Oslo, the Grand Setting for the Nobel Peace Prize

Oslo City Hall - waiting.jpg

When Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi are awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10 (the anniversary of the death of Alfred Nobel), these worthy recipients are in for a visual treat. Unlike the prizes in Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, etc. that are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden, the Peace Prize ceremony takes place in the City Hall in Oslo. The building was completed in 1950 and is a relative newcomer to the fjord-side Norwegian capital that traces its roots back to the Vikings.

Oslo City Hall - God Tor.jpg But the art and architecture of the building graciously embrace both Norwegian history and culture. In the arcade leading to the main entrance, tales of Norse mythology come alive in vigorous, multi-colored wood carvings (right). Inside, the grand hall is literally covered with murals depicting scenes from Norwegian history (above). City Hall is open to the public except during public events, of which the Peace Prize ceremony must be the grandest of the grand. The building's 49-bell carillon plays every hour to keep Oslo running on time. Nearby, the Nobel Peace Center ( tells the inspiring stories of the men, women, and organizations that have been honored with the Peace Prize since 1901.

Photos by Patricia Harris for the Boston Globe

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