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Posted on Monday 21 January 2013 in Family
The Norwegian capital of Oslo is a vibrant metropolis. However, not so long ago, this charming city was a quiet port town, and the city has grown exponentially in recent decades to become one of the trendiest and most sophisticated capitals in Europe. Australian tourists who want to discover the history and culture of Norway should book flights to Oslo and explore everything this dynamic city has to offer.
A rich past
Oslo was first founded in 1049 by King Harald Hardråde. However, archeological excavations have revealed that evidence of human settlement suggests people have lived in the area for several thousand years. The city's origins are rooted in the heritage of the Norse people of northern Scandinavia. Over the years, Oslo has been the official residence of several kings, and suffered extensive damage during a fire in 1624. Today, Oslo is not only one of the most progressive cities in the world, but retains much of its historic legacy and enchanting past.
Monuments to the ages
One of the most impressive sights in Oslo is the Akershus Fortress. Built in the late 1290s, this majestic castle served as a military stronghold that overlooked much of the city. During its storied history, this imposing castle has also been a prison. Australian visitors spending time in the Norwegian capital can marvel at its stunning architecture and the impressive views of the city below from its battlements.
The Storting, roughly translated as The Great Assembly, is another must-see for Australian tourists. This stunning building is the home of the Norwegian Parliament, and was built in the late 1860s. While the history of the Storting is as rich as many other structures in Oslo, this impressive structure still serves as the heart of the democratic process in Norway. The elegantly curved facades of the Storting are particularly impressive, and the building itself is surrounded by well-manicured grounds.
Art and culture
Oslo is also home to the Munch Museum, a grand cultural facility dedicated to the life and works of renowned painter Edvard Munch. Here, Australian tourists can see Munch's famous painting, "The Scream," for themselves, in addition to many other important works.
For visitors who would rather enjoy Oslo's charming beauty outdoors, a visit to the Botanisk Hage og Museum is a must. These spectacular botanical gardens are among the most impressive in Europe, boasting many exotic plants and flowers, including a rare "living fossil" imported from Japan.
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