Oslo or is the capital and the most populous city in Norway. Oslo constitutes both a county and a municipality. Founded in the year 1040, and established as a kaupstad or trading place in 1048 by King Harald III, the city was elevated to a bishopric in 1070 and a capital under Haakon V around 1300. Personal unions with Denmark from 1397 to 1523 and again from 1536 to 1814 and with Sweden from 1814 to 1905 reduced its influence. After being destroyed by a fire in 1624, the city was moved closer to Akershus Fortress during the reign of King Christian IV and renamed Christiania in his honour. It was established as a municipality formannskapsdistrikt on 1 January 1838. Following a spelling reform, it was known as Kristiania from 1877 to 1925, at which time its original Norwegian name was restored. Oslo is the economic and governmental centre of Norway. The city is also a hub of Norwegian trade, banking, industry and shipping. It is an important centre for maritime industries and maritime trade in Europe. The city is home to many companies within the maritime sector, some of which are among the world’s largest shipping companies, shipbrokers and maritime insurance brokers. Oslo is a pilot city of the Council of Europe and the European Commission intercultural cities programme. oslo norway city scandinavia architecture building sea outdoor sky fjord water blue travel landmark skyline europe norwegian view tourism cityscape summer urban coast north outside exterior downtown landscape scandinavian culture construction glass scenic scene scenery sight panorama bath Oslo is considered a global city and ranked Beta World City in studies carried out by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network in 2008. It was ranked number one in terms of quality of life among European large cities in the European Cities of the Future 2012 report by fDi magazine. A survey conducted by ECA International in 2011 placed Oslo as the second most expensive city in the world for living expenses after Tokyo. In 2013 Oslo tied with the Australian city of Melbourne as the fourth most expensive city in the world, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit EIU’s Worldwide Cost of Living study. panoramic sightseeing pedestrian people walking barcode project high-rise high rise skyscraper apartment opera house beautiful modern contemporary national art old town new street road traffic lifestyle day commuter crowded public transport transportation yacht marina boat cruise ship harbor marine busy tourist business crowd swimming swim swimmer beach leisure happy woman sun female. As of January 1, 2016, the municipality of Oslo has a population of 658,390, while the population of the city’s urban area was 942,084. The metropolitan area had an estimated population of 1.71 million. The population is currently increasing at record rates, making it the fastest growing major city in Europe. This growth stems for the most part from international immigration and related high birth rates, but also from intra-national migration. The immigrant population in the city is growing somewhat faster than the Norwegian population, and in the city proper this is now more than 25% of the total. sunbath sunbathing sunbathe astrup fearnley museum fun girl design structure style bridge complex residential real estate district home neighborhood background industrial age revolution medieval european alley history historic historical stone village traditional sweden swedish store shop countryside nobody empty station gas petrol fuel gasoline oil car petroleum vehicle industry brick northern rock narrow ancient nordic. The Oslo Opera House Norwegian: Operahuset is the home of The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, and the national opera theatre in Norway. The building is situated in the Bjørvika neighborhood of central Oslo, at the head of the Oslofjord. It is operated by Statsbygg, the government agency which manages property for the Norwegian government. The structure contains 1,100 rooms in a total area of 38,500 m2 414,000 sq ft. The main auditorium seats 1,364 and two other performance spaces can seat 200 and 400. The main stage is 16 m 52 ft wide and 40 m 130 ft deep. The angled exterior surfaces of the building are covered with Italian marble and white granite and make it appear to rise from the water. It is the largest cultural building constructed in Norway since Nidarosdomen was completed circa 1300. The Barcode Project is a section of the Bjørvika portion of the Fjord City redevelopment on former dock and industrial land in central Oslo. It consists of a row of new multi-purpose high-rise buildings, due to be completed in 2014. The developer is marketing the project as The Opera Quarter. There has been intense public debate about the height and shape of the buildings. The Old Town of Oslo in Norwegian: Gamlebyen is a neighborhood in the inner city of Oslo, Norway, belonging to the borough of Gamle Oslo and is the oldest urban areas within the current capital. Oslo’s old town was established with the urban structure around year 1000 and was the capital of Norway’s dominion in 1314. Old Town core area i.e. the southern and the central part of Old Town has several ruins of stone and brick lying above ground, and large amounts of protected culture underground. The core area also has a listed 1700s buildings. Towards Ekeberg slope and further up are some 17th and 18th-century wooden houses that are zoned for conservation under the Planning and Building Act, though there exist in the Old Town many four-storey brick houses, built at the end of the 1800s, and some heritage railway buildings from different eras.