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Old November 20th, 2007, 01:05 PM   #1
joamox
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Oslo of yore

I plan to use this thread to post some old photos and sketches of Oslo to show how the city once looked and how it has evolved.
(All photos and sketches are from byarkivet and Norsk Folkemuseum, except from a few from other scattered sources)

I'll start with Stortorvet, Oslo's central square since ca 1730, with the church of Our Saviour (Var Frelsers kirke) as its focal point.

The buildings on the square have changed quite a few times but this is how it looked by the 1900s.
The principal differences today are the three buildings at the western side of the square, which was replaced with a modern structure in the 1960s, and on the northern side in the direction of Torggata on either side of the entrance to that street.



The disappearance of the building furthest to the left in the picture above has created a broken corner on Karl Johans gate. It burned down in 1959. The other two were later demolished.



Here we see the buildings in the direction of Torggaten. The extension of Glasmagasinet in the 1970s corrected the massive difference in height here. The building at the opposite side of the street with a small tower was altered beyond recognition around the same time.



Here we get a closer look at that building.

More to follow.
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Old November 20th, 2007, 02:51 PM   #2
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Cool thread. Looking forward to see more changes done in Oslo over the years.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 02:02 PM   #3
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The church of our Saviour, on the east side of the square and still Oslo's main church, is originally from 1697.
It was built at a time when the city's fortifications were being given up and the town expanded modestly towards the north.
A devastating fire in 1686 and military considerations had led to the destruction of the previous church from ca 1640. The church was very modest, probably due to economic difficulties at the time it was built, and the square was not properly laid out until 1730. First a small lake on the site had to be drained. Although modest on the outside, the church eventually acquired a respectable interior due to gifts bestowed by the upper classes.

The church we see today is basically the result of an enlargement that took place in the 1850s under the direction of Alexis Chateauneuf from Hamburg.

The royal palace architect. D. F. Linstow delievered this counter-proposal to Chateauneufs scheme, in a surprisingly eclectic and eastern style.



The other major local architect at the time Christian Grosch proposed a rather conventional neo-gothic design

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Old November 21st, 2007, 08:59 PM   #4
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Nice - I love old pictures!

When looking at my hometown I think a lot of charm have been lost by the "modern" crap from after WW2 or even WW1
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Old November 24th, 2007, 11:05 AM   #5
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The church that preceded the Church of Our Saviour was the Church of the Holy Trinity (Trefoldighedskirken). It stood finished in 1639 and was Christiania's, but not Oslo's, first church. It stood on the square that preceded Stortorvet as the city's main square, what is now known as Christiania torv. The church was demolished after the fire of 1686, due mostly to military considerations and its proximity to the fortress of Akershus.

It is not known exactly what this church looked like, and this depiction by a French artist may not be very reliable:



Most agree that it was probably a more impressive edifice than its successor and we know that it had a tall square tower, spire, four clocks and was covered in red dutch brick with ornaments in natural stone.



A new church was built on this site in 1878, a neo-gothic structure named Johanneskirken. This church lasted until 1928 when it was torn down because of a weak foundation that had caused constant problems and rendered it unsafe to use.
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Old November 24th, 2007, 12:35 PM   #6
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Such a shame! Both Holy Trinity Church and Johanneskirken looked (as far as I can see) really nice.
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Old November 29th, 2007, 03:39 PM   #7
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Moving on to Pipervika, the building of the city hall changed this area completely.
Pipervika developed into a slum just west of the city walls after 1624, when the city was moved west. Most of the buildings here were built in wood and did not follow the regulations in place inside the city walls. By the beginning of the 20th century, more and more of the city had moved westward and at least the eastern part of Pipervika was by then built mostly in brick. However, the area still had the appearance of a slum and a decision was taken to use the city hall project to renovate it entirely.



The street in front of the buildings on fjord was called Søgaden. It does not exist anymore. Tordenskiolds Plass is on the right.



The building of city hall began in the 1930s and the buildings on Søgaden began to be demolished.



The whole area was completely rebuilt.
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Old December 6th, 2007, 11:44 AM   #8
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Further west in vika some really slummy areas. This place used to be called Algiers and Tunis because those states were known as pirate states at that time and this area was kinda dodgy.

By the end of the 19th century Victoria Terasse was built in this infamous part of town



The building in the middle was destroyed during an allied bombing raid in WWII, this because Victoria Terasse was Gestapo headquarters.
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Old December 15th, 2007, 05:01 PM   #9
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Up the road from here towards Frogner, at Solli Plass where the Indeks building is today, stood the English quarter, a building which has often been compared to Victoria Terasse. It was torn down in the 60's.



The building which stood where the American embassy is today was known as Kong Oscars minde. The architect was Christian Grosch. It was a home for old women or something like that.



Also close to the English quarter was something called Mogens Thorsens Stiftelse, which stood in what is now Hydroparken.

