Stockholm City Hall
Stockholm City Hall is the building of the Municipal Council
Stockholm Municipality
Stockholm Municipality or the City of Stockholm is a municipality in Stockholm County in east central Sweden. It is the largest of the 290 municipalities of the country in terms of population, but one of the smaller in terms of area, making it the most densely populated...

 for the City of Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

 in Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

. It stands on the eastern tip of Kungsholmen
Kungsholmen is an island in Lake Mälaren in Sweden, part of Stockholm City. It is situated north of Riddarfjärden and considered part of the historical province Uppland....

 island, next to Riddarfjärden
Riddarfjärden, literally the Knight Firth, is a bay of Lake Mälaren in central Stockholm. Stockholm was founded in 1252 on an island in the stream where Lake Mälaren drains into the Baltic Sea . The island is today called Stadsholmen and constitutes Stockholm's Old Town...

's northern shore and facing the islands of Riddarholmen
Riddarholmen is a small islet in central Stockholm, Sweden. The island forms part of Gamla Stan, the old town, and houses a number of private palaces dating from the 17th century...

 and Södermalm
Södermalm, often shortened to "Söder", is a district in central Stockholm. It covers the large island formerly called "Åsön". With a population of 99,685, it is one of the most densely populated districts of Scandinavia...

. It houses offices and conference rooms as well as ceremonial halls, and the luxury restaurant Stadshuskällaren. It is the venue of the Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 banquet and one of Stockholm's major tourist attractions.

Site and construction

In 1907 the city council decided to build a new city hall at the former site of Eldkvarn
Eldkvarn was a grand gristmill in central Stockholm that burned in 1878 — an event which was known as "the fire of the century". It was located where today the Stockholm City Hall stands....

. An architectural contest was held which in a first stage resulted in the selection of drafts by Ragnar Östberg
Ragnar Östberg
Ragnar Östberg was a Swedish architect who is most famous for designing Stockholm City Hall. He is the most famous architect within the so-called "national romanticist" movement in Sweden...

, Carl Westman
Carl Westman
Ernst Carl Westman was a Swedish architect and interior designer. He was an early adopter of the National Romantic Style, but turned later to the neo-classical style of the 1920s.-Biography :...

, Ivar Tengbom
Ivar Tengbom
Ivar Justus Tengbom was a Swedish architect and one of the best-known representatives of the Swedish neo-classical architecture of the 1910s and 1920s....

 jointly with Ernst Torulf, and Carl Bergsten. After a further competition between Westman and Östberg the latter was assigned to the construction of the City Hall, while the former was asked to construct Stockholm Court House
Stockholm Court House
Stockholm Court House is situated on Kungsholmen in Central Stockholm, Sweden. The building was constructed between 1909 and 1915. The architecture is influenced by the Castles of the Vasa era and it bears a resemblance to Vadstena Castle...

. Östberg modified his original draft using elements of Westman's project, including the tower. During the construction period, Östberg constantly reworked his plans, resulting e.g. in the addition of the lantern on top of the tower, and the abandonment of the blue glazed tiles for the Blue Hall.

Oskar Asker was employed as construction leader and Paul Toll, of construction company Kreuger & Toll, designed the foundations. The construction took twelve years, from 1911 to 1923. Nearly eight million red brick
A brick is a block of ceramic material used in masonry construction, usually laid using various kinds of mortar. It has been regarded as one of the longest lasting and strongest building materials used throughout history.-History:...

s were used. The dark red bricks, called "munktegel" (monks's brick) because of their traditional use in the construction of monasteries and churches, were provided by Lina brick factory near Södertälje
Södertälje is a city and the seat of Södertälje Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweden with 86,069 inhabitants in 2010.The industrial city, about south of Stockholm, is the home to truck maker Scania AB and a top 10 pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca....

. Construction was carried out by craftsmen using traditional techniques.

The building was inaugurated on 23 June 1923, exactly 400 years after Gustav Vasa's arrival in Stockholm. Verner von Heidenstam
Verner von Heidenstam
Carl Gustaf Verner von Heidenstam was a Swedish poet and novelist, a laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1916. He was a member of the Swedish Academy from 1912...

 and Hjalmar Branting
Hjalmar Branting
was a Swedish politician. He was the leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party , and Prime Minister during three separate periods . When Branting came to power in 1920, he was the first Social Democratic Prime Minister of Sweden...

 held the inaugurational speeches.

Architecture and style

The site, adjacent to Stadshusbron
Stadshusbron , formerly known as Nya Kungsholmsbron is a bridge in central Stockholm, Sweden located just north of the Stockholm City Hall...

