Clearly, it’s an important attraction. It was one of the edifices glowing brightly against the deep blue sky the night I first stepped on Norwegian soil. I knew it was something I had to tour during the day. That would be easy, it was only a block away from where I was staying in the city center.

A brick building inspired by the Stockholm City Hall was voted as Oslo’s “structure of the century” as decade ago. Exuding strength, the structure with its characteristic twin towers stands like a fortification by the bay of the Oslo fjord—the Oslo City Hall.

The Oslo radhus is the city's administrative body and the seat of the City Council. From the drawing board, it took thirty years for the plan to be realized, with a brief pause in construction on the outbreak World War II. In 1950, the Oslo City Hall designed in the Functionalism architectural style was completed and officially inaugurated.

At a closer look, the City Hall is more than just the brick-clad ensemble of cubes it exhibits from a distance. The building is a storybook of Norway’s history and culture, and these historic tales unfold along the art packed corridors leading to the main entrance. If I didn’t any better, I would think the place was a museum.

I believe anyone would think the same. From the doors to the walls, the establishment is blanketed with elaborate carvings and ornaments.

The showcase of Norway's finest artists from the early half of the 20th century is carried through the interior. Artist Henrik Sorensen’s depiction of Norse legends and history, images of World War II included, in his “Administration and Festivity" entitled murals adorn the walls of the grand Central Hall, one of the most important rooms of the building.

In the same hall is where important civic and ceremonial events take place, one of the most significant is the annual ceremony held every 10th of December. Distinguished guests and dignitaries from across the globe gather in the Great Hall for the Nobel Peace Prize Awards Ceremony.

Today, the Oslo City Hall records hosting more than 300,000 local and foreign guests. Summer would be an ideal time to visit as complimentary guided tours are extended daily with no prior booking required, and on Sundays during these months a Carillon concert is held in the east tower. For the rest of the year, the concert is held every first Wednesday of every month.

Ink in the Oslo City Hall on your checklist when traveling to Norway. It’s worth the visit.

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