Things to do in Oslo: City Hall

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Oslo City Hall is another place on the map of Norway that is worth visiting. In every major city around the world, the town hall has been a center of cultural and economic life for hundreds of years. Oslo City Hall owes its fame both to its unique architecture and to the events taking place within its walls. It is here that the Nobel Peace Prize Award ceremony is held every year. Find out more about Oslo City Hall!

Oslo City Hall - an architectural gem

Since it was built, Oslo City Hall has generated a lot of controversy. It divides both residents and tourists visiting Norway. What's so controversial about this building? Its size is certainly impressive - the eastern tower is 66 meters high, while the western tower is 63 meters high. The building area is approximately 38,000 m2, of which the central hall is over 20 meters high! The location of the building itself is also not accidental. From its place there is a beautiful view of the Oslofjord, which is the longest bay in south-eastern Norway. Thanks to this, ships entering the port in Oslo see the town hall towering over the city in the first place.

It made an impression already in 1950, when its construction was completed. To this day, it evokes extreme emotions with its functionalist architecture. From a distance, the shape seems simple - the appearance is kept by the exposed bricks and clear, geometric divisions. However, up close, the Oslo City Hall can amaze you. Visitors see stone sculptures and bas-reliefs reminiscent of socialist realist architecture, although socialism has never been the system of Norway. On the other hand, at the main entrance, tourists are shown a bit of kitschy bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Norse mythology. The very interior of the town hall is a contradiction of Scandinavian minimalism - bricks arranged in fancy patterns and a portal with a gilded relief are impressive.

Oslo City Hall - Nobel Peace Prize

It is in the auditorium of the Oslo City Hall that the annual Nobel Peace Prize Gala takes place. Interestingly, it is the only Nobel Prize awarded by the Norwegian Nobel Committee. The other categories are supervised by the Swedish committee. The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to both people and organizations that have done exceptional work for the brotherhood between nations, the reduction or liquidation of standing armies, and participated in the promotion of peace congresses. The laureates of this prestigious award include, among others, Lech Wałęsa.

Despite the controversial architecture, residents of the city and everyone who visited Oslo admit that it is already an inseparable showcase of the city, which has become part of the landscape of Norway over the years. The building invariably ranks first in various lists, such as in the 2005 plebiscite, in which residents recognized the Oslo City Hall as the most important twentieth-century building in the capital.