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Together with Kjelsås, Grefsen was part of the borough Grefsen-Kjelsås until January 1, 2004, when they became part of the new borough of Nordre Aker. Grefsen and Kjelsås were also part of the former municipality of Aker before the Second World War, when the city of Oslo was confined to today's central areas.
The mountain Grefsenåsen is named after the farm.
The neighbourhood is named after the old farm Grefsen (Norse Grefsin, from *Grefsvin). The first element is *grefs 'steep hillside' (derived from the verb grafa 'dig (out)'), the last element is vin f 'meadow'. The old farm had Akerselva as its western border, and the hillside/riverside down to the river is very steep.
People who have lived in Grefsen
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