitation ( mm ) 49 36 46 42 52 65 84 90 90 84 75 56 Σ 769
Hours of sunshine ( h / d ) 1.3 2.7 4.1 5.9 7.1 8.3 7.9 7.0 4.8 2.8 1.7 1.1 O 4.6
Rainy days ( d ) 10 7th 9 7th 8th 10 11 10 11 11 10 9 Σ 113
Water temperature (° C) 3 2 3 5 9 13th 16 17th 15th 11 7th 5 O 8.9
Humidity ( % ) 84 80 73 70 67 67 71 77 81 84 86 86 O 77.2
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Source: wetterkontor.de


Number of inhabitants of Oslo per district
district 2010 2020
Old Oslo 42,569 58,671
Grünerløkka 45,647 62,423
Say 34,286 45,089
St. Hanshaugen 32,254 38,945
Frogner 50,396 59,269
Ullern 30,250 34,569
Vestre Aker 43,457 50.157
Nordre Aker 46.287 52,327
Bjerke 27,632 33,422
Grorud 26,074 27,707
Stovner 29,746 33,316
Alna 46,603 49,801
Østensjø 45,577 50,806
North beach 46,419 52,459
Søndre north beach 35,768 39,066
Sentrum (no own administration) 918 1,471
Marka (no own administration) 1,638 1,610
Not specified 1,339 2,386
total 586.860 693.494

About 30 percent of the 697,010 residents are foreigners. As of January 1, 2004, the districts were redistributed so that there are now 15 districts. Sentrum (city center) and Marka (forest and agriculturally used land) are not districts in a political sense, as they are administered centrally. On January 16, 2011, Oslo Municipality exceeded the population of 600,000.


Mandates in the Oslo city parliament
Political party 2003 2007 2011 2015 2019
Høyre 15th 16 22nd 19th 15th
Workers' part 15th 18th 20th 20th 12th
Miljøpartiet De Grønne 0 0 1 5 9
Sosialistisk Venstreparti 12th 6th 4th 3 6th
Rødt 2 3 2 3 * 4 *
Folkeaksjonen nei til mer bompenger 0 0 0 0 4th
Venstre 3 * 5 * 5 4th 4th
Fremskrittspartiet 10 9 4 * 4th 3
Senterpartiet 0 0 0 0 1
Kristelig Folkeparti 2 * 2 * 1 1 1
Others 0 0 0 0 0
total 59 59 59 59 59
town hall

The last local election took place on September 9, 2019. In the following overview, the city government parties are highlighted in gray, an asterisk marks permanent partners when the annual budget is adopted.

The Oslo city ​​council (bystyre) consists of 59 elected city councilors. She also fulfills the tasks of fylkesting . In 1986 the proportional representation system was replaced by the parliamentary majority principle: The political majority in the city assembly elects the mayor and the city government ( byråd or byregjering) , consisting of the chairman of the city government (byrådsleder) and eight other members (byråd) .

Traditionally, the center-right parties have predominated in the capital. Since 2015, however, a left majority made up of the Labor Party , the Greens and the Left Party has been in power under the leadership of the chairman of the city government, Raymond Johansen (Ap).


The office of mayor (ordfører) of Oslo / Christiania has existed since 1837.

  • 1945 Einar Gerhardsen (Ap)-0000
  • 1945 Rolf Stranger (H), 2nd term of office-0000
  • 1945–1947 Arnfinn Vik (Ap)
  • 1948–1950 Halvdan Eyvind Stokke (Ap)
  • 1951–1955 Brynjulf ​​Bull (Ap), 1st term
  • 1956–1959 Rolf Stranger (H), 3rd term
  • 1960–1961 Brynjulf ​​Bull (Ap), 2nd term
  • 1962–1963 Rolf Stranger (H), 4th term of office
  • 1964–1975 Brynjulf ​​Bull (Ap), 3rd term
  • 1976–1990 Albert Nordengen (H)
  • 1990–1991 Peter N. Myhre (Frp)
  • 1992–1995 Ann-Marit Sæbønes (Ap)
  • 1995–2007 Per Ditlev-Simonsen (H)
  • 2007 -0000Svenn Kristiansen (Frp)
  • 2007-2015 Fabian Stang (H)
  • 2015– Marianne Borgen (SV)0000

coat of arms

The city ​​coat of arms is designed as a round shield.

