In mid-December the top scientists, royalty and politicians of the world gather in Stockholm to honor this year’s Nobel laureates. But you can also visit Stockholm in the spirit of Alfred Nobel. Here is our guide to the places to see and things to do, where to dine and where you can experience the life of a Nobel laureate.
Places to see and things to do in Stockholm
- Meet all the laureates at the Nobel Museum
874 Laureates and 26 organizations have been awarded the Nobel Prize between 1901 and 2015. To learn about the Nobel Prize and its founder, as well as the Nobel Laureates and their creative endeavors visit the Nobel Museum in Stockholms old town, Gamla Stan.
Where: Nobel Museum, Stortorget, Gamla stan, www.nobelmuseum.se
- Remnants of the first Nobel factory
Alfred Nobel (1833–1896) was born in Stockholm, but spent much of his life outside Sweden’s borders. The family moved to Saint Petersburg when Alfred was nine years old, but he returned to Stockholm in 1863.
Upon returning to Stockholm, Alfred concentrated on developing nitroglycerin as an explosive. After an accident at the Heleneborg factory in 1864 in which five people died, including Alfred’s younger brother Emil, the authorities decided to ban experiments and production of explosives within the city limits.
Production was moved to a factory that was built at Vinterviken in the Aspudden suburb, where explosives testing was carried out on barges in the bay. The factory began to produce explosives in 1865 and continued to do so for more than 50 years.
Today the Vinterviken factory-area has been transformed into an a recreational area for locals with a café, event venue, allotment gardens and beautiful surroundings by lake Mälaren.
Where: Vinterviken, Take the metro to Aspudden followed by a 5-10 min walk to the waterfront. www.winterviken.se
- The Nobel Prize Ceremony at Konserthuset
The first Nobel Prize was awarded in 1901 at a ceremony held at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music in Stockholm. Since 1926 the ceremony has been held in the Stockholm Concert Hall, Konserthuset, for all prizes except the Peace Prize, which is awarded in Oslo. His Majesty the King presents diplomas and medals to the Laureates. Konserthuset offers plenty of concerts all year around and public Nobel concerts in conjunction with the Nobel festivities.
Where: Konserthuset, Hötorget. www.konserthuset.se
- The Nobel Prize Banquet at the City Hall
The award ceremony is then followed by the traditional Nobel Banquet in the Blue Hall at Stockholm City Hall, where with few exceptions, the event has been held since 1930. The Stockholm City Hall is one of the top ten attractions in Stockholm. After dinner in Blå hallen, the Blue Hall, Nobel Prize recipients, royalty and guests dance in Gyllene salen, the Golden Hall, with its 18 million gold mosaic tiles.
Where: Stadshuset, Ragnar Östbergs Plan 1, www.stockholm.se/stadshuset
- Scandinavian design souvernir
The Nobel dinner service was specially produced to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Nobel prizes in 1991. Gunnar Cyrén created the glassware for Orrefors Kosta Boda, used at the banquet. All the glasswear in the Nobel series are hand-crafted and made in leadless blown glass. Gunnar Cyrén also created the cutlery for Gense. The plates are designed by Karin Björquist for Rörstrand. The colours on the plates symbolise the four seasons, the continents and the first Nobel prize. The Nobel dinner service can be purchased several places in Stockholm. Among them at the department store NK. The Nobel dinner service received the ‘Excellent Swedish Design’ award in 1992 from the Swedish Society of Crafts and Design, Föreningen Svensk Form.
Where: NK, Hamngatan 2, www.nk.se
- Bring out the inner geek at National Museum of Science and Technology
This is a science museum for geeks of all ages. See the 100 most important innovations of all time or find out more about Christopher Polhem, a Swedish inventor and universal genius; try his brilliant inventions.
Where: Tekniska Museet, Museivägen 7, www.tekniskamuseet.se/
A noble dinner
- Enjoy the Nobel Prize menu, anytime
People who are not among the approximately 1,300 guests invited to the festivities at City Hall may still enjoy the menus served at the Nobel Banquet since 1901 at the Stadshuskällaren Restaurant. Meals are served on the genuine Nobel dinner service.
One of the guiding principles of the Nobel Prize dinner is that the cuisine is distinctly Scandinavian. Another important consideration is the food combination. The dishes have to be appropriate for a broad group of people representing different cultures and religions.
The Nobel menu of 2015 will be presented when the guests are seated at 19.00 on December 10.
Last year’s dinner was a three-course menu with cream of cauliflower soup, mosaic of red king crab, peas and lemon pickled cauliflower florets as a starter. Spiced loin of red deer, carrot terrine, salt-baked golden beets, smoked pearl onions, potato purée and game jus as a main course and a dessert of mousse and sorbet of wild dewberries from Gotland, saffron panna cotta and brown butter sponge cake.
Where: Stadshuskällaren, Stadshuset, Hantverkargatan 1, www.stadshuskallarensthlm.se
- Literature Prize dining at Gyldene Freden
In a medieval building in the Old Town you’ll find this classic restaurant. The restaurant is owned by the Swedish Academy, which selects the Nobel Prize for literature. Legend has it that many Nobel prizes have been decided at the Academy’s regular table here. The menu offers big names in classic Swedish cooking, nowadays with interesting contemporary touches.
Where: Österlånggatan 51, www.gyldenefreden.se
- Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is responsible for the prizes in physics and chemistry. When the organization was formed in 1739, the membership roster included both major international figures of the time, as well as Uppsala residents, such as Carl von Linné (Carl Linnaeus), Anders Celsius and Christopher Polhem. The Academy currently has about 420 Swedish and 175 foreign members. The Royal Academy of Sciences has had its home in Frescati neighborhood at the Stockholm University for nearly a century.
Where: Lilla Frescativägen 4A, T-Universitetet. www.kva.se
- Karolinska Institutet
Karolinska Institutet, one of the top-ranking medical universities in the world, is responsible for the prize in physiology or medicine. This institution of higher learning was founded in 1810 by Swedish King Karl XIII, in part as an “academy for the training of skilled army surgeons”. Chemist Jöns Jacob Berzelius was a professor when Karolinska was founded and contributed to its scientific focus. Today, Karolinska Institutet is Sweden’s largest center for medical research and education, with about 30 per cent of education and about 40 per cent of all medical research in the country.
Where: Solnavägen 1, Solna. www.ki.se
- The Nobel Library of the Swedish Academy
The Swedish Academy is responsible for the prize for literature. The Academy was founded in 1786 by Gustaf III with the purpose to preserve and develop the Swedish language. The Nobel Library is intended to assist the Swedish Academy in the evaluations required for the Nobel Prize in Literature and for the Academy’s own prizes and awards. The primary task of the library is to acquire and make accessible recent works of literature, along with literary criticism and linguistics.
Where: Källargränd 4, Gamla Stan. www.nobelbiblioteket.se
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