The founder of the Nobel Peace Prize was also the inventor of dynamite. I didn’t know this and found it ironic that the money for rewarding and promoting peace originates from something that blows things up.
This was just one of the interesting nuggets of information I picked up at the Nobel Museum.
Alfred Nobel lived from 1833 to 1896 and was a successful chemist, inventor, entrepeneur and businessman. Throughout his life he was able to amass quite a fortune. As he was also a pacifist, he left a lot of that fortune as a legacy to fund the prizes which are named after him.
The first prize was awarded in 1901 and since then almost 600 prizes have been awarded to honour outstanding achievements in the sciences, literature and the pursuit of peace.
All except the Peace Prize are awarded in Sweden (the Peace Prize is awarded in Norway) and so it is fitting that Stockholm has a museum dedicated to the life of Alfred Nobel and the winners of the Nobel Prize.
A monorail hangs from the ceiling and loops round the building. A constantly moving stream of cards each depicts a Nobel Prize winner. It seemed a really effective way to show just how many Nobel winners there have been.
Interactive terminals allow visitors to access information about the prize from each decade.
Side rooms contain displays about the prize and the inventions that have led to it being won.
Winners attend a banquet and as well as a nice dinner receive a medal and a million pounds (10,000,000SEK). I’d like to be at that dinner party!
The table setting for the banquet follows a set layout.
Dinner is followed by chocolates wrapped in gold foil and embossed to look like the medals.
Traditionally winners sign the underneath of their dining chair. Some of the chairs are displayed in the museum. Others are used as seating in the cafe. As I’m not likely to get an invite to the banquet any time soon, I had a coffee in the cafe instead.
So at least I got to sit on a chair signed by a Nobel Prize winner. I didn’t know who it was, but the coffee was good.
And I bought some of the after dinner chocolates to take home.