Info on Oslo and Sandvika

Oslo is the capital and largest city in Norway. Oslo was established as a municipality in 1838, but the city was founded around 1048 by King Harald III “Hardråde” of Norway.

The city was largely destroyed by a fire in 1624, and rebuilt as Christiania (briefly also spelt Kristiania). In 1925 the city reclaimed its original Norwegian name, Oslo.

Oslo is the cultural, scientific, economic and governmental centre of Norway. The city is also a hub of Norwegian trade, banking, industry and shipping. The city is home to many companies within the maritime sector, some of them are amongst the world's largest shipping companies, shipbrokers and maritime insurance brokers.

For several years, Oslo has been listed as one of the most expensive cities in the world along with such other global capitals as Zurich, Geneva, Copenhagen, Paris, and Tokyo.

The population currently increases at a rate of over 2 % annually, making it one of the fastest growing capitals in Europe.

The city centre is situated at the end of the Oslo fjord from where the city sprawls out in three distinct corridors from its centre: inland north-eastwards and southwards lining both sides of the fjord giving the city area more or less the shape of a large, reclining Y when seen from the north. To the north and east wide forested hills (Marka) rise above the city giving the location the shape of a giant amphitheatre.

City of Oslo 454.03 km2 (175.3 sq mi)
Urban 285.26 km2 (110.1 sq mi)
Population (as of June 2016)
City of Oslo 658 390
Metropolitan area 1,7 mill.

Of Oslo's total area, 115 km2 (44 sq mi) is built-up and 7 km2 (2.7 sq mi) is agricultural. The open areas within the built-up zone amount to 22 km2 (8.5 sq mi).

Sandvika is the administrative center of the municipality of Bærum (population of 121 000 by mid 2015), the neighboring municipality to Oslo. Sandvika is situated approx. 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) west of Oslo city senter. Sandvika has Scandinavia's largest super mall, Sandvika Storsenter (next to the venue hotel), with 190 stores and a total area of 60,000 square meters or 650,000 square feet. The nearby island of Kalvøya is a place for recreation.

Claude Monet visited Sandvika in early 1895. During his stay, he painted several views of the town and the surrounding landscape; with the mountain ridge Kolsås featuring in many of the paintings either in the background or as the primary subject. Perhaps the most well known of the paintings from this visit is 'Sandviken Village in Snow' which features the Løkke bridge in the foreground with Kolsås in the background. The bridge still stands in Sandvika.

Richard Wagner's opera The Flying Dutchman takes place near Sandvika (spelled "Sandwike" in the German libretto).

(Based on text from Wikipedia.)