Upon exiting Jernbanetorget, Oslo’s central main station, you will see a captivating bronze tiger sculpture confidently positioned outside. Created by sculptor Elena Engelsen, this 4.5-meter-long bronze masterpiece, titled “The Tiger,” was unveiled in 2000. Serving as a symbol of Oslo’s dynamic spirit, it embodies the strength and vitality of a roaring tiger, resonating with the city’s resilient character. Initially metaphorical in Bjørnson’s poem, depicting the capital’s challenges, the tiger has transformed over time, now representing Oslo’s positive evolution into a dynamic and international metropolis.
Oslo, affectionately known as Tigerstaden or “The Tiger City,” derives its moniker from Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson’s vivid imagery in the 1870 poem “Sidste Sang.” Originally portraying Oslo as a brutal hunter in the battle between a horse and a tiger, the poem’s narrative has evolved. Present-day Oslo proudly embraces the Tigerstaden name, signifying a lively and welcoming metropolis. The association has shifted from danger to positivity, illustrating a city that is not only safe and inclusive but also a highly sought-after international destination. Standing before the Tiger Sculpture amidst the bustling hub of shops and cafes, visitors experience more than a cultural symbol; they immerse themselves in the vibrant urban energy that defines Oslo’s proud identity as The Tiger City.