Provocative House

This house – or rather its gates are so unusual that in 1992 it became the reason for a curious case: German tourist passing by was so shocked, that he was found unconscious on the pavement.

The reason was simple. The house was built in a typical architecture style of the Third Reich and the gates featured large swastika decorations.

However, as far as it’s known, German architects never took part in the construction. If one does not get hung up on the Nazi ideology, the situation will look far more harmless. First, let’s start with the fact that the swastika (the «卐» or the «卍» symbols) is one of the most ancient and most widespread graphical symbols. It was used by many nations of the world on everyday objects, clothing, coins, vases, weaponry, heraldic banners and coats of arms, as well as while designing homes and churches. It is about 10 thousand years old and has many meanings. It was a sign of movement, life, sun, light, and well being. Sadly, in the XX century the swastika was «monopolized» by Hitler’s Germany and in the modern world it is now associated strictly with the fascist regime. However, for a short period of time in the thirties of the same XX century, the swastika was used as a symbol for producing electrical energy, since it looks like a turbine and is traditionally connected with light, movement and energy.

Now that you know all the background history of the symbol, it is easy to understand why the swastika / turbine decorated the gates of the headquarters of Oslo Lysverker AS – a Norwegian electrical company. The home was built in 1931, about a year or two before the tragic events of Germany unfolded and so it does not have any political meaning. I would also like to add from myself that I am very happy that the city government did not destroy everything that looks like fascist symbolism in the years after the Second World War.

The house is located at Sommerogata 1 in Oslo.

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