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The original founder of Oslo was King Harald Hardrade who began settlement in the area in the year 1048. However, King Hardrade did not stay in the area for very long and never made it his only home. Despite this early foundation, it was over two hundred years before Oslo began to be considered to capital of the area which is now known as Norway. In 1289, King Hakon V came to power in Oslo and began to build the area into a capital city. One of the many contributions to this was his building of the Akershus Fortress ( http://www.norway.com/directories/d_c... ). King Hakon V reigned until 1319.
In the early fifteenth century, there were international problems between Norway and nearby Denmark. Denmark succeeded in these battles and Oslo once again was reduced to being little more than a blip on the radar of the area. All prominent leaders moved out of the area, mostly settling in Copenhagen.
In 1624, the area was actually completely destroyed in a national fire and Oslo moved from its original relocation. It was rebuilt at a nearby location across from the Akershus Fortress. The king at the time was King Christian IV who renamed the area Christiana after himself, although the name didn’t stick for long.
In 1811, the University of Oslo was founded and the area began to thrive again. This was supplemented by the fact that Denmark and Norway separated from one another in 1814 and Oslo was once again a true capital. The area has been growing steadily ever since, although growth is sometimes discouraged because of concerns that overpopulation in the area might lead to depletion of natural resources.