Bank Square

Denne artikkelen omtaler et sted

Åpne i Oslo Bykart
- Photo: Astrid Ledang / Oslo Byleksikon

Bank Square (Bankplassen), The, Sentrum, bordered by Kirkegata, Kongens gate and Myntgata, gets its name from Norges Bank. The first bank building was erected here in 1828 (no. 2). The square was laid out in an area which became available after the fortress had been designated for removal in 1815 and the ramparts and glacis of the Lower Fortress had been demolished in the 1820s. A representative square was established, with a number of the public buildings of the new Norwegian state – primarily for the civil and military administration. The square also became a cultural centre with the building of Christiania Theater on the south-eastern section of the square. Between the theatre and the old bank building park vegetation was planted, carried out by the Oslo Society in 1860. The theatre was demolished in 1899 to make way for the second building of Norges Bank, which was completed in 1906. This completely changed the character of the square, since the bank building now filled the entire south section of the square, both where the theatre had stood and where there had been a park. By the end of the 19th century, the square had become a popular place for taking walks, and restaurant Engebret was a favourite haunt of the city’s artists. After the theatre had been removed, the precinct lost is position as a cultural focus point and life on the square declined.

On the square stands Brynjulf Bergslien’s statue of the actor Johannes Brun, moved here in 1986 from Nationaltheatret. The northern part of the square was cobbled and provided with a fountain in connection with the erection of the new Norges Bank building in 1986. In front of the second building, where the Museum of Contemporary Art used to be, there is a portrait bust of Gunnar Jahn by Marit Wiklund, which was unveiled in 1998. In front of Engebret’s there is a bronze statue called ‘Girl with Headphones’ by Marit Krogh, which dates from 2014.

All three bank buildings as well as Engebret’s Café are marked with The Oslo Society’s blue plaques.