Norway. One of Norway’s most important cultural heritage was devastated by a major fire in January, when some 30 old wooden buildings in Lærdalsøyri on the Sognefjord were destroyed. Lærdalsøyri has over 160 heritage-protected buildings that are part of UNESCO’s world heritage.
In March, the Norwegian government with the Høyre and the Progress Party presented an agreement on asylum policy with the cooperation parties Venstre and the Christian People’s Party. According to Countryaah.com, Norway population in 2020 is estimated at 5,421,252. The Progress Party had made a choice on tighter immigration policy, and the party leader, Finance Minister Siv Jensen, was now satisfied with the settlement. Among other things, the party was granted the requirement of a 24-year limit for retrieving partners in another country, faster asylum treatment and special locked asylum admissions for those who are to be rejected.
Former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg was appointed in March as NATO’s next Secretary-General of the Military Alliance from New Year 2015. The appointment was made during the Ukraine crisis, and it was speculated that Stoltenberg’s experience of Norway’s relatively good cooperation with the Russian Federation would contribute to less confrontation between NATO and the Russian Federation. Former Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre was elected Stoltenberg’s successor as leader of the Labor Party.
The Norwegian government received criticism at home and internationally for the handling of the visit by Tibet’s spiritual leader the Dalai Lama in May. He had been invited by the Nobel Institute 25 years after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo. Prior to the reign, several ministers had expressed support for Tibet against China’s repression, but now no one in the government wanted to meet the Dalai lama in view of Norway’s relationship with China. It had been bad since the Nobel Committee awarded the Peace Prize to a Chinese dissident in 2010.
The government decided that most of the houses that were damaged in Oslo’s government headquarters during the terrorist bombing on July 22, 2011 should be demolished and replaced by new ones. However, the tall building Høyblokka will remain and be renovated. The new and redevelopment of the Government Quarter is expected to take ten years.
In July, Norway was shaken by the news that the country was facing a serious terrorist threat from an extreme Islamist group in Syria. The Security Police Chief, the Police Chief and the Minister of Justice held a dramatic press conference and talked about a serious and immediate terror threat, which could not, however, be concretized. The highest police preparedness was introduced with the support of the military, border guard was sharpened and part of the airspace was closed. The police, equipped with automatic weapons, guarded airports, ferry locations and roads.
After a few days, emergency preparedness was lowered, and later came information that members of the Islamic State (IS) jihadist movement were behind the terrorist threat. IS members would have been on their way to Norway but had been identified and tracked in Greece. The acts they should have planned were described as spectacular and would aim to create terror internationally, according to Norwegian media.
In September, figures showed that the number of electric cars tripled in Norway during the period January – August compared to the same period the year before. Every seventh car in Norway was exhaust clean in August. Norway aims to become a world leader in super-environment cars. Anyone who buys an electric car in Norway avoids VAT, road tax and tolls and pays less than for a petrol car. In addition, electric cars are allowed to drive in the bus files.
Norwegians’ holiday and leisure habits
From 2002, Norwegian employees have fixed the tariff right to vacation for five weeks each year. The vast majority of people use the holiday to travel away from home, and travel activity has shown a significant increase since the early 1970s. In 1970, 61% of all Norwegians in the age group 15-74 years went on holiday at one time or another during the year. In 1986 the figure had risen to 77%. At the turn of the millennium, Norwegians travel an average of 3.7 holiday and leisure trips per year. The proportion of holiday trips abroad has increased sharply: In 1970, 3% of Norwegians went abroad (outside the Nordic countries), in 1985 the share of foreign trips increased to 15%, while every fourth trip in 2000 went abroad. The duration of the journeys is an average of four nights, but the tendency is for journeys to be more short-lived, ie.
From the 1970s, package tourism to the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands has been growing rapidly. In 2005, about 981,000 package tours were taken by air from Norway: approx. 876 450 of these trips went to destinations in Europe.
Spain is the most popular destination for Norwegians (almost 550,000 holiday trips in 2004), followed by Denmark (about 340,000) and Sweden (about 320,000). (Figures from Statistics Norway’s Holiday Survey 2004).
Norwegians are also frequent users of mountains and plains, both on skis and on foot. See hiking tourism. At the turn of the millennium, the Norwegian Tourist Association (DNT) had over 200,000 members for the first time.
