History of Oslo

Oslo history

For Scandinavian history fans, a visit to Oslo is a must. Flights to Oslo with SAS can easily be researched and booked online. The Norse Sagas recorded that it was founded in 1049 by Harold Hardrada, although archaeological evidence suggests that there were settlements on that site dating from even earlier. It became Norway's capital in 1299 and for much of its history it was known as Christiania, the original name of Oslo, which was renamed in 1925.

Oslo has had a rich and turbulent history (including being burnt down 14 times!), reflected in the abundance of historical attractions for visitors to the modern city.

Akershus Castle and Fortress

A medieval castle dating from 1299 and expanded and improved during the Renaissance, Akershus Castle is no ruin, but a sumptuous palace, with halls, museums and a small church for visitors to explore. During the 18th and 19th centuries, it was used as a prison. Its more recent history includes the surrender to the Germans during World War II, who used it as a base. It was liberated and handed over to the Norwegian resistance in 1945 - the Resistance Museum housed within its walls explain this fascinating piece of history.  In addition to being open to visitors, it is still a working military base.

Christian Radich

A fully rigged sailing boat that is operational and still spends a lot of its time out at sea. If you're lucky enough to visit at a time when it's in harbour, it's well worth going to take a look. Be aware that it's very rare when it happens.


Once the world's largest cobalt mine, it supplies the glassmaking and paintmaking industries with a distinctive blue pigment and employs over 2000 workers. It is now an 8-square-kilometer (3 square miles) site that offers a taste of the Norwegian countryside just one hour from Oslo, as well as art exhibits and museums.

To visit all this and more, book your cheap flight to Norway with SAS today.


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