One of the rooms at City Hall is so amazing that it deserves an additional tip. It is called the Krogh Room. It took my breath away. I had already said "wow" several times while visiting City Hall, but said "wow" the whole time while visiting the Krogh Room ;)
The paintings in this room, which is designed in gothic style, cover the whole walls, it is like being inside a painting, quite amazing. It is called "Byen og dens oppland" or The City and its environs - by Per Krogh. One wall shows the city life and the other walls shows the country life in Norway. There are a lot of metaphors in the paintings, buzzing bees etc. While trying to read through the different part of the paintings one part of it struck me - scorpions attacking the people in the country painting. It is a metaphor for the Nazi occupation in WW2 in Norway. Krogh was a POW during WW2.
Informal political events are held in this room.
A highly recommended visit.
The last of the amazing rooms at City Hall open to public is the Storstein room.
Here are beautiful fairy tale like frescos, painted by Aage Storstein in 1940-1949. The theme is from the dream of the Saga-queen Ragnhild, the mother of King Harald Hárfagre (Harald the Fair-Haired). She dreamt that he would unite Norway as one kingdom. It is beautifully portrayed with a fairy-tale princess on a bear symbolising the Norwegian nation, and the whole wall shows a story - of how the fairy-tale princess receives a crown and sceptre from the Danish Prince, Christian Frederik, who was Norways King, in 1814. On the opposite wall the occupation of Norway is shown with trolls and goblins and how they try to tear the coronation vestments from the fairy-tale princess. But she resques the torch of liberty. Absolutely beautifully depicted.
The Storstein room is used for informal political activities linked to the city council meetings.
I thoroughly enjoyed my tour of City Hall, even though it wasn´t a guided tour as I had expected. I was alone for the main part of my visit there and felt very grateful to Oslo for keeping these rooms open to public.
After visiting the Grand Hall at City Hall I went upstairs. I had seen some people up there, but didn´t know if I was allowed to go up and have a look around. I found it so strange that I could just walk around at City Hall without permission, but I very much appreciate that it was allowed :)
Upstairs is the Hárdráde room with beautiful tapestry. The room is named after the Norwegian King Harald Hárdráde (1015-1066). The name Hárdráde means oppressive. I remember learning about this king in history class when I was 10 years old. The room is decorated in a way to give it a medieval feel and the walls are made of soapstone. The tapestries depict Harald Hárdráde riding into Oslo and the Battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066 where he was killed.
Next to the Hárdráde room is the Munch room, named after Norway´s most famous artist, Edward Munch (1863-1944). The beautiful painting, Life, by Munch, hangs on one wall. This room is used for functions and dinners. Until 1994 it was used as a registry office for civil marriages.
The next room is Festgalleriet or the Ceremonial Gallery. It is used for functions and is the second largest function room at City Hall. It is beautifully decorated with tapestry and big paintings with scenes from Norwegian history.
Here were also paintings of King Harald V and his Queen Sonja, King Olav V and King Haakon VII.
I wanted to go on a guided tour of City Hall in May and had read that there were guided tours on Wednesdays. I entered City Hall timidly as I didn´t know that one can just go in there and have a look around. I thought I would have to sign in or something, but found one door for tourists and entered a big hall covered with the most beautiful paintings.
I was taken aback, there were so many beautiful paintings - it has got the wow factor big time. I had spent 2,5 months in Oslo in 2012 and never known that City Hall is so welcoming and so beautiful on the inside.
This hall is called Rádhushallen or the Grand Hall and the artists are Alf Rolfsen and Henrik Sörensen. In this hall the Nobel Prize is awarded.
The paintings depict the history and pivotal moments in Norway.
I noticed one painting especially as I saw that on it was written in old Norwegian/Icelandic: "At logum skal land vart byggja - en eigi at vidlogum eyða". We use the same phrase: "Með lögum skal land byggja en með ólögum eyða". We Icelanders know this sentence from Njáls-Saga. It means: "With laws land shall be built, but not destroyed without laws". I wonder if Norwegians can understand their old language now?
In the Grand Hall there are seats by the whole length of one wall, it is lovely sitting there taking in all this beauty and appreciating all the details of the huge paintings.
Oslo City hall or Oslo Rádhus is a very big majestic building by the harbour and Aker brygge. The seat of the political and administrative leadership in Oslo. It dates back to 1950. Here the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded on the 10th of December.
There is lovely wooden art work by the entrance depicting old Norse Mythology - see my tip. City Hall is decorated with lovely motivs, where ever you look and in front of it are many statues depicting the working class and history of Norway.
During the summer months there are free guided tours every day at 10, 12 and 14 and during the winter months on Wednesdays at the same hours. I went inside and waited for the guided tour on a Wednesday in April only to be told by a guide that there were only guided tours during the summer time. I wonder why they state on their website that there are guided tours on Wednesdays then. So I strolled around the beautiful City Hall on my own.
There is a lovely park in front of the City Hall, Rádhusplassen, with fountains and statues, and a small park by the City Hall, also with statues and fountains.
