The main street in Oslo, Karl Johans gate, stretches from the Royal Palace to the Central Station. We recommend a guided tour with a duration of approximately two hours. They are free and the sessions often start at the Parliament building, dating to 1866.
East of the pedestrianized section of Karl Johans gate, just before the main station, is Oslo Cathedral (Domkirken). It was consecrated in 1697 after a fire destroyed its predecessor.
The ruins of an even earlier cathedral, St. Halvard’s, named after Oslo’s patron saint, lie to the east of the city of Gamle Oslo (old town), where the first city stood. Before going into the Domkirke, take a look at the stone relief to the right of the main entrance (1100). The 1718 tower clock us Norway’s oldest.
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The interior owes its appearance mainly to a restoration in 1950, but the original design is typified by the organ front which now surrounds a modern organ. The stained glass windows are the work of Emmanuel Vigeland, and the ceilings were painted by Hugo Louis Mohr, depicting various biblical scenes.
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Behind the cathedral is Basarhallene, a round colonnaded market with food, flower and handcraft stalls, galleries and Café Bacchus, which is open to at least 1am (except Sundays).
The last stretch of Karl Johans gate leads to Oslo Central Station (Oslo Sentralstasjon) or Oslo “S” and a more hectic part of town with shopping centers and city hotels.
Feature image (on top): Oslo Central Station, Østbanehallen, Jernbanetorvet
A Stroll Through the Heart of Oslo, written by Tor Kjolberg