October 6, 2010

Stockholm Trivia

This is the week when the Swedish Academy starts announcing the winners for the 2010 Nobel Prizes. First out are the Medicine, Physics, Chemistry and Literature Prizes... on Friday the Peace Prize winner will be announced followed by the Economics Prize on Monday.

Alfred Nobel, a Stockholm native, was a chemist, engineer and inventor. He had 355 different patents, but his most famous invention was undoubtably dynamite. It was his invention of dynamite, and the destruction is wreaked, that caused Nobel to be concerned about his legacy. So in his will he put aside the bulk of his estate (about $250 million) to create the Nobel Prizes. The nominations are kept secret and the winners are announced in the beginning of October. The award ceremony is held on December 10th (the anniversary of Nobel's death) in Stockholm, except for the Peace Prize which is awarded in Oslo (at the time of Nobel's death, Norway was in a personal union with Sweden). Besides the Nobel prize medal and the honor of being a Nobel Laureate, the winners are awarded 10 million SEK.

If you are interested in Alfred Nobel and the Nobel Prizes, then I would recommend a visit to the Nobel Museum. It's located in the Old Town, right on the main square (Stortorget). The closest subway station is Gamla Stan (red and green lines), though it is an easy 10-15 minute walk from the Rival Hotel. Closed on Mondays, the entrance costs 70 SEK, 50 for students and seniors, free for children under 19. Free entrance, of course, with the Stockholm Card.

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