Blazon : “Inside a circular, golden, silver border , inside the Latin motto “ UNANIMITER • ET • CONSTANTER • OSLO ”(UNANIMITER • ET • CONSTANTER • OSLO) in blue on a silver angle shield base , following the curvature of the shield , a lying undressed woman with you long golden hair, a silver helmeted, golden nimbed man clad in a short-sleeved red robe, red shoes and a silver cloak, holding a silver millstone in his outstretched hands on the right, three bundled silver arrows in the left, two outstanding arrows lying behind him on both sides golden lions , accompanied next to head and lions by four golden five-pointed stars. On the upper edge of the shield a five-pinned golden wall crown. "

Declaration of the coat of arms: The saint represents St. Hallvard , who was wounded with arrows and weighed down with a millstone while he was trying to save a woman from violent criminals .

Tourist Attractions

Karl Johans gate , in the background the castle
Kavringen brygge - public bath in the middle of the city
View from the roof of the Oslo Opera House to the Havnelageret
View from Holmenkollbakken

Many sights contribute to the special flair of Oslo in the inner fjord location . The most important is the so-called Gamlebyen (German old town ) with the exposed foundation walls of medieval Oslo as well as the castle and fortress Akershus (Akershus slott og festning) .

Along the central shopping street, Karl Johans gate , there are government buildings such as Storting and Slottet , the royal palace , which are well worth seeing . At number 31 - in the building of the Grand Hotel opened in 1874 by the restaurateur Julius Fritzner - you can still find the Grand Café , where Henrik Ibsen was a regular guest.

Also in the city center are the striking town hall , where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded every year , the Oslo Cathedral (Oslo Domkirke) and the National Theater .

The New Opera House of the Norwegian Opera , designed by the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta , opened in 2008.


The city's museums also offer numerous sights. These include the Framuseum and Kon-Tiki Museum on Bygdøy , the National Gallery , the Munch Museum with the estate of the painter Edvard Munch , the Norsk Folkemuseum , an open-air museum with rebuilt buildings from all over Norway, and the Vikingskipshuset with archaeological Viking ship finds and the Kulturhistorisk Museum , which also presents the Tune rune stone and the Gjermundbu helmet . In 1993 the private Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst was opened, which has an extensive collection of works of Norwegian and international contemporary art, including since 2002 the monumental porcelain sculpture Michael Jackson and Bubbles by Jeff Koons . The German occupation is dealt with in the Holocaust Museum , Villa Grande and the Norges Hjemmefrontmuseum resistance museum in the Akershus fortress complex. The eventful history of the city is shown in the Oslo Bymuseum , the city museum on Gut Frogner .

Leisure, nature, sport

In good weather, the Holmenkollbakken ski jumping facility above the town with the Holmenkollen Ski Museum and the Vigeland facility in Frogner Park with sculptures by Gustav Vigeland invite you to linger. Another way to spend your free time is to visit the largest amusement park in Norway, TusenFryd . The park is about 20 minutes south of Oslo.


Oslo is the largest student city in Norway with numerous facilities. The most important are:


Oslo is home to a number of Norwegian companies, including Medinor , Qt Software and Opera Software . The German-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce is also located here .

In a ranking of cities according to their quality of life, Oslo ranked 25th out of 231 cities worldwide in 2018.


Road traffic

In order to counteract air pollution, efforts are being made to severely restrict individual traffic with motor vehicles. There are programs to introduce a driving ban for private vehicles in the city center by 2019. The city has had a city ​​center toll since 1990 , where the toll has to be paid at the toll stations on the access roads.

Air travel

Oslo can be reached via two international airports: Oslo-Gardermoen Airport and Torp Airport . The former Oslo-Fornebu Airport has not been served by Gardermoen since it opened.

Gardermoen is Norway's main airport. It is located approx. 50 km northeast of the city and is connected via a rail link ( Flytoget high-speed train and Vy regional trains) and several bus routes (SAS Flybussen and Flybussekspressen).