, being bordered by the streets of Hantverkargatan and Norr Mälarstrand
Norr Mälarstrand
Norr Mälarstrand is a street on Kungsholmen in central Stockholm, Sweden. Bordering Riddarfjärden, the eastern-most bay of Lake Mälaren, Norr Mälarstrand is a southbound boulevard stretching 1,4 km west from the Stockholm City Hall to the southern end of the street Sankt Eriksgatan...

 to the north and west, and the shore of Riddarfjärden to the south and east, allowed for a spacious layout. The building follows a roughly rectangular ground plan. It is built around two open spaces, a piazza
A piazza is a city square in Italy, Malta, along the Dalmatian coast and in surrounding regions. The term is roughly equivalent to the Spanish plaza...

 called Borgargården on the eastern side, and the Blue Hall (Blå hallen) to the west.

The Blue Hall, with its straight walls and arcades, incorporates elements of a representative courtyard. Its walls are in fact without blue decorations, but it has kept its name after Östberg's original design. It is known as the dining hall used for the banquet held after the annual Nobel Prize
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 award ceremony. The organ
Pipe organ
The pipe organ is a musical instrument that produces sound by driving pressurized air through pipes selected via a keyboard. Because each organ pipe produces a single pitch, the pipes are provided in sets called ranks, each of which has a common timbre and volume throughout the keyboard compass...

 in the Blue Hall is with its 10,270 pipes the largest in Scandinavia. Above the Blue Hall lies the Golden Hall (Gyllene Salen), named after the decorative mosaic
Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It may be a technique of decorative art, an aspect of interior decoration, or of cultural and spiritual significance as in a cathedral...

s made of more than 18 million tiles. The mosaics make use of motifs from Swedish history. They were executed by the Berlin, Germany, firm of Puhl & Wagner Gottfried Heinersdorff, after nine years of negotiations by Gottfried Heinersdorff (1883-1941) for the commission.

The southeast corner of the building, immediately adjacent to the shore, is marked by a monumental tower crowned by the Three Crowns
Three Crowns
Three Crowns is a national emblem of Sweden, present in the Coat of Arms of the Realm of Sweden, and composed by three yellow or gilded coronets ordered two above and one below, placed on a blue background....

, an old national symbol for Sweden. The tower is 106 metres high and is accessible by an elevator or by a stair of 365 steps. The eastern side of its base is decorated with a faux tomb and gold-plated sarcophagus of Birger Jarl
Birger jarl
, or Birger Magnusson, was a Swedish statesman, Jarl of Sweden and a member of the House of Bjelbo, who played a pivotal role in the consolidation of Sweden. Birger also led the Second Swedish Crusade, which established Swedish rule in Finland. Additionally, he is traditionally attributed to have...


Stadshuset is considered one of Sweden's foremost examples of national romanticism
National Romantic Style
The National Romantic style was a Nordic architectural style that was part of the national romantic movement during the late 19th and early 20th century. Designers turned to early Medieval and even prehistoric precedents to construct a style appropriate to the perceived character of a people...

 in architecture. The unique site, overlooking Riddarfjärden, inspired a central motif of the construction, namely the juxtaposition of city architecture and water that also represents a central feature of Stockholm's cityscape as a whole. The architectural style is one of refined eclecticism, blending massive, austere, North European brick construction and playful elements reminiscent of oriental and venetian
Venice is a city in northern Italy which is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. It is the capital of the Veneto region...

 architecture, such as turrets adorned with golden starlets, decorated balconies, wooden masts, and statues.


The small park between the building and Lake Mälaren's shore is adorned with several sculptures, among them Carl Eldh
Carl Eldh
Carl Eldh was a Swedish artist and sculptor. Full name: Carl Johan Eldh . Older brother to Albert Eldh.Eldh was born in Östhammar Municipality, Uppland, the son of a blacksmith...

's ensemble representing the three artists August Strindberg
August Strindberg
Johan August Strindberg was a Swedish playwright, novelist, poet, essayist and painter. A prolific writer who often drew directly on his personal experience, Strindberg's career spanned four decades, during which time he wrote over 60 plays and more than 30 works of fiction, autobiography,...

, Gustaf Fröding
Gustaf Fröding
Gustaf Fröding was a Swedish poet and writer, born in Alster outside Karlstad in Värmland. The family moved to Kristinehamn in the year 1867. He later studied at Uppsala University and worked as a journalist in Karlstad....

 and Ernst Josephson
Ernst Josephson
Ernst Josephson was a Swedish painter from a prominent Jewish family, whose main work was done on portraits and paintings of folk life....

, as well as Eldh's bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

 sculptures "Sången" and "Dansen" ("The Song" and "The Dance"). To the south-east of the City Hall, facing Riddarholmen
Riddarholmen is a small islet in central Stockholm, Sweden. The island forms part of Gamla Stan, the old town, and houses a number of private palaces dating from the 17th century...

, is a pillar roughly 20 meters tall with a statue of Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson
Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson
Engelbrekt Engelbrektsson was a Swedish rebel leader and later statesman. He was the leader of the Engelbrekt rebellion in 1434 against Eric of Pomerania, king of the Kalmar Union.-Biography:...

on top.

External links


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