Sunday, 27 August 2017

NORWAY: Visit Oslo City Of Bicycles

Oslo Central Station
Oslo is the capital and the most populous city in Norway. It constitutes both a county and a municipality. Founded in the year 1040, and established as a kaupstad or trading place in 1048 by Harald Hardrada, the city was elevated to a bishopric in 1070 and a capital under Haakon V of Norway around 1300. Personal unions with Denmark from 1397 to 1523 and again from 1536 to 1814 and with Sweden from 1814 to 1905 reduced its influence.

After being destroyed by a fire in 1624, the city was moved closer to Akershus Fortress during the reign of Christian IV of Denmark and renamed Christiania in his honour. It was established as a municipality or formannskapsdistrikt on 1 January 1838. Following a spelling reform, it was known as Kristiania from 1877 to 1925, at which time its original Norwegian name was restored.

The origin of the name Oslo has been the subject of much debate. It is certainly derived from Old Norse and was—in all probability—originally the name of a large farm at Bjørvika, but the meaning of that name is disputed. Modern linguists generally interpret the original Óslo or Áslo as either "Meadow at the Foot of a Hill" or "Meadow Consecrated to the Gods", with both considered equally likely.

Erroneously, it was once assumed that Oslo meant the mouth of the Lo river, a supposed previous name for the river Alna. However, not only has no evidence been found of a river Lo predating the work where Peder Claussøn Friis first proposed this etymology, but the very name is ungrammatical in Norwegian: the correct form would have been Loaros. The name Lo is now believed to be a back-formation arrived at by Friis in support of his idea about etymology for Oslo.

Oslo is one of very few cities in Norway, besides Bergen and Tønsberg, that does not have a formal coat of arms, but which uses a city seal instead. The seal of Oslo shows the city's patron saint, St. Hallvard, with his attributes, the millstone and arrows, 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.

Oslo occupies an arc of land at the northernmost end 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 or 0.22 sq mi), and scores more around the Oslofjord. Oslo has 343 lakes, the largest being Maridalsvannet (3.91 km2 or 1.51 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 draining Maridalsvannet, which flows into the fjord in Bjørvika, and Alna. The waterfalls in Akerselva gave power to some of the first modern industry of Norway in the 1840s. 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; 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 (2,064 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 areas of forests, hills and lakes. Its boundaries encompass many parks and open areas, giving it an airy and green appearance.

Oslo's climate used to be described as a humid continental climate, but due to recent warming epecially in winter, the climate is now almost exactly at the intersection of a humid continental and temperate oceanic climate.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,no darker than nautical twilight, to around 6 hours in midwinter.

Oslo has fairly warm summers with two out of three days in July that have high temperatures above 20 °C and on average one out of four days reach a maximum above 25 °C.The highest ever recorded at Blindern was 34.2 °C (94 °F) on 3 August 1982. At the "Observatory" downtown Oslo 35 °C (95 °F) was recorded on 21 July 1901.In January, three out of four days are below freezing (0 °C), on average one out of four days is colder than −10 °C.The coldest temperature recorded is −29.6 °C (−21.3 °F) on 21. January 1841, while the coldest ever recorded at Blindern is −26 °C (−14.8 °F) in January 1941.

July 1901 was the warmest month ever recorded with 24-hr monthly mean temperature at 22.7 °C (72.9 °F). The climate table below is for 1981-2010, while extremes also includes earlier stations such as the Observatory downtown. Recent decades have seen warming, and 8 of the 12 monthly record lows are from before 1900, while the most recent is the November record low from 1965.

Oslo is the economic and governmental 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. The city is home to many companies within the maritime sector, some of which are among the world's largest shipping companies, shipbrokers and maritime insurance brokers. Oslo is a pilot city of the Council of Europe and the European Commission intercultural cities programme.

Oslo is considered a global city and ranked "Beta World City" in studies carried out by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network in 2008.It was ranked number one in terms of quality of life among European large cities in the European Cities of the Future 2012 report by fDi magazine.A survey conducted by ECA International in 2011 placed Oslo as the second most expensive city in the world for living expenses after Tokyo.

In 2013 Oslo tied with the Australian city of Melbourne as the fourth most expensive city in the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)'s Worldwide Cost of Living study.

As of January 1, 2016, the municipality of Oslo had a population of 658,390, while the population of the city's urban area was 942,084.The metropolitan area had an estimated population of 1.71 million.The population was increasing at record rates during the early 2000s, making it the fastest growing major city in Europe at the time.

This growth stems for the most part from international immigration and related high birth rates, but also from intra-national migration. The immigrant population in the city is growing somewhat faster than the Norwegian population,and in the city proper this is now more than 25% of the total.

As of January 1, 2016, the municipality of Oslo had a population of 658,390.The urban area extends beyond the boundaries of the municipality into the surrounding county of Akershus (municipalities of Asker, Bærum, Røyken, Rælingen, Lørenskog, Nittedal, Skedsmo, Ski, Sørum, Gjerdrum, Oppegård); the total population of this agglomeration is 942,084.

