The Suburbs

The suburbs of Christiania were as old as the town itself, some even older than Christian IV’s new town.

Pipervika, a tiny shore settlement west of the castle, was wherefishermen and day laborers lived. Oslo’s flour mills and sawmills lay atSagene. Vaterland was also built up before Christiania was founded in 1624,while Grensen grew in its first years.

New suburbs grew up in the 1700s, especially along the roads leading intotown. Among these were Storgata, Fjerdingen, Hammersborg, Bergfjerdingen,Telehusbakken and Lakkegata,  followed byEnerhaugen and Ruseløkkbakkene the early 1800s.

The suburbs were neither planned nor desired by the authorities, but were vital in providing labour for the town. They grew up because lack of space and legal requirements on building in brick made settlement in the town difficult and expensive. Small-scale trade and handwork conducted in suburbs were also unhindered by the strict regulations valid in town.