The history of Hotel Continental sounds like an old-fashioned fairytale about the children of a poor family who, through hard work and sheer talent, created a monument that has existed for over 100 years, and that will be with us for many, many years to come.
It all began in 1860 with Caroline Boman, who was born in Sweden. Instead of emigrating to America as so many of her contemporaries did, she came to Oslo (then called Christiania) in 1887. Four years later she married Christian Hansen from Oslo, who was also from a poor family. By that time both of them had begun working in the restaurant trade, Christian as a waiter and Caroline as a cook at Oslo’s Grand Hotel.
The National Theatre opened in 1899, and on 12 December 1900 the Hotel Continental with its Theatercaféen opened just across the street from the National Theatre. It didn’t take long before a saying was coined: “First came the theatre - then came the inn”.