The city centre is situated at the end of the Oslofjord, from which point the city sprawls out in three distinct "corridors"—inland north-eastwards, and southwards along both sides of the fjord—which gives the urbanized area a shape reminiscent of an upside-down reclining "Y" on maps, satellite pictures, or from high above the city.

To the north and east, wide forested hills (Marka) rise above the city giving the location the shape of a giant amphitheatre. 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, 130 km2 (50 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. It was separated from the county of Akershus to become a county of its own in 1842. The rural municipality of Aker 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.

Oslo has a large number of parks and green areas within the city core, as well as outside it.

Frogner Park is a large park located a few minutes walk away from the city centre. This is the biggest and best-known park in Norway, with a large collection of sculptures by Gustav Vigeland

Bygdøy is a large green area, commonly called the Museum Peninsula of Oslo. The area is surrounded by the sea and is one of the most expensive districts in Norway.

Ekebergparken Sculpture Park is a sculpture park and a national heritage park with a panoramic view of the city at Ekeberg in the southeast of the city.

St. Hanshaugen Park is an old public park on a high hill in central Oslo. 'St. Hanshaugen' is also the name of the surrounding neighborhood as well as the larger administrative district (borough) that includes major parts of central Oslo.

Tøyen Park stretches out behind the 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 literally "Eastern Forest", on the eastern perimeter of the city, and the very large Nordmarka or "Northern Forest", stretching from the northern perimeter of the city deep into the hinterland.

The municipality operates eight public swimming pools.Tøyenbadet 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 also has the 50-metre range.

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, the urban regeneration scheme of Oslo's seafront, Munch/Stenersen and the new Deichman Library.

Most of the buildings in the city and in neighbouring communities are low in height with only the Plaza, Postgirobygget and the highrises at Bjørvika considerably taller.

Oslo has a varied and strong economy and was ranked number one among European large cities in economic potential in the fDi Magazine report European Cities of the Future 2012.It was ranked 2nd in the category of business friendliness, behind Amsterdam.

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, headquartered at Høvik outside Oslo, is one of the three major maritime classification societies 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 ( billion) in 2003, which amounted to 17% of the national GDP.This compares with NOK165.915 billion ( billion) in 1995. The metropolitan area, bar Moss and Drammen, contributed 25% of the national GDP in 2003 and was also responsible for more than one quarter of tax revenues. In comparison, total tax revenues from the oil and gas industry on the Norwegian Continental Shelf 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 Survey provided by Mercer Human Resource Consulting and first according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. The reason for this discrepancy is that the EIU omits certain factors from its final index calculation, most notably housing.

In the 2015 update of the EIU’s Worldwide Cost of Living survey, Oslo now ranks as the third most expensive city in the world.[45] Although Oslo does have the most expensive housing market in Norway, it is comparably cheaper than other cities on the list in that regard. Meanwhile, prices on goods and services 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.
skyline of Oslo
According to a report compiled by Swiss bank UBS in the month of August 2006, Oslo and London were the world's most expensive cities.

Oslo is a compact city. 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.


Oslo has a large and varied number of cultural attractions, which include several buildings containing artwork from 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 and Henrik Ibsen. The government has recently invested large amounts of money in cultural installations, facilities, buildings and festivals in the City of Oslo.

Bygdøy, outside the city centre is the centre for history and the Norwegian Vikings' history. The area contains a large number of parks and seasites and many museums. Examples are the Fram Museum, Vikingskiphuset and the Kon-Tiki Museum. 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 every year.

Oslo houses several restaurants, bakeries, and cafe. Mathallen Food Hall is the indoor food market with more than 30 vendors including specialty shops, cafés and eateries

Oslo houses several major museums and galleries. The Munch Museum contains The Scream and other works by 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, in the southeast of the city.The museum will be named Munch/Stenersen.50 different museums are located around the city.

Folkemuseet is located on the Bygdøy peninsula and is dedicated to Folk art, Folk Dress, Sami culture and the viking culture. The outdoor museum contains 155 authentic old buildings from all parts of Norway, including a Stave Church.

The Vigeland Museum located in the large Frogner Park, 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.There is also a newer landscaped sculpture park, Ekebergparken Sculpture Park, with works by Norwegian and international artists such as Salvador Dali.

The Viking Ship Museum features three Viking ships found at Oseberg, Gokstad and Tune and several other unique items from the Viking age.

The Oslo City Museum holds a permanent exhibition about the people in Oslo and the history of the city.

The Kon-Tiki Museum houses Thor Heyerdahl'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 open in 2020 located at Vestbanen behind the Nobel Peace Center.

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 centenary as an independent country.The building houses a permanent exhibition, expanding every year when a new Nobel Peace Prize winner is announced, containing information of every winner in history. The building is mainly used as a communication centre.

A large number of festivals are held in Oslo, such as Oslo Jazz festival, a six-day jazz 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 lasts for four days.

The Oslo International Church Music Festival has been held annually since 2000. 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; the award ceremony is held annually in The City Hall on 10 December.Even though Sami 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 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, the world's largest overnight regatta with more than 1100 boats taking part every year.

Rikard Nordraak, 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 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 and Johan Svendsen in 1879.

Oslo has hosted the Eurovision Song Contest twice, in 1996 and 2010.

