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The City Hall is probably Stockholm’s most photographed building. The building is especially photogenic during sunset when the silhouette stands out against the pink sky. The City Hall is filled with precious tapestries, paintings, gold-plated chandeliers and brass doors. Visitors are welcome throughout the year, however in December, the building hosts the lavish Nobel Banquet only for special guests.
The Blue Hall is not actually blue at all. When architect Ragnar Östberg walked into the hall during the construction, he noticed how the sunlight hit the high brick walls and decided to leave the red bricks exposed rather than paint the room blue. The Blue Hall, designed as an Italian Renaissance square, is the most famous hall thanks to the Nobel dinner. The Golden Hall is, however, far more impressive: the history of Sweden is depicted by more than 18 million gold-plated mosaic tiles that twinkle and sparkle in the light.
“The Council Chamber resembles a longhouse from the Viking era”
Stockholm’s City Hall is first and foremost a working city hall with 200 offices for civil servants and a Council Chamber. But the Council Chamber is hardly your run-of-the-mill meeting room: furnished with wood, wonderful wall decorations and exposed beams, the space resembles a Viking longhouse where the tribal leaders used to gather. Other City Hall highlights include the largest organ in Northern Europe with 10,000 pipes in the Blue Hall, and the Golden Hall’s huge mosaic of the ‘Queen of Lake Mälaren' (Stockholm’s old nickname). Climb to the top of the 106-metre-high tower – crowned by the Golden Tre Kronor, Sweden’s heraldic symbol – for a spectacular view of Stockholm’s 14 islands.
Marie Curie started dinner with turtle broth, Winston Churchill feasted on venison roast with mashed chestnuts, and Pablo Neruda polished off a soufflé glacé dessert with Grand Marnier. The chef who prepares the annual Nobel banquet for 1,300 guests works in the Stadshuskällaren restaurant. Here you can sample something from every Nobel menu since 1901 and everything is served on official Nobel tableware. The restaurant in the vaulted cellar underneath the City Hall also prepares classic Swedish dishes with a contemporary twist.