Stockholm City Hall

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Architect Ragnar Östberg, completed 1923

IMG_0403The Stadhuset twinned with Santa Maria della Salute in Venice or the Elbphilharmonie: discuss. They certainly occupy prominent positions on the water’s edge.

I have now met the Nordic National Romantic style: something less international than Jugendstil, using local materials (brick and marble), making use of traditional craftsmanship (all those bricks were made using old techniques), but still open to Renaissance influences, like the fluted brick pilasters of the inner courtyard. The inner Blue Hall (actually brick-walled: it was originally going to be blue-tiled), where the Nobel prize dinners are held, is wonderful – filled with light from upper windows. (Perhaps low windows don’t let in much light during Swedish winter months?)

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Prince Eugen provided some of the designs and the frescoes. The Golden Hall upstairs is straight out of Ravenna, with the Queen of Lake Mälaren in the place of Theodora.

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The debating chamber is far more Viking-inspired, with its wooden ceiling suggesting an upturned longboat:

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