Torp is about 120 km southwest of Oslo near Sandefjord . The low-cost airline Ryanair uses the name "Oslo-Torp". There are train (Vy) and bus connections (Torpekspressen) to Oslo.

Local public transport
The trikk , Oslo's tram system
City bus

Oslo has a network of metro ( T-bane ), trams and bus routes. The subway runs underground through the city center and above ground in the outskirts. In 2006, the underground network was supplemented by a circular line. Since 2009 there has been a new ticket system that checks tickets when entering and leaving the train stations. However, paper tickets can still be purchased.

Oslo has a system of public bicycles that can be borrowed from various locations in the city during the summer and must be returned there.

The fjord islands are served by passenger ferries. These are included in the price of a public transport ticket in Oslo.


Long-distance connections with Vy day or night trains connect Oslo with Kristiansand , Stavanger , Bergen and Trondheim . International connections exist to Gothenburg and Stockholm . Regional trains run every hour to Lillehammer , Halden and Larvik . Other places are connected by local trains. The main hub is the main station .


There are ferry connections to Kiel with Color Line , Frederikshavn and Copenhagen with DFDS .

The port ( UN / LOCODE NO OSL) is suitable for ships with a length of less than 150 meters.


View of Oslo from the Ekeberg
Panorama from the Hovedøya



  • Jon G. Arntzen (Ed.): Oslo byleksikon , Kunnskapsforlaget, Oslo 1987, ISBN 82-573-0228-7 .
  • Marie Helen Banck: Oslo , 2nd edition, DuMont Reiseverlag, Ostfildern 2019, ISBN 978-3-616-01033-5 .
  • Thomas Hug / Jens-Uwe Kumpch: Oslo , 4th edition, MAIRDUMONT, Ostfildern 2017, ISBN 978-3-8297-2856-0 .
  • Knut Kjeldstadli / Jan Eivind Myhre: Oslo - spenningenes by. Oslohistorie, Pax-Forl., Oslo 1995, ISBN 82-530-1745-6 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Oslo  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Oslo  - album with pictures, videos and audio files
Wikivoyage: Oslo  Travel Guide

Individual evidence

  1. 07459: Alders- og kjønnsfordeling i kommuner, fylker and hele lands befolkning (K) 1986 - 2021 Statistisk sentralbyrå. February 23, 2021 (Norwegian)
  2. ^ Central Statistical Office , accessed on August 1, 2019.
  3. ^ Central Statistical Office , accessed January 1, 2017.
  4. German - Norwegian Dictionary → Meanings of Norwegian: "os"
  5. a b Store norske leksikon article "Christiania-Oslo"
  6. ^ Reichsbahndirektion in Mainz (ed.): Official Gazette of the Reichsbahndirektion in Mainz of January 3, 1925, No. 1. Announcement No. 15, p. 7.
  7. ^ Geir Thorsnæs: Oslo . In: Store norske leksikon . February 17, 2020 (Norwegian, snl.no [accessed June 25, 2020]).
  8. Oslo, dear and dear Spiegel Online, January 26, 2007.
  9. Authorities correct the number of victims downwards , Focus Online . July 25, 2011. 
  10. Peel, MC and Finlayson, BL and McMahon, TA: Updated world map of the Köppen – Geiger climate classification . In: Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. . 11, 2007, ISSN  1027-5606 , pp. 1633-1644. (direct: Final Revised Paper ; PDF; 1.7 MB)
  11. Be01-Befolkningen-etter-bydel-kjonn-og-alder-SSB - cube. Retrieved April 29, 2020 .
  12. Mayor of Oslo (Norwegian)
  13. ^ Oslo commune. valgresultat.no, accessed September 10, 2019 (Norwegian).
  14. ^ Website of the Norwegian Tourist Office , accessed June 5, 2013.
  15. Mercer's 2018 Quality of Living Rankings. Accessed July 30, 2018 .
  16. Oslo bans cars from the city center on Spiegel Online from October 19, 2015, accessed on November 14, 2016.
  17. Driving bans in Europe for cars on the OEAMTC website, accessed on November 14, 2016