164: Oslo Becomes Capital of Norway

On this date in the year 1314, the city of Oslo became the capital of Norway.

Here are some things you may not have known about the city.

Oslo traces its history to about 1000 AD with the building of St. Clement’s Church. King Hakkon the Fifth moved the capital of Norway from Bergen on the western coast to Oslo, which is located at the head of a fjord in the eastern part of the country. The new location being closer to trading partners in Sweden and Denmark. Soon after the move, the Black Death devastated Norway, killing about three-quarters of the population of Oslo.

The population loss left Norway in a vulnerable position and it soon entered into the Kalmar Union with Denmark and Sweden and was ruled from Copenhagen by Queen Margaret of Denmark. In 1624 after being destroyed by fire 14 times, King Christian the Fourth ordered the city of Oslo moved across the bay and rebuilt with the new name of Christiania. Norway would remained tied to Denmark until 1814, and then Sweden until 1905.

In 1905, Norway became independent under King Hakkon VII, the grandfather of Harald the Fifth, the reigning monarch. In 1925, the city of Christiania reverted to the name Oslo.

As of 2014, Oslo had a population of more than 630,000. Slightly more than 70 percent are ethnically Norwegian. Pakistanis are the largest ethnic minority, followed by Poles and Swedes.

Our question: Oslo is the site of the annual presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize. Who was the first American honored with the Peace Prize?

Today is Independence Day in Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia and Trinidad and Tobago. In the United States, it’s unofficially National Trail Mix Day. It’s the birthday of educator Maria Montessori, baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson and musician Van Morrison.

Our weekly take-home test: What two Norwegian cities have hosted the Winter Olympics?

Tweet the answer to us @triviapodcast or submit an answer at triviapeople.com/test and we’ll add the name of the person with the first correct answer to our winner’s wall at triviapeople.com. We’ll reveal the correct answer on Friday’s episode.

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