Norway – Christiania’s largest market

Direction—We are looking obliquely downward from the church steeple, so it will be found most effective to hold the stereoscope at such an angle that we look obliquely down on the face of the stereograph. Surroundings—Streets and house-roofs.

Now we find the statue of King Christian faces us. That building on the farther side of the square, at the left, is one from whose window we have just been looking. The crowd below is not the same one that we saw before, though probably many individuals are the same.

If we let our eyes rest first on one of these busy people, then on another and another, we shall find the effect is almost as if they themselves were shifting their positions and moving about while we watch from overhead !

The money that is changing hands there around King Christian’s pedestal consists mostly of silver and copper or bronze coins—kroner (crowns) worth twenty-seven cents each and ore which are hundredth parts of a krone.

This is the largest market in all Norway, for Christiania is the country’s one really big urban center. There are here over 227,000 people, and a large volume of business is transacted. Taking the country as a whole, 30 per cent. of the people get their living as these farming folk do, out of the soil, though many thou-sands raise crops only sufficient for their own households.

It is a very democratic people we find here. Though popular feeling is in favor of a monarchical rather than a republican government, these citizens are keenly conscious of their political rights. In 1814 a free constitution was adopted, and in 1821 nobility was abolished. All the men of twenty-five and upward are qualified voters, choosing representatives to Parliament—indeed some of the members of Parliament are themselves prosperous farmers, with a well-earned reputation for shrewd judgment and practical business sense, as well as enthusiastic patriotism. Two farmers of distinguished ability have recently (1906) become members of King Haakon’s cabinet.

The principal business street, where the best shops are located, is only a few minutes’ walk from here at the south (left). Let us go over there for a sight of the fine, substantial buildings and the city people as they come and go. Consult the map and see where we are next to stand—at the spot marked 5, part way up that main thoroughfare which leads from the railway to the palace.