Monday, 2 July 2012

Christiania, Norway

Christiania was the name given to Oslo after the city was destroyed by a fire in 1624. The city was rebuilt nearer to Akershus Castle during the reign of King Christian IV and renamed Christiania in his honour. It was established as a municipality (formannskapsdistrikt) on 1 January 1838. Following a spelling reform, it was known as Kristiania from 1877 to 1925, when its original Norwegian name Oslo was restored.

Lowry refers to Oslo as Christiania in his first novel Ultramarine as the main protagonist in the novel Dana Hilliot was born in Oslo prior to the name change; Andy the cook of Oedipus Tyrannus "had lost his ticket as a second mate on a tramp steamer out of Christiania." (Ultramarine Pg. 17); "I was born in Oslo when it was Christiania, so I can always say if anyone asks me, that I am a Christiania boy." (Ultramarine Pg.84); "I was born in Christiania, in the Christian den 4 des gade (sic gate), dangerous names for me. (Ultramarine Pg.93); "When Christiania became Oslo I sold, in my desperation, the Dagbladet, and lectured on the Greenland occupation." (Ultramarine Pg. 93)

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