Five Minute History of Oslo, Norway

Oslo History. In the 8th century, during viking times, a settlement was built at the head of Oslo Fjord. It continued to grow and in 1048 Harold Hardrade, a Viking King, established a commercial town on the site. During the 12th century, various struggles occured between rival contenders for the Monarchy, but slowly peace and prosperity came to Norway. During the reign of King Haakon V (1299-1319), Oslo was decreed the capital of Norway and Akershus Castle and Fortress were established. In the mid-14th century Norway was struck by the Plague and over half the population died. At the end of the century Norway, Sweden and Denmark joined together, forming the largest Viking Kingdom, under the Treaty of Kalmar. It was ruled from Denmark.

According to history, by 1536 Norway was fully incorporated into the Kingdom of Denmark. Consequently, Oslo lost its importance as a capital. With the reformation, a Protestant national church was established. In 1624 the destruction of Oslo by fire, gave King Christian IV the opportunity to lay the foundations for a spacious new city, which he placed behind Akershus Fortress and named Christiana in honor of himself. The streest he planned are still the main streets of central Oslo. In 1814 Norway was separated from Denmark but united with Sweden as part of war reparations. Expansion and prosperity occured and by 1905 Norway became independent. In 1925, the capital changed its name back to Oslo. In early 1940, after fierce battles, Norway was occupied by overwhelming German forces, during the next 5 years a heroic underground movement defied the brutal cooperation of the Quisling Government, and played a vital part in delaying the Nazi atomic program. Some years after the war, oil and gas fields were found off Norway’s coast and the country’s prosperity and industrial development has tremendously increased.

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