Oslo is the capital of Norway and with its 520.000 inhabitants also the country’s largest city. Oslo lies in the southeastern part of Norway, at the beginning of the Oslofjord. The fjord, which is nearly bisected by the Nesodden peninsula opposite Oslo, lies to the south; in all other directions Oslo is surrounded by green hills and mountains. There are 40 islands within the city limits, the largest being Malmøya (0.56 km²), and scores more around the Oslofjord. Oslo has 343 lakes, the largest being Maridalsvannet (3.91 km²). This is also a main source of drinking water for large parts of the western part of Oslo, mainly Vestre Aker and Nordre Aker. The highest point is Kirkeberget, at 629 m.
The city was founded around 1048 by King Herald III of Norway. In 1624 a fire destroyed a large part of Oslo, but the Danish-Norwegian king Christian IV had the city rebuilt and changed its name into “Christiana” after himself. In 1925 the name was changed again in Oslo, which means “plain of the gods”. During the mid-19th century, Norway and Sweden were both ruled as one kingdom, under Karl Johan. It was then that the grand main street that bears his name was built, and Karl Johans Gate has been at the center of city life ever since.
Where to visit:
1. The Vigeland Park
2. Viking Ship Museum
3. Akershus Fortress
4. The Royal Palace
Royal residence open to public in summer.