Oslo is the capital and largest city of Norway. The history of the city can be traced back over 1000 years. According to the chronicles of Snorre Sturlason, Oslo was founded in 1048, by the king Harald Hardråde. The city became capital of Norway around 1300, but lost its privileges during the Danish-Norwegian union from 1348 to 1814. In 1624, a fire devastated old Oslo, and the city was moved some kilometers west to gain protection from the fortress at Akershus. The city was then renamed Christiania, a name that remained (although later spelled Kristiania) until it was officially renamed Oslo on January 1st, 1925.
The city center of Oslo is situated at the end of the Oslofjord, from where the city sprawls out both to the north and to the south on both sides of the fjord, giving the city area more or less the shape of a "U."