12 Jul 2008 – Oslo/(C)Kristiania/Oslo

Oslo is derived from Old Norse. During the Middle Ages the name was initially spelled ‘Ásló’, later ‘Ósló’. The earlier spelling suggests that the first component ásrefers either to the Ekeberg ridge southeast of the town (ås in modern Norwegian), or to the Norse homonym meaning ‘god’ or ‘divinity’. The most likely interpretations would therefore be ‘the meadow beneath the ridge’ or ‘the meadow of the gods’.

A fire in 1624 destroyed much of the medieval city; the section now known as Gamlebyen/the old city: 1st-3rd pictures from top left) and the city was relocated. 4th picture: King Christian IV of Denmark and Norway renamed the city to Christiania. From the end of the 1800s, the name was also spelled Kristiania. An official decision was never made, so both forms were in use. The original name of Oslo was restored by 1925. Today it is the most expensive city in the world to be living in!

Pictures top last & 1st from left on 2nd row: Stortorvets Gjæstgiveri/formally a guesthouse or B&B now a cafe and bar, last 3 pictures: establishments with the name of Christiania. 

Writing intellectual history is like trying to nail jelly to the wall – William Hesseltine