Oslo has been the capital since 1814, when Norway gained its independence from Denmark. The city is one of Europe's fastest-growing capitals, with annual population increases exceeding 2 per cent in recent years. The capital is the seat of Regjeringen (the Norwegian Government) and Stortinget (the Norwegian Parliament). The home of Norway's King Harald V and Queen Sonja, The Royal Palace, is located at the end of Oslo's main street, Karl Johans gate.
Many of Norway’s main businesses and educational institutions are based in Oslo, which is also home to important cultural institutions such as the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, the Norwegian Opera and Ballet and the National Theatre.
Oslo is located innermost in the 100-kilometre-long Oslofjord, which is home to 40 islands. Over half of the municipality of Oslo is covered by forests and parks, making Oslo a truly green city.
Oslo’s climate is milder than its latitude might indicate. Summer temperatures often equal those of cities much further south, yet the winters are cold enough to make Oslo a great skiing destination.
The prestigious Nobel Peace Prize is awarded annually on 10 December in Oslo City Hall.
Oslo hosted the 1952 Winter Olympics and the 1930, 1966, 1982 and 2011 FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. Every winter Holmenkollen hosts World Cup biathlon and Nordic skiing events.
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The capital of Norway is also its largest city. Oslo has over 600,000 inhabitants and covers 454 square kilometres, 242 of which are forests.
Key facts about Oslo
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