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The tiger in front of Oslo Central Station is one of Oslo's most photographed "inhabitants" and one of the first things that meet a visitor arriving at Oslo Central Station.
When Oslo celebrated its 1000-year anniversary in 2000, Eiendomsspar wanted to give the city a gift. Oslo wanted a tiger, and that's what they got: a 4.5-metre bronze tiger made by Elena Engelsen.
Why a tiger?
The reason Oslo wanted a tiger, is the city's nickname Tigerstaden ("The Tiger City"), which most Norwegians are familiar with. The name was probably first used by Norwegian poet Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. His poem "Sidste Sang" from 1870 describes a fight between a horse and a tiger; the tiger representing the dangerous city and the horse the safe countryside.
Since then Oslo has been known as "The Tiger City", but these days it's not necessarily meant as a negative thing. "The Tiger City" can be an exciting and happening place rather than dangerous.