Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony
© Nobel Prize Outreach. Photo: Ken Opprann

Seated on the podium are the Laureate, the Nobel Committee and its secretary. Maintaining a tradition that goes back to 1905, the ceremony is attended by members of the Royal Family. The rows of seats behind the Royal Family are occupied by representatives of the Government, the Storting, the Corps Diplomatique and other specially invited guests.

It has become tradition for the award ceremony to take place in a setting of speeches and artistic performances. In the first speech, the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee presents the Laureate and accounts for the Committee's choice. The chairman then calls upon the Laureate to come forward and be presented with the Nobel diploma and the Nobel medal. The presentation of the award is followed by the Laureate's speech, the so-called Nobel lecture. This gives the Laureate the opportunity to deliver a full and personal statement of his or her message of peace.

The award ceremony has not always taken place in the City Hall. In the earliest years, from 1901 to 1904, the award was presented in the Storting. From 1905 up to and including 1946 (there were no awards during the world wars), the presentation took place at the Nobel Institute. From 1947 to 1989, the ceremony was held in the Aula of the University of Oslo. When that venue gradually became too small, the ceremony was moved to the City Hall. It seats approximately 1 000 guests in addition to the media.