Oslo, 1624-1925 Christiania, 1877-1925 spelled Kristiania, Norway’s capital and the country’s largest city; 666,759 in Oslo Municipality (2017); The Storoslor region, which also includes Akershus County, as well as municipalities in the counties Buskerud, Østfold and Vestfold, has DKK 1.55 million. Oslo is increasingly a multicultural city. Immigrants and Norwegians with immigrant parents make up 33% of the population (2017). Certain neighborhoods in Old Oslo and east of Akerselva have distinct ethnic characteristics.
The city is located on the innermost part of the Oslo Fjord (Oslogryta), surrounded by partly wooded ridges of up to 500 m altitude. Kolsås, Holmenkollen, Grefsenkollen and Ekebergåsen. The latter lies immediately east of the center. The high ridges are intersected by a number of valleys, with the Groruddalen valley running to the northeast as the most important.
At the bottom of the fjord by the bays Frognerkilen, Pipervika and Bjørvika lies the central part of the city, and from here the settlement spreads in fan form. Of the oldest Oslo, which was located on the north side of Ekeberg at Loelva’s outlet in the fjord, and which today lies east of the center, only a few ruins remain. Otherwise, the street and architecture largely reflect the historical development. The center, which is primarily used for city functions, consists of the area around Karl Johans gate, which extends from the Central Station (the former East Railway) to the Palace. Between Christian Johan and the fortress Akershus lies Christian 4th district with its distinct square street network, Kvadraturen. Here are some of Oslo’s few preserved old buildings. In the other part of Oslo, there are largely only buildings from the 1800’s. and later.
East and northeast of the center are districts such as Greenland, Vaterland, Grünerløkka and Sagene. These are working quarters that emerged in the mid and late 1800’s. along the Akerselva River, where a number of factories were built that utilized the river’s hydropower. It attracted thousands of workers, and Oslo grew almost explosively. Worker housing was generally of a very poor standard and poverty was high. Knut Hamsun writes in Hunger of 1890 about Oslo: “… this marvelous city, which no one leaves until he has got marks of it”.
The rampant urban growth around 1900 is clearly reflected in the architecture, with a large part of Oslo’s buildings characterized by the historicist style: neo-Gothic or neo-Renaissance. This is also true in the settlements northwest and west of the center, where people with higher incomes settled in neighborhoods such as Frogner, Majorstuen and Homansbyen. The social divide from this era still exists: housing standards are generally higher in western neighborhoods than in eastern ones, and there are clear income gaps. For example, in 1995 the average income was more than twice as high in western Frogner-Bygdøy as in Grünerløkka-Sofienberg by the Akerselva river. The highest revenue can be found in Bærum Municipality west of Oslo’s municipal boundary.
Newer neighborhoods have emerged around the older residential neighborhoods. Some were suburbs in Aker Municipality; in 1948, it was included in the municipality of Oslo, and since then the development has expanded, including. in connection with the construction of so-called urban villages. Certain features have been moved out of the center; this applies, for example, to the largest part of the university, which has moved to the northern residential area of Blindern. At the same time, major developmental changes have taken place in many places in the center. In addition to the area at Aker Brygge, this is especially true in the area around the Central Station and north in the old working districts of Vaterland and Greenland, where giant buildings in steel, glass and concrete are being built. Oslo Spectrum (for trade shows, sports, rock concerts, etc.) and the city’s tallest building, the Oslo Plaza Hotel.
Many European cities have experienced a decline in population in recent years, but not Oslo. Except for a few years, growth has been positive; for some years solely because of foreign immigration, especially Pakistanis and Turks, but from the mid-1990’s also due to Norwegian net immigration and birth surplus.
Since the first suburban railway (Holmenkollbanen) opened in 1898, public traffic has been greatly expanded with several suburban railways, subways, buses and trams (trams). The eastern and western rail networks were connected in the 1970’s by a tunnel system under the center.
The road network was greatly expanded in the 1980’s and 1990’s partly through the construction of highways around part of the city and partly through major tunnel projects, first and foremost the three tunnels Vålerengatunnellen, Ekebergtunnell and not least the Fortress tunnel, which directs traffic between East and West under the Oslo city center, thus avoiding through traffic, just as the area between the City Hall and Aker Brygge has become a clean pedestrian area. A toll is charged for driving; from 2007 it is free to drive at night, but there is payment during the day, especially high during rush hour. There are good road and rail connections to the rest of Norway and Sweden, just as Oslo has several ferry routes abroad, including to Denmark.
