The Tiger in front of Oslo Central Station is one of Oslo’s most photographed statues and one of the first things that meet a visitor arriving at Oslo Central Station.
When Oslo celebrated its 1000-year anniversary in 2000, Eiendomsspar wanted to give the city a gift. Oslo wanted a tiger, and that’s what they got: a 4.5-meter bronze tiger made by Elena Engelsen.
But why a tiger? The reason Oslo wanted a tiger, is the city’s nickname “Tigerstaden” (The Tiger City). This nickname was probably first used by Norwegian poet Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson. His poem “Sidste Sang” from 1870 describes a fight between a horse and a tiger; the tiger representing the dangerous city and the horse the safe countryside.
Since then Oslo has been known as “Tigerstaden”, but these days it’s not meant as a negative thing. “The Tiger City” is now an exciting place with a lot of happenings rather than dangerous.