Opinions about this building vary and I am still not sure, if I like it myself. Towards the end of my visit, I tended to give it a "like". Construction started in 1931 in order to replace the smaller town hall which still exists today and is known as "Gamle Radhus". WWII interrupted the construction and in 1950, what was presumed to be the city's 900th anniversary, the new city hall was completed. Over 8 million red bricks were used for it. Although it looks as cold and boring as post-WWII architecture could be, there are a lot of details to discover. Reliefs at the front show different trades as different sagas from nordic mythology. They are the only greater influence of other styles: National romanticism in an otherwise completely brutalist building. An astronomical clock is seen on the east tower, with a diameter of 8,5 metres one of the largest in the world. Guided tours are available frequently during summer season and at least once a week off-season. Today, it is the best-known building in Oslo. It makes appearance in the media when the Nobel Peace Price is awarded each year in December. The main hall, which is used for the ceremony, is Norway's largest public event hall.
Due to time reasons, we didn't even think about doing a guided tour. However, such tours can be done. Please check the link below for further details.
I doubt if you will miss seeing the uninspiring huge Oslo City Hall, Oslo's administrative body and the seat of the City Council. The Hall is where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded.
The colour and style of this Hall did nothing for me. It was built in 1950 to celebrate the city's 900th birthday.
Along the front, are many statues of Tradesmen from different trades, these were worth having a look at. An Astronomical Clock is on the north side of the City Hall. In the courtyard, the walls are lined with colorful wooden reliefs depicting well-known stories from Norse Mythology, whilst the interior has huge murals celebrating Norway's history and way life.
The roof of the eastern tower has a 49-bell carillon which plays every hour.
On Saturdays at 3 pm, all year there are short carillon afternoon concerts, and in summer you can listen to concerts at 5 pm on Sundays. It is a good idea to be there at least 15 minutes before the concerts start
GUIDED TOURS OF INSIDE ARE.... every day in June, July and August, as well as Wednesdays the rest of the year. The tours include City Hall's history, art and architecture, and you see the City Hall, Munch Room, the Party Gallery and the Banquet Hall.
USUALLY OPEN....9 - 6PM
Infront of the Town Hall, is a large paved area known has the Radhusplassen. I found the area very pleasant. It was a wet day, so there wasn't anybody here, something I imagine would change in nice weather. There are many fountains, ponds and sculptures to complete the pretty picture.
There are beautiful wooden friezes in the City hall courtyard. Most of them depict some events in the old Norse mythology - Ásatrú faith. Which is also the old Icelandic faith - the faith of the Vikings. So this was of special interest to me as we learnt about this faith in school. But it might of course not be known to many people, but at least one can just enjoy the beautiful wooden friezes without knowing what they are about. There is a brief explanation though beneath the friezes.
The friezes are made by Dagfin Werenskiold (1892-1977) who was a painter and a sculptor. There are 16 friezes on the walls, so I add the rest of my photos in a travelogue. The friezes depict creation, war of the gods and evil. The main historic sources are The Older Edda and The Younger Edda if you want to read up on the old Norse mythology, it is quite interesting :)
A trip to the City Hall courtyard is wall worth a visit, in my opinion the friezes are a must see.
The City Hall of Oslo (Radhus) was inaugurated in 1950, when the city celebrated its 900th anniversary.
The modern twin-towered building is decorated with themes of Norwegian history and culture. The Nobel Peace Price is awarded here each December.
The City Hall is located at Radhusplassen, just on the waterfront of the fjord.
Tram: 10, 15 - Radhusplassen
Radhuset, City Hall, opened in 1950 to honor Oslo's 900th birthday features murals that tell the story of a Norway that suffered tyranny in the Second World War and their rise to freedom again. They are in a large hall, very accessible for viewing, and well worth the time to wander about and take them in.
I have to say that the information is a little wrong here. The city hall has only guided tours every day in summer season (july - aug) and now it has free tours on wednsdays at 10 - 12 - 14. Its no fee to get in, it is FREE, and it has been in almost tree years. So maybe it will be entrence money again, but dont know when:)
It is a beautifull building. You must come and visit it.
Oslo City Hall is the political and administrative heart of Oslo. In addition to being a work place for some 450 municipal employees and politicians, Oslo City Hall also attracts more than 100,000 guests, visitors and tourists every year. It is the capital’s most important venue for formal ceremonies, the best known being perhaps the presentation of the Nobel Peace Prize. It is also an arena throughout the year for 400 or more large and small arrangements, receptions, banquets, award ceremonies, civil confirmations, etc.
The lower level of the Oslo City Hall, which is entered from the harbour side, houses the City Hall Gallery and the municipal Information Centre. The gallery presents a variety of changing exhibitions throughout the year and during the summer various events and activities are staged outdoors in the square.
The bell carillon plays every day on the hour from 07.00 to 24.00
The Oslo City hall is best known for being the place where the Nobel Peace Price each year. But it is actually an interesting building with a lot of artworks inside. From May 1st to August 31st the city hall is open to the public, the entrance fee is 40 NOK (2008). There is also giuded tours at 10.00, 12.00 and 14.00.
The Oslo City Hall is situated in the city center within walking distance of the Royal Palace and the Parliament building.
Located on the waterfront, overlooking the bay of the Oslo fjord, the City Hall reflects the historic role of Oslo as the capital of a seafaring nation.
The city hall of Oslo is not the usual historical city hall located in an old building... it's a massive structure close to Solo harbour that vaguely looks as if it could have been built in any communist country during communist rule.
Don't get me wrong, I like this huge red building, although I disagree with the architects' Arnstein Arneberg and Magnus Poulsson, whose idea that tto build a city hall which would combine "national romanticism, classicism and functionalism". No matter what people say, it looks very soviet-like to me.
The city hall was inaugurated on Oslo Day, 15 May 1950, when the city was celebrating the 900th anniversary of its founding.