The carillon in the Oslo City Hall’s bell tower has long been a traditional part of daily life in the Norwegian capital, chiming on the quarter-hour and also playing an occasional concert
As early as in 1922 there were plans for a carillon. 4 bells were cast and installed as a chime by Olsen Nauen Bell Foundry for the inauguration of the City Hall in 1950. Two years later the carillon was completed with 34 bells from F. Causard Founderies in Colmar.
Entering the millennium, the City Hall could celebrate 50 years. A new carillon of 49 bells was installed by Olsen Nauen including two bells from 1950.
The largest bell carries the city of Oslo’s logo with the patron Saint Hallvard and the motto of the city; «Unanimiter et constanter».
At 6 a.m the 17th August 1998, a light aircraft (a Piper Pawnee) flew between the towers of the Oslo City Hall. The distance between the two towers are aproximately 25 meters (82 foot). The manouver was called “chilling and possible deadly” by the Civil Aviation Administration. The stunt is said to be inspired by a history of a flyer who did the same thing during the liberation days of 1945.
Statue of St Hallvard
Oslo City Hall, Courtyard
The entrance door
Dagfin Werenskiold (1892-1977) completed 16 wooden friezes on the walls of the courtyard, the motifs are from Norse mythology. Each frieze is made by pine deck timber, which is glued together into blocks weighing approximately 1000 kg (2200 lbs). The friezes are impregnated with a triple application of linseed oil, then painted and gilded with gold or silver. Photos of a few:
Embla and Ask
The gods Odin, Høne, and Lodur are out wandering. At the beach, they find two trees «without destiny». Fate is granted by the gods who empower them: Odin gives them spirit, Høne gives the gift of vitality and Lodur gives them blood and colour. Ask (ash) and Embla (elm) step forward through the myth of creation as the two first human beings.
The eagle in Yggdrasil
High up in Yggdrasil`s branches a powerful eagle is sitting looking far around him and flapping his large wings. The small squirrel Ratatosk is running down the trunk carrying the eagle`s words to the beast Nidhogg (the one who cuts with malice or evil), who is gnawing at the world tree`s roots
The norns pour water on Yggdrasil
The norne Urd (the past), Verdande (the present) and Skuld (the future) are three powerful goddesses of destiny. They live by the well Urd where one of the roots of Yggdrasil ends. Here the gods ride over Bifrost (the bridge that connects heaven and earth, the rainbowbridge) on their way to council. The norns water the world tree`s leaves each day with spray water from the flood. From this comes the dew that falls in valleys, and this is why the holy tree remains evergreen above the Well of Urd.
Odin on Sleipner
Odin, the most powerful of gods, is riding his eightlegged Sleipner, the fastest stallion in the world. Odin`s spear Gungne strikes everything he hurls it at. On his arm, he has the valuable ring Draupne, which drips eight equally beautiful rings every ninth night. Odin`s two ravens Hugin (thought) and Munin (memory) fly out every day into the wide world and bring news back to their master. Here they guide Odin in the twilight of the forest.
Rådhuset (City Hall) Inaugurated in 1950, Oslo City Hall is the city’s administrative body and the seat of the City Council.
The building has been decorated by great Norwegian art from 1900-1950, with motifs from Norwegian history, culture, and working life. The building is located in the city center, in the northern part of the Pipervika neighbourhood, and it faces the Oslofjord.
On December 10 (anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death) each year, Oslo City Hall hosts the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in which the annual laureate gives his or her lecture and is awarded the medal and diploma. A podium for the laureate and the Nobel Committee is erected in the far end of the hall for each ceremony.