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Old December 15th, 2007, 08:04 PM   #10
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Much great architecture has been lost, either during WWII or development of commieblocks, too bad they didn't see great architecture back then as we do today.
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Old December 15th, 2007, 08:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qazaq View Post
Much great architecture has been lost, either during WWII or development of commieblocks, too bad they didn't see great architecture back then as we do today.
Tell that to the commieblocks in 60 years HAH!
Dont deny it, it will be like this!
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Old December 15th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ch1le View Post
Tell that to the commieblocks in 60 years HAH!
Dont deny it, it will be like this!
I regret that I have to agree with you...
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Old December 16th, 2007, 04:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qazaq View Post
Much great architecture has been lost, either during WWII or development of commieblocks, too bad they didn't see great architecture back then as we do today.
All things considered, Oslo's 19-th century architecture is fairly well preserved. Much of what was lost went because they were torn down to make room for something else and not because of war. There are some horrible mistakes, like the English quarter, which were replaced with concrete brutes covered with granite pebbles, something that seems to have been quite popular in Oslo in the 60's and which won architectural prices at the time. It's normal, it seems, to dislike the architectural style that preceded our own time and admire what came before that. Apparently, that generation saw something in those buildings that we don't. Yet, they represent a part of Oslo and I think there is room for all kinds of styles in this city, so I don't necessarily regret the total overhaul of Vika for instance.

However, one could speculate on whether the old slums of Vika could have been spruced up and become something like Grunerlokka is today. There were definitely some interesting buildings in there and Tivoli would sure have been a main tourist attraction today. Also there were some nice buildings along Sogaden and I like the layout of Tordenskiold's plass. That's probably a bit too much foresight to ask from city planners in the 30's. Also, it would not have helped in terms of need for adequate office space in sentrum.

We can only imagine what would have happened to the area if the city hall was not proposed built here or the project had not been delayed from it's inception after WW1 to the 30's.

The architects chosen for the city hall project originally presented this design in 1918, and they were chosen as architects on the basis of it:



The architects began to change their original plans in the 1920s.



By 1931, the plans start to resemble the structure we know, and this is also the time when construction finally could begin.

Here is an even older sketch for the project, 1916. This got the architects to the final selection stage.



We can only wonder what the original plans would have done to the area. Presumably the historicist elements would have been a sharper feature than the functionalist.

Thanks for the comments guys, feel free to share your thoughts on any of this.
Also, huge thanks to Byarkivet and Arkitekturmuseet for letting me use these images, kremt kremt.
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Old December 21st, 2007, 11:21 PM   #14
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Great thread Joamox! Many things I didn`t know here, like the English quarter. Many of these buildings should not have been thorn down, but I`m not sad about Vika..

Keep posting
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Old December 29th, 2007, 07:23 AM   #15
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It's time to go further back in time to when the city was just Kvadraturen.

The main square, Christiania torv:



Originally Christiania Katedralskole, in Dronningens gate, this building was used as Parliament until the new one was built. It was finally torn down to make way for the Old Post Office building. The interior assembly room has been reconstructed and can be seen at the Folkmuseum.



Collettgaarden in Kirkegata



Christiania Theater was originally built on Bankplassen by Grosch early 19th century. It was demolished to make way for a new Norges Bank building. The new building is now used as a museum, Samtidsmuseet.

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Old January 4th, 2008, 01:36 PM   #16
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Before the sanitation of Vika, the city also had its tivoli modelled on the one in Copenhagen. In fact, even before that this area, Klingenberg, was known for its entertainment scene, and prostitutes.



The entrance building stood on Stortinggsgata, right next to the national theatre, where Hoyre's hus now stands.



the circus.
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Old January 19th, 2008, 10:32 AM   #17
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Next update focuses on Linstow's by and Karl Johans gate

The city centre shifted significantly to the west in the 19th century whereas in the 17th and 18th centuries the city expansion had been more in a north, north-east direction. The main contributor to this was the placing of the new royal palace on the Bellevue hill, to the west of the city, allegedly King Karl Johan himself personally chose the site.

the Palace architect D.F Linstow drew the plans for a main boulevard to connect the new palace with the old city. His plans were realised only in part.

Linstow had originally intended a central square with university, parliament and some other civic buildings, but only the northern half of this square was ever realised, known today as university square. Linstow wanted the university to be in some kind of medieval Florentine style. He had also originally intended buildings on both sides of the boulevard but this was hindered by people buying the plots on both sides to avoid neighbors on the southern side. That's why we have a park there today, Studenterlunden.



The Palace itself also underwent changes because of shortage of funds.
Linstow originally planned two-storied H-shaped complex



In 1906, there were proposals to enlarge the palace into something similar to what originally had been intended, but nothing came of it.

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Old February 26th, 2008, 11:24 AM   #18
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To you guys who think you know Oslo, here is a quiz for you

Where is/was this?

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Old February 26th, 2008, 11:55 AM   #19
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No problem. It must be Torggata, hehe
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Old February 26th, 2008, 12:23 PM   #20
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Spot on, ok, here is another one



post-edit: This is actually Akersgata, between Grensen and Høyesterettsplass/Apotekergaten
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