Monday, February 25, 2008

Sights of old Oslo

Oslo has been around for more than 1000 years, but much you see today dates back to the 20th and late 19th century, when Oslo grew rapidly in size. But if you look you may find some interesting remains. Here are a few not so known sights from Oslos history.

Aksiseboden (1830)

This anonymous grey building in Trondheimsveien, is no located in the middle of Oslos popular Grünerløkka area.

When it was built, it was located by the the main road to the city, exactly on the boundary of Oslo. When goods were brought in to the city from the rural area, aksise or city tax was charged before goods were allowed into the city. This tax was abolished in 1842, but the house is still called Aksiseboden after its former function.

Aksiseboden is located by the old gates of Tøyen Manor house with roots back to the 12th century. Read more here.

Kroghstøtten (1859)

Krohgstøtten was built as a poor house in 1859. The architect of this building was Christian Grosch, one of the most famous architects in Oslo. Some of his most famous buildings are the old university buildings (1854), Oslo stock exchange (1828), and the old building of the Bank of Norway (1830)

It was located by what used be the road through the old area of Fjerdingen, where there used to be a hospital for venereal diseases and a cholera cemetery. Today, the building of Christian Grosch, is what is left of a much larger hospital complex that was demolished in 1950.

In the attic room there is a small museum telling the history of Krohgstøtten hospital from the time it was built until the present day.

Oslo's oldest Hospital has roots back to a Fransiscan Monastery in 1290. Read more here.

The old Jewish Synagogue (1921)

The Norwegian Constitution of 1814 denied Jews and Jesuits admission to Norway. The constitution was changed in 1851, after the effort of the Norwegian poet and humanist Henrik Wergeland.

Early 20th century many Jews fled persecution in Eastern Europe and the number of Jews in the Norwegian capital increased from 343 in 1900 to 852 in 1920.

In 1921 this synagogue in Calmeyergaten was built for a congregation of Jews from Eastern Europe. It was in use until 1939. During the war the German occupiers ruined the synagogue. Since then it has been used as a Muslim school and a house for the Kurdish minority.

There are however plans for a Jewish museum in this building.

Location: Calmeyergaten, Oslo

Another Jewish sight - more on the old Jewish cemetery here on Enjoy Food & Travel

Tugthusmuren (1740)

In 1740 the authorities of Christiania (today's Oslo), built Tughthuset. Tugthuset was a workhouse for the undesirables of the capital. Those caught in fornication, theft, and other asocial conduct were to find their place in society through hard work, prayer, and physical punishment.

Tughthuset was a large complex with different buildings and even a cemetery. The main building was demolished in 1838 and the last buildings were used as a prison for women until 1900.

Now only the walls are left. When new buildings were built, the old wall was taken down stone by stone and incorporated in the new buildings.

Location: Hammersborggata, Oslo

The wall is incorporated into the great Italian restaurant Santino's. Read more here.

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