Postcard from Oslo, Norway, Brannvakten

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Brannvakten was completed in 1856 in connection with the bazaars and was Oslo’s first fire station.  Previous more or less random premises had been used and with no permanent staff.

After the big city fire on April 14, 1858, better fire service was set up with a new fire corps of 35 men who moved in in the 1860s-

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The tower was used to dry the water hoses and was to low as a lookout point, so the fire corps had a 24 – hour lookout point from the cathedral tower.  The city’s inhabitants were alarmed with gunshots and ringing the church bells.  To communicate with the fire station they pointed a red flag, in the daytime, and a torch at night,  in the direction of the fire.

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In the 1920s with modern technology, telegraph, and phone, the lookout was no longer needed and closed down.

The building was Oslos main fire station until 1941. It now houses the Oslo cathedral parish priest`s office.

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