Christiania Torv

Christiania Torv is the epicenter of the old town of Oslo, aka Christiania which is located on the feet of Akershus fortress. Christiania was named after her founder King Christian IV of Denmark, who after a devastating fire that burned Oslo to the ground in 1624, decided to rebuild a new, modern city in the shadow of the protective fortress. The city followed a strict plan of a rectangular grid of streets which gave it its characteristic orthogonal layout, the Kvadraturen, the quadrature as the locals call it.

Christiania Torv , Photo by Torv

Today Christiania is packed with all sorts of galleries, shops & restaurants including the city’s oldest restaurant, Café Engebret, originating from the 1700s, the city’s first town hall in the old marketplace of Christiania, right next to the exact point where the king ordered for the new city to be built, where a statue of a pointing finger stands today commemorating the incident.

The Old Town Hall was later used as a fire station, church, private residence, high court, the city’s assembly rooms, a prison, and a Freemasons’ meeting place until finally in 1856 it was transferred to the restaurateur Matheus Helseth and a restaurant, the Gamle Raadhus Restaurant was opened on the ground floor. After 1980 the Theatre Museum took up the first floor. Some of the city’s oldest buildings are found around the square of Christiania Torv where the first town hall & the sculpture of the pointing finger are located.