Royals grace Oslo’s Sagene

Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Crown Prince HaakonCrown Princess Mette-Marit and Crown Prince Haakon run an electric bike with 80-year-old Harald Øyen.Photo: Heiko Junge / NTB scanpix

With this visit being part of a planned series of royal tours embracing Oslo’s unique neighborhoods, Oslo’s Sagene district had pleasure yesterday, May 14th, to host H.R.H. Crown Prince Haakon of The Royal House of Norway and his wife, Crown Princess Mette-Marit.


The Sagene borough is the smallest in Oslo and includes the neighborhoods of Sagene, Bjølsen, Iladalen (Ila), Sandaker, Åsen, and Torshov.

Desiring to gain a more detailed perspective of Oslo’s surrounding districts,The royal couple have slated a series of informal trips to review the diverse historical & cultural backgrounds offered by Oslo’s neighborhoods.

This desire to experience, learn & reflect was the theme & flavor of Crown Prince Haakon & Crown Princess Mette-Marit’s visit to Oslo’s Sagene district.

Sagene became part of the city of Oslo (then Christiania) in 1859. The name Sagene reflects the industrial, mechanical saws powered by river Akerselva in this area in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Akerselva is “Oslo’s lungs”; with many parks and nature trails found by its shores from Grønland to Maridalsvannet. The Old Norse name of the river was Frysja, and this name has been revived as the name of a neighborhood along the river. Frysja is probably from the verb Frusa ‘froth’, referring to the river’s many waterfalls.

During their extensive Sagene tour, the royal couple enjoyed hearing details of 1840’s Norwegian industry at the Sagene Labor Museum, and the also had pleasure to experience Ellen Jacobsen’s statue, “Fabrikkjentene på Beierbrua”, set in memory of Oslo’s women industrial workers.

The royal couple also had pleasure to visit the memorial bust of Norwegian novelist & playwright Oskar Braaten while reviewing Hønse-Lovisa House.

Hønse-Lovisa is a character in the play Ungen by Oskar Braaten who lives at Akerselva during the 19th century. The house played role of “Hønsereiret” in the 1974 film Ungen.

After pleasant visit with Sagene’s Senior Center, the royals were electrically propelled to their next tour at Haarklou’s Place.

Johannes Haarklou (May 13, 1847 – November 26, 1925) was a Norwegian composer, organist, conductor, and music critic. He had a reputation as a virtuoso on the organ.

He was decorated Knight, First Class of the Order of St. Olav in 1911. He died in Oslo during 1925 and buried in the cemetery at Old Aker Church.1927 saw a memorial stone in his honor erected at Haukedalen.

Of their ‘electrifying’ Sagene tour, H.R.H. Crown Princess Mette-Marit & Crown Prince Haakon were chauffeured merrily along by 80 year Harald Øyen within a zippy, electric, 3-wheeled open carriage; adding much to the royal couple’s pleasurable review of Oslo’s Sagene district.


© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today