It has become one of the most photographed sights in Oslo, in bronze, and it’s one of the first things you see when arriving at Oslo Central Station. Of course, we are talking about Oslo’s iconic statue, The Tiger!
The 4.5 metre-long bronze tiger, made by Elena Engelsen, was a gift to the city of Oslo when it celebrated its 1000th anniversary in 2000. The city of Oslo wanted a tiger, and that’s what they got. Do you think it’s weird? Well, there is a reason, of course! Oslo happens to have a nickname: Tigerstaden (The Tiger City). It’s believed it was mentioned for the first time by a Norwegian poet, Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson, whose poem “Sidste Sang” (1870) describes a fight between a horse and a tiger. The horse represents the safe countryside, and the tiger represents the dangerous city. Today the nickname isn’t known for the same meaning; it’s more of a way to describe an exciting and happening city.
If you want to visit the statue, head to Jernbanetorget, the square in front of the central station. It’s hard to miss!