Ahead of tomorrow’s Nobel Peace Prize Ceremony, here’s a quick tour of Oslo’s City Hall, the building that has hosted the event each December 10 since 1990. Above is the ‘Great Hall’, or Rådhushallen, the room where Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai will be presented with the prize on Wednesday.
I’ve attended or covered events in the building on six occasions since 2006, and have yet to tire of subsequent quick explorations. While it would be a stretch to describe the functionalist town hall as attractive architecturally, there’s plenty to admire and study; as you’ll see from the gallery below, I’m most drawn to the massive murals and other artworks that decorate the various rooms, entryways and halls. Some depict important moments from the city’s history, others are simple scenes from everyday life. There are also a handful that would not be found inside a public building anywhere in the U.S.
Oslo’s most famous building sits in the Norwegian capital’s central downtown district with the fjord waterfront providing a dramatic backdrop. But it wasn’t always this picturesque.
When the area was selected and set aside for the new municipal building in 1915, the area was primarily a slum area that gradually became gentrified over the next three decades which allowed for an entirely new central district to emerge. Construction began in 1930 but was delayed during World War II and finally finished in 1950.
It’s a popular spot, hosting more than 300 events per year and upwards of 300,000 visitors annually. Open daily 9am-4pm, July and August 9am-6pm. Admission is free. Free tours during summer months at 10am, noon and 2pm. Visiting hours.
A few links:
- Oslo City Hall website (English)
- Nobel Prize home
- Nobel Peace Prize home
- Press release on 2014 recipient announcement
The Peace Prize ceremony will take place from 1-2:40pm CET. You can watch it live via the Nobel website. Christiane Amanpour will also host a live program on CNN from 5-6pm CET.
The rest of the tour.
The back, or north side..
The Banquet rooms and halls.
A sampling of the murals and paintings.
Portraits of the monarchs: King Harald V and Queen Sonja.
.. and the front.
Facing the fjord.
The lead image, snapped on 05-June-2008, also serves as today’s Pic du Jour, the 330th straight.
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