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Stockholm’s Nobel Prize Museum and Ceremony

Stockholm, Sweden

Alfred Nobel, a prolific inventor, established the Nobel Prize, awarded at Stockholm’s stunning City Hall since 1901. The Nobel Prize Museum tells the story of the wealthy patron (who invented dynamite) and the prizewinners.

Complete Video Script

Stockholm's Nobel Prize Museum tells the story of the world's most prestigious award. Stockholm-born Alfred Nobel was a prolific inventor with over 300 patents. His most famous invention — dynamite.

Living in the late 1800s, Nobel was a man of his age. It was a time of great optimism, wild ideas, and grand projects. His dynamite enabled entire nations to blast their way into the modern age with canals, railroads, and tunnels. It made warfare much more destructive. And it also made Alfred Noble a very wealthy man.

Wanting to leave a legacy that celebrated and supported people with great ideas, he left his fortune to fund the Nobel Prize. Each year laureates are honored in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and perhaps most famously in peacemaking. Portraits of all the prize winners since the first annual ceremony was held in 1901 hang from the ceiling — shuffling around the room like shirts at the dry cleaner's. And video clips let you ponder the contributions of so many great minds.

The annual Nobel Prize banquet is held just a short walk away, in Stockholm's City Hall. It's a stately mix of eight million red bricks and lots of Stockholm pride. While churches dominate cities in southern Europe, up here, in the Scandinavian capitals, city halls seem to be the most impressive buildings. They celebrate humanism…people working together for the good of their community. Built in 1923, Stockholm's City Hall is particularly enjoyable and well worth its entertaining hour long tour.

Guide: This here where we are standing is the Blue Hall. It’s the biggest reception hall of the City Hall and this is where the Nobel banquet takes place the 10th of December every year, hosting 1,300 guests. This here is the Council’s chamber since the City Hall really is a functioning City Hall. In here the Municipal Council of Stockholm hold their meetings. What I would like to show you in here is our magnificent ceiling. It’s done to look like an old Viking house. The construction of the old Viking houses were long and narrow exactly like the ceiling right here. This here is the Golden Hall, artwork finished in 1922. We have about 90,000,000 pieces of mosaic in here and it is real gold in each and every one of them. The centerpiece of this room you can see behind me here, this is the Queen of the Lake, a symbol of Stockholm. he Queen of the Lake here, she’s situated in the center of the world. On the left side there’s the western world — the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty. On her right side the Orient — an Indian elephant, a Turkish flag. And not only the world because around her sides there are also the different zodiac signs symbolizing the universe. She’s the Queen of the Lake — Stockholm — center of the world — center of the universe.

The City Hall comes with a bold tower. It offers a commanding view of Stockholm's 14 islands which are woven together by about fifty bridges. Sweden’s stunning capital is green, clean, and people-friendly.