Christiania Torv – Modern Oslo’s Birthplace

Christiania torv is one of the most beautiful public squares in Oslo. It's centrepiece is one of the best known statues in the city, the hand of King Christian IV, marking the spot where modern Oslo began.

Ruled from Denmark, medieval Oslo stood to the east of where today's city centre lies. Its wooden houses frequently succumbed to fire and after yet another blaze destroyed much of the city in 1624, Danish ruler King Christian IV ordered a new city be built across the bay. He named that city Christiania. Nothing like an ego trip hey? 😉

To continue the very brief history lesson, Christiania became Norway's capital again when independence was gained in 1814. From 1925, the city was once again known as Olso.

The square surrounding the hand of King Christian IV reeks of history, it's cobbled streets, old bookshop and outdoor cafes creating a fascinating mix of old Christiania and modern Oslo. It's even better on a glorious sunny day:

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About the Author: David Nikel

Originally from the UK, David now lives in Trondheim and was the original founder of Life in Norway back in 2011. He now works as a freelance writer for technology companies in Scandinavia.


  1. Independence in 1814 didn’t last long…. Did you know that the Swedish king had separate dress uniforms for when in Sweden (dark blue with yellow piping) and Norway (pretty much identical except the piping was red)? Apparently he used to get changed at the border!

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