Municipality of Frogn
Drøbak is situated at the narrowest point of the Oslo fjord.
About Municipality of Frogn
From about the middle of the 1700s and onwards, this tiny coastal hamlet developed into a small town, supported by the timber industry and shipping. The town obtained its own Trading Charter rights in 1842, prior to this it was controlled by Christiania (Oslo). Even though we think of Drøbak as a typical small town, it is worth recalling that in 1800, Christiania had approx. 8,000 inhabitants, Moss 2,500 and Drøbak about 1,100. The municipalities of Drøbak and the surrounding district of Frogn were amalgamated into one unit, or kommune, in 1960.
We do not know exactly what the name Drøbak means. Most probably it is related to the Norwegian words, ‘Drøye bakker’ which literally means, long lasting hills, or hills that go on forever, and in Drøbak there are many such hills. Drøbak was also used as an outer port for Christiania. In the days of sailing vessels the inner parts of the Oslo fjord were often frozen during the winter months and ships were unable to reach the city. The water around Drøbak was open for most of the year. Cargo destined for the capital could then be discharged in Drøbak and transported inland by horse-drawn sledges. Some of the ships that were registered in Oslo were often laid up for the winter in Drøbak in order to be rapidly commissioned at the start of a new freight season. Ships were laid up at Kaholmene (Oscarsborg) and in Vindfangerbukta (literally, ‘Catch the wind bay’).