Stockholm City Hall

The building where the City Council of Stockholm is lodged is also the city’s symbol. It is located in the centre, on the Kungsholmen island, right near the water. It is one of the most important Swedish endeavours in the 20th century and a place where the Nobel Prize award ceremonies are held. When in Stockholm, I recommend visiting it.

City Hall History 

In 1907 the city of Stockholm made the decision to build a new City Hall. The spot chosen to erect this building was the same where, some years ago, one could find the old flour milling plant. Eldkvarn was its name.

This plant, built in the 19th century, was the source of one of the great Stockholm fires, which took place in 1878. It kept operating until 1906.

A contest was then held to choose the architect that would be accountable for the new City Hall project. Ragnar Ostberg was the winner, the key figure in the National Romantic style.

Based on what is known, Ostberg changed some parts of the original building, having added the tower that we can see today, whose original idea may have been of one of the other architects who entered the contest. Its stunning interior design was also influenced by several Swedish artists.

After a 12-year construction period, the City Hall was inaugurated. It took place on the June 23rd of 1923, precisely 400 years after the arrival of the Gustav Vasa in Stockholm.

The City Hall building was erected using around 8 million dark red bricks. These bricks are called “munktegel”, as they were often used to build monasteries and churches.

What to see

If we look at the City Hall from afar, it is difficult to imagine that it holds 2 patios, several offices, meeting rooms and wide banquet halls inspired by the palaces of the Renaissance era.

Detail of the City Hall

Tower

From afar, when we see the City Hall, its 106-meter tower is what stands out right away. Sweden’s heraldic symbol is found on the top of it, the Three Crowns.

After climbing the 365 steps, which comprise a winding stairs (you can use a lift to climb a part of it), you can take advantage of an amazing view over the city of Stockholm.

You can also visit a small museum with replicas of statues and busts, located in the middle of the tower.

Council Chamber

This is one of the most impressive spots in the City Hall. It can accommodate 200 people and is also the place where the meetings of Stockholm’s City Council are held.

The ceiling of this room is reminiscent of a traditional Viking house.

The Oval Room

This room was specifically conceived for the Tureholm carpets, which were made in France in the 17th century. Currently, it is often used for wedding celebrations.

Blue Hall

The blue hall is the City Hall’s largest. However, despite having blue in its name, this is not its colour.

Painting it blue was indeed the original plan, but Ostberg opted not to cover the bricks used for the Hall’s construction. However, since it was already known as blue hall, the name remained the same.

This hall is vastly well known, as this is the spot where the Nobel Prize Banquet is held. It happens every year on December 10, the day when Alfred Nobel died.

The biggest organ in Scandinavia must also be emphasised, with its 10270 pipes.

Golden Hall

When at the golden hall, we can watch more than 18 million mosaic pieces made of glass and gold, which depict the history of Sweden.

A banquet with room for up to 700 people can be held in this space.

The Prince’s Gallery

All the official receptions are held at the Prince’s Gallery. The most important element is the fresco that was painted by Prince Eugen, who donated it to the Hall.

The Stockholm City Hall can only be visited on a guided tour. I do recommend verifying all the info published on its official site.

Garden of the City Hall