When I see the town hall popping up on the horizon it feels like being home. Stockholm City Hall (Stadshuset) is a rather impressive building. The red stones against the blue sky are so photogenic! On top of the tower, the 3 crowns show off. It is my favorite building in Stockholm. Even though the city hall looks much older, it is a quite recent building. It is the place where the annual noble dinner takes place after the Nobel Prize ceremony in Konserthuset and it is the only reason that first time tourists during their city trip also go to Kungsholmen Island.
The building was built between 1911 and 1923 by Kreuger & Tall and the architect of the building is Ragnar Östberg. No less than 8 million bricks were needed to build Stockholm City Hall. Stadshuset is really a landmark and you can see the building from many places in Stockholm. Because you have a beautiful view from Riddarholmen during sunset and the city hall fits in beautifully, it will without doubt be the building that I have photographed the most. It is a real Stockholm view for me. Visiting Stockholm’s City Hall can only be done by following a guided tour. These are organized every day both in Swedish as in English.
The Blue Hall is the first room where a tour in Stadshuset takes you. You’ll see it immediately: the blue room is not blue. The hall is 1500m² and 22m high and was originally intended as an open courtyard where you could see the blue sky. The architect Ragnar Östberg gained his inspiration from the Italian Renaissance. Because of the weather conditions in Scandinavia, the room also needed a roof so that the room could be used throughout the year.
The aim was to paint the red bricks blue to have a blue sky in the room, but when the architect saw how beautiful the light fell on the red stones, he eventually decided to let the stones like this. In the meantime, the name had already been used by everyone so it has always remained the Blue Hall.
In the corner of the Blue Hall you will find Scandinavia’s largest organ with 10,000 organ pipes and 135 registers. It is in the Blue Hall that the Nobeldiner is served on December 10 each year.
The Golden Hall – Gyllende Salen
The moment the doors of the Golden Room open are one of the most spectacular moments of the tour. Every door weighs 1 ton and is made out of copper. Inside, 18 million tiles from gold leaf form a breathtaking mosaic. The gold leaf is attached between 2 glass plates. The design is from Einar Forseth. Pull & Wagner was responsible for the manufacturing. The mosaic shows all kinds of scenes from Swedish mythology and legends.
It is here that invited guests to the Nobel Prize after dinner are invited to a dance party. Originally, dinner was served here but because there is room for 700 people, it is now the dance hall and serves the blue hall as a banquet hall.
The Prince Gallery – Prinsens Galleri
In this hall, the important guests are received. On one side you are facing Lake Mälaren and Södermalm. On the other side of the table you have the same view, but painted on the wall! This way, the guests had a nice view of Stockholm on both sides of the table. It was Prince Eugen, the youngest son of Oscar II, who painted these paintings, named Stockholm’s Shores.
In the basement of the town hall you can taste all the menus ever served on the Nobeldiner.
The town hall tower is 106 meters high. 2.5 million bricks are used for construction. The tower weighs 24,000 tons which is twice the weight of the Eiffel Tower! You can climb to the top of the tower. You have 365 steps to take (there is also an elevator which allows you to skip a large part of these stairs). A great view of Gamla Stan and the rest of Stockholm is your reward. This viewing platform is 73 meters high.
In the tower there is also a museum with a 7.6 meter high statue of Erik IX, the patron saint of Stockholm, designed by the Sandberg brothers. It was originally intended that this statue would be placed on the tower but eventually they chose the 3 golden crowns (Tre Kronor has been Sweden’s national symbol since the 14th century). The copper crowns have a diameter of 2.2 meters and are 1.1 meters high. They weigh 70 kg / piece. Other models of the images that you can see on the tower and the town hall can be seen here in this tower museum.
9 clocks up to 3000 kg hang in the tower. Every hour, the clocks sounds and there is a special melody at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock.
Of course, the town hall also serves as a city hall. Both the city council and the college are in the building. In the council hall, the city council meets every three weeks. As you can expect from Sweden, there are equal numbers of men and women. Look up too because the ceiling is quite impressive, unlike the rest of the pretty sober room.
Courtyard and Gardens
In the inner courtyard it is often a bustle of people and movement. On Saturday you will see a lot of wedding couples and bridesmaids at the inner courtyard of the town hall. Even those who do not live in Stockholm can marry here. There is also a garden on the waterfront.