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 and is situated between the royal palace and the parliament building, Stortinget.The names of Ludvig Holberg, Henrik Ibsen and Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson 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, situated in Bjørvika. 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 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.

Oslo has Norway's most extensive public transport system, managed by Ruter.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.

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 that operate to Bærum, and the Ring Line which loops to areas north of the centre. Oslo is also covered by a bus network consisting of 32 city lines, as well as regional buses to the neighboring county of Akershus.

Oslo Central Station acts as the central hub, and offers rail services to most major cities in southern Norway as well as Stockholm and Gothenburg in Sweden.The Airport Express Train 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 are connected by ferry.Daily cruiseferry services operate to Copenhagen and Frederikshavn in Denmark, and to Kiel 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. The major motorways through Oslo are European Route E6 and E18. There are three beltways, the innermost which are streets and the outermost, Ring 3 which is an expressway.

The main airport serving the city is Gardermoen Airport, located in Ullensaker, 47 kilometres (29 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 and Widerøe. Oslo is also served by two secondary airports, which serve some low-cost carriers, such as Ryanair: Rygge Airport and Torp Airport, the latter being 110 kilometres (68 mi) from the city.Rygge Airport was closed in 2016.


The population of Oslo was by 2010 increasing at a record rate of nearly 2% annually (17% over the last 15 years), making it the fastest-growing Scandinavian capital.In 2015, according to Statistics Norway annual report, there were 647,676 permanent residents in the Oslo municipality, of which 628,719 resided in the city proper. There were also 942,084 in the city's urban area and an estimated 1.71 million in the Greater Oslo Region, within 100 km (62 mi) of the city centre.

According to the most recent census 432,000 Oslo residents (70.4% of the population) were ethnically Norwegian, an increase of 6% since 2002 (409,000).Oslo has the largest population of immigrants and Norwegians born to immigrant parents in Norway, both in relative and absolute figures.

Of Oslo's 624,000 inhabitants, 189,400 were immigrants or born to immigrant parents, representing 30.4 percent of the capital's population. All suburbs in Oslo were above the national average of 14.1 percent. The suburbs with the highest proportions of people of immigrant origin were Søndre Nordstrand, Stovner og Alna, where they formed around 50 percent of the population.

Pakistanis make up the single largest ethnic minority, followed by Swedes, Somalis, and Poles. Other large immigrant groups are people from Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Turkey, Morocco, Iraq and Iran.

In 2012, there were about 48,000 registered Muslims in Oslo, making up about 8% of the population, and about 33,000 registered Roman Catholics.Life stance communities, mainly the Norwegian Humanist Association, had about 18,000 members in 2011.

In 2013, 40% of Oslo's primary school pupils were registered as having a first language other than the Norwegian or Sami.The western part of the city is predominantly ethnic Norwegian, with several schools having less than 5% pupils with an immigrant background.The eastern part of Oslo is more mixed, with some schools up to 97% immigrant share.

Schools are also increasingly divided by ethnicity, with white flight being present in some of the northeastern suburbs of the city. In the borough Groruddalen in 2008 for instance, the ethnic Norwegian population decreased by 1,500, while the immigrant population increased by 1,600.

Oslo has numerous religious communities. In 2016, 51.6% of the population were members of the Church of Norway, lower than the national average of 71.5%.In 2011, almost 20% of the population were registered in other religious or life stance communities.

As of January 1, 2016, the municipality of Oslo has a population of 658,390. The urban area extends beyond the boundaries of the municipality into the surrounding county of Akershus (municipalities of Asker, Bærum, Røyken, Rælingen, Lørenskog, Nittedal, Skedsmo, Ski, Sørum, Gjerdrum, Oppegård); the total population of this agglomeration is 942,084.

The city centre is situated at the end of the Oslofjord, from which point the city sprawls out in three distinct "corridors"—inland north-eastwards, and southwards along both sides of the fjord—which gives the urbanized area a shape reminiscent of an upside-down reclining "Y" on maps, satellite pictures, or from high above the city.

To the north and east, wide forested hills (Marka) rise above the city giving the location the shape of a giant amphitheatre. 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, 130 km2 (50 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). Bicycles

The city of Oslo was established as a municipality on 3 January 1838. It was separated from the county of Akershus to become a county of its own in 1842. The rural municipality of Aker 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.

Security & safety

Oslo Police District is Norway's largest police district with over 2,300 employees. Over 1,700 of those are police officers, nearly 140 police lawyers and 500 civilian employees. Oslo Police District has five police stations located around the city at Grønland, Sentrum, Stovner, Majorstuen and Manglerud.

The National Criminal Investigation Service is located in Oslo, which is a Norwegian special police division under the NMJP. PST 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.

Oslo police stated that the capital is one of Europe's safest. Statistics have shown that crime in Oslo is on the rise, and some media have reported that there are four times as many thefts and robberies in Oslo than in New York City per capita.According to the Oslo Police, they receive more than 15,000 reports of petty thefts annually. Less than one in a hundred cases get solved.

On 22 July 2011, Oslo was the site of one of two terrorist attacks: the bombing of Oslo government offices.



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