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The Nobel prize

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Nobelmuseet (2)

Every year on December 10, the Nobel Prize is awarded in Stockholm (except for the Nobel Peace Prize awarded in Oslo). These prices make us think Alfred Nobel is a benefactor. It was ever different. When Alfred Nobel’s brother died and the newspaper found out that Alfred himself was dead, the death reports were not really positive about the person Alfred Nobel. This grabbed Alfred so that he decided to accommodate his legacy in a special fund. It is from this fund that Nobel Prizes are still being financed.

Nobel Prizes

There are 6 different Nobel prizes: for physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, economics and the Nobel Peace Prize. The first 5 are awarded in Stockholm, the last one in Oslo. Alfred Nobel would have a specific reason why there was never a Nobel Prize for mathematics. Sofie Hess was his great love but she got pregnant by someone else. That other man would have been a mathematician.

The prize for economics was not in Nobel’s will, but was added in 1969 after a collaboration between the National Bank of Sweden and the Nobel Foundation, on the occasion of the National Bank’s 300th anniversary. It is therefore not an official noble prize. Since December 1901 the 5 other prizes have been awarded on December 10, the death date of A. Nobel. Each prize is awarded by another institute. The Swedish Academy does this for the literature, the Karolinska Institute is responsible for the prize of medicine, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences may issue the one for physics and chemistry and the Norwegian Nobel Committee for peace.

To win the Nobel Prize you must live at the time of the announcement. The Nobel laureate receives a diploma, money (the amount varies but is about 1 million euros) and a medal. In the time of the Cold War, the medals of the Russian and American Nobel Prize winner were accidentally switched. The Swedish embassy had to negotiate for 4 years to get the right medal with the right person.

The Nobel Prize ceremony

Apart from the price for peace, all Nobel Prizes are awarded in Stockholm, in the blue building at Hötorget, Konserthuset. After the prize ceremony, the company moves to Stockholm City Hall. In the Blue Room, 1350 guests including 250 students and the royal family can join a banquet. The dance hall is in the Golden Room. Did you know that you can also taste an Nobel menu? The flowers in the halls are always donated by San Remo where Nobel spent his last year of life. The whole ceremony and the banquet is broadcasted live on Swedish television.

Want to know more about Alfred Nobel? In Stockholm, you can visit a lot of places that link to Nobel.

Nobel Museum in Stockholm

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The Nobel Museum (Nobelmuseet) in Stockholm opened in 2001, on the centenary of the Nobel Prize, and is currently located in the building of the former Börshuset (Stock Exchange) on Stortorget (Gamla Stan). The Nobel Library and the Swedish Academy are housed here as well. In 2018, the Nobel Museum will be moving to a still to be built and already controversial Nobel Center.

Nobelmuseet Stockholm

At the Nobel Museum you can join guided tours. These daily tours are given in Swedish and English. The tours are included in the admission fee (100 SEK). If you have a Stockholm Card, admission to Nobel Museum is included.

Nobelmuseet (2)

The Nobel Museum offers you a look on the life of Alfred Nobel . You’ll learn all about his inventions and about the Nobel Prize. At the ceiling the 900 laureates pass on a rail. These are mainly men. Only 49 women won a Nobel Prize so far. 26 times an organization (like the Red Cross) received the Nobel Prize.

Bistro Nobel
Nobel ice

Make sure to, after your visit to the museum, visit Bistro Nobel, the cafeteria of the museum. Here you can order the official Nobel ice. This ice cream is specially made for Bistro Nobel and is only available here. It’s the same ice cream that was served at the Nobel Banquet between 1976 and 1998. If you would like to taste a complete Nobel menu, you can make dinner reservations at Stadshuskällaren .

Don’t forget to turn your chair upside down before you leave Bisto Nobel. Each chair is signed by one of the winners of the Nobel Prize. Can you find the chair with the signature of President Obama?

Nobelmuseet (3)

Nobel Museum Karlskoga

In Karlskoga in Värmland (western Sweden) you can also visit a Nobel Museum. This museum is named Alfred Nobel’s Björkborn and is housed in the summer residence of Alfred Nobel on Manor Björkborn. He spent the last three years of his life here. This museum includes a reconstruction of his laboratory.

Have a Nobel menu at Stadshuskällaren in Stockholm

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Restaurant Stadshuskällaren is located in the basement of Stadshuset, the town hall of Stockholm. The restaurant first opened in 1922 and reopened in 2012 after extensive renovations. The chef of this restaurant, Andreas Hedlund, is also responsible for the Nobel banquet that each year is served on December the 10 in the Blue Hall of the Town Hall, after the award ceremony of the Nobel Prize. He also creates the Nobel menu.

Nobel Menu Stadshuskällaren (2)

Besides the regular menu you can  also order one of the menus from the Nobel banquet since 1901. This is only available after reservation and for groups of minimum 10 people. It’s not cheap but it is certainly a unique experience. You pay 1695 SEK (around 180 euro) per person for the three-course menu with drinks included. This menu is served in the original Nobel porcelain. If you are in Stockholm late November or December the Julbord of Stadshuskällaren is also recommended. You will pay between 55 and 75 euros per person for the Christmas buffet. Note: December 10th, the restaurant is always closed because of the Nobel Banquet!

Nobel Menu

A Nobel menu must meet a lot of conditions. The chef needs to keep in mind that the ingredients need to show proof of sustainability. The dishes must also have a touch of Scandinavia. He must also take into account that there are invitees from around the world at the Nobel Banquet and thus eg no pig in the menu may be used.

Nobel Menu 2015

I had the absolute privilege and was very lucky to be able to join some other bloggers in Stadshuskällaren for the Nobel Menu 2015. Waitress Sofia welcomed us with a smile and knew a lot to tell about the Nobel Banquet.

Nobel porcelain

Nobel Menu Stadshuskällaren (3)

The Nobel menu in the restaurant is served in the same porcelain as during the Nobel Banquet. So it may just be that you eat from a plate of which one of the previous winners of the Nobel Prize also has eaten! A set costs about 5000 SEK! And we’re talking about a set for 1 person. Not something you would have your daily dinner in!

The porcelain is Rörstrand and was designed by the Swedish designer Karin Björquist. The set of glasses are from the Orrefors brand. It was designed by Gunnar Cyrén. This Swedish designer has designed this set for the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the Nobel Prize in 1991.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Nobel Menu Stadshuskällaren (1)
We had the 2015 Nobel menu but you can order any menu since 1901. Are you curious about all the menus? Here you can find a nice overview. These are still the original recipes. Sometimes there is a small change. I can tell you that the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge 2010 has been replaced by the one from 2011. The last drop of the very last bottle of 2010 disappeared into my glass. I must say, being aware of this did something to me! (Or was it rather the fact that I’m not used to drinking so much wine?)

Nobel Menu Stadshuskällaren (5)

An alternative was provided for me as I don’t eat meat and the main course contained wildlife. I got a nice piece of salmon instead. It won’t surprise you that the dishes were all nicely balanced and were a real treat for the eyes and the taste buds. It absolutely was a unique experience!

Nobelmenu Stadshuskällaren (4)

Punsch

To end this magnificent dinner we got a glass of Punsch. This is normally not included in the Nobel Dinner in the restaurant. At the Nobel Banquet they do serve the Punsch. Finally, we also got a signed menu card and a chocolate coin with the image of Alfred Nobel. A night to remember!