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The East Iceland Heritage Museum

Where elegant displays of old times please the eye

The East Iceland Heritage Museum  (Minjasafn Austurlands) in Egilsstaðir vibrantly displays objects from the old rural society where self-sufficiency for every household was essential to survival. Among what is showcased is a ‘baðstofa’ (communal living/sleeping room), that was part of an actual Icelandic turf house that was inhabited by a family until 1964. Visitors are encouraged to step in to the “baðstofa” and experience the nostalgic feel of former centuries.

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minjasafn icelandictimes icelandic times 001However, the museum’s main pride is the permanent reindeer exhibition.

Somewhat of a mystical creature, the Icelandic reindeer only lives in rural East Iceland, giving the area a sense of uniqueness. Throughout the years, the animals wild nature has prohibited people the opportunity to enjoy their presence, but as the number of animals increases each year, that has changed somewhat. Today the wild reindeers live only in East Iceland, mostly at higher elevations in summer but seek lower grassland, closer to the coast in winter.

minjasafn austurland icelandic times 21The Heritage Museum guides visitors through the history of the reindeer settlement in Iceland, their behavioral characteristics and habits, reindeer hunting and hunting regulations and, in short, everything you might find interesting about reindeers. This is a unique opportunity to learn in depth about these fascinating animals, where elegantly presented tidbits, footage and items made from reindeer products truly breathe life into the exhibition.

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mimnjasafna austurland icelandic times 22The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Helgi Valtýsson, writer, and Eðvarður Sigurgeirsson, photographer/filmmaker, who, in their journeys from1939 to 1944 followed reindeer tracks in order to open the eyes of Icelanders regarding the reindeer’s dignity and struggle for life. Eðvarður’s film, “In Reindeer Territory”, is available for viewing at the exhibition. Visitors are also invited