Gems of Oslo – The Glove

The legend has it that after the big town fire in 1624, the Danish-Norwegian King Christian IV decided to rebuild the town in this area and name it after himself. He supposedly pointed to this spot and said: “The new town will lie here!”. Now there is a fountain in the shape of a gloved hand pointing to the ground making the spot. 

Christian IV was the king of Denmark-Norway 1588-1648. He is remembered as one of the most remarkable Danish kings, having initiated many reforms and projects.

The sculpture, titled “Chritian IV’s Glove” is just known as “Hanske”, meaning “The Glove”, among locals. Situated in the middle of Christiania Torv square (also known as “The Glove square”) it was designed in the mid-1990s by the Norwegian artist Wenche Gulbransen.

The allegorical statue was one of the first sights for me to visit in Oslo and rightfully so, as I was running the glove making workshop in Oslo during the following days.

Hanske Oslo

Historically a glove has also played a significant role as a symbol of power. King´s glove was a symbol of rule like a seal. One could sell, make coins and take taxes with the possession of a king´s glove. In the Medieval times, the king´s glove hanged high above the market place symbolised the right to trade. At the end of the day, the glove would be taken down. Later the glove got replaced by the wooden shape of a hand.
So in a way, it is quite symbolic that a gloved hand is placed in the middle of the market square.