The city’s airport was until 1998 Fornebu close to the city center, but now the air traffic is served by Gardermoen, which has a high-speed railway from the city center.
Culture and tourism
Oslo is also Norway’s cultural center. several theaters, most notably the National Theater and the Norwegian Theater. There is also a large concert hall, opera house, symphony orchestra and several art museums. These attract both Norwegian and foreign tourists, but also important is Oslo’s beautiful location next to the fjord and the easy access to outdoor areas close to the city, including Holmenkollen, Frognerseteren and the whole of Oslomarka.
Oslo is the center of numerous private and public functions such as banks, insurance companies, export and import companies, research, education and central administration. The industry is still of great importance, but the city has lost ground for, among other things. Western Norway. However, companies in industries such as the graphic, electronics and chemical industries are among the most important in Norway, and a number of companies are headquartered in Oslo. The heavy industry is predominantly located in the northeast of the city and beyond through the Groruddalen valley. In the western part along Drammensveien and into the municipality of Bærum are mainly consultancy and insurance companies as well as the head offices of several industrial companies.
Architecture and museums
Among the few older public buildings preserved are Akershus (c. 1300) and Oslo Cathedral (Church of Our Savior, consecrated in 1697). With the construction of the castle (1825-48) by HDF von Linstow and the construction of the wide Karl Johans gate, Oslo became the capital. Along this street were built, among other things. the University (1854) by H. Grosch, the Storting Building (1866) by EV Langlet (1824-98) and the East Railway Station (1882) by GA Bull (1829-1917). A. Arneberg and M. Poulsson designed Oslo City Hall (1916-50). During the economic recovery in the 1980’s, there was plenty of activity: Aker Brygge near the center was erected, and residential suburbs were built among older wooden houses.
In 2008, the new opera building was opened at the harbor, designed by the architectural firm Snøhetta.
The museums include the National Gallery, the Munch Museum, the Henie-Onstad Art Center in Bærum, the Vigelands Museum and Park and the University’s historical museum. At Bygdøy you will find the Norwegian Folk Museum with the stave church from Gol, the Viking Ship House and the Kon-Tiki Museum.
Archaeological finds indicate that the area was already inhabited by the younger Stone Age. According to Snorri Sturluson, Harald 3. Hårderåde allowed the market town of Oslo to establish approximately 1048, but recent research dates the city to approximately 1000. Around 1070, the city became bishop’s seat. It was an important military center, several wars took place here, but probably the city grew as an important hub of trade with the Baltic Sea area. During Håkon 5. Oslo became the city of residence, and the king left the fortress Akershus immediately before the year 1300 bring. At the same time, many Rostock male traders settled here, and they had a great influence for a long time. After Norway gained a kingship with Denmark in 1380, Oslo became the seat of the king’s representative in Norway; in that capacity, among other things, the later Christian 2. 1506-11 at Akershus. The Reformation was completed in 1537, and during the Nordic Seven Years’ War In 1563-70 Akershus was besieged and Oslo ravaged. The city was exposed to fire many times; after the fire in 1624, Christian IV commanded that the city be rebuilt a few kilometers away at Akershus Fortress, so that it became part of a larger fortress site. The new city was named Christiania (1877-1925 spelled Kristiania) after the king. The city’s status as a closed fortress town ceased after a fire in 1686, and various unsystematic suburban buildings shot up. During the Great Nordic War, the city was in 1716 occupied by Swedish forces. It was in the 1600’s and 1700’s. the center of the timber trade, and the bourgeoisie, the “plank share,” enjoyed extensive privileges, including in the domestic trade.
When Norway was separated from Denmark in 1814, Kristiania became the capital. Economically and culturally, it remained a time for Bergen, but in the second half of the 1800’s. the city became industrialized and grew strongly both in terms of population and area, and a labor movement emerged. Following the dissolution of the union with Sweden, Kristiania became the independent capital of Norway in 1905, and in 1924, after much debate, the Storting decided that from 1925 the city should be called Oslo. In the post-war period, the amount of industrial jobs in the city has dwindled in favor of service industries. By virtue of its location, the capital of Norway is very European oriented, and the referendums for membership of the EC/EU have a clear majority.
On July 22, 2011, Oslo was hit by a bomb attack, as a right-wing radical terrorist, Anders Behring Breivik, let a car bomb explode in Oslo’s government district. The bomb killed eight people and caused major destruction. The same day Breivik attacked a social democratic youth camp on Utøya.