Thursday, May 24, 2007

Oslo Hospital 1290 / 1538

A little closer to the steep hill Ekeberg you find Norways oldest hospital, established in 1538. The caring for the sick here goes much further back in time, in fact over 800 years

In 1290, during the reign of the Norwegian king Håkon V Magnusson a group of Franciscan friars started to build a monastery, where Oslo Hospital is today. Their wanted to promote their ideals, to be relieved from their material desires, and offer help to the poor. They made room for the ill, needy, and poor in their little church, angering the Bishop of Oslo.

Pope Nicholas IV did, however, through a letter written in 1291, offer protection for the little monastery to continue its controversial practices, and they did continue their work among the poor of Oslo.

After the Lutheran reformation in 1536, the king took over the Roman Catholic estate in Norway. As the city of Oslo at that point of time needed a hospital, he established Oslo Hospital in 1538 for the citizens of Oslo.

In 1736 a young girl, Birthe Jonsdatter was aquitted for the murder of her husbands children, but was sentenced to life long psychiatric ward at Oslo Hospital. She is the first psychiatric patient recorded here, and the hospital has since that year also had psychiatric patients.

The grey house in the picture is from the time when Birthe Jonsdatter was admitted to psychiatric care at Oslo Hospital. It was built in 1734 and is considered the oldest hospital building still standing in Norway.

See the website of Oslo Hospital here (Sadly in Norwegian only)

Gamlebyen kirke (1290/1730/1796)

The church at Oslo Hospital is the parish church for the area of Gamlebyen. It has burned several times and was in period also used as hospital. Until the latest fire in 1794 much of the old church was still standing. In 1796 the new church was built in Louis Seize style.

But the walls of the church belongs to the old Franciscan church where the friars cared for the old and needy. This makes Gamlebyen church the second oldest church in Oslo after the church at Gamle Aker.

Oslo Hospital / Gamlebyen kirke - how to get there.

To get to Oslo Hospital / Gamlebyen kirke is to take tram line 18/19 - direction Holtet / Ljabru and leave at Oslo Hospital.

See other sights in Oslo and around the world here on Enjoy Food & Travel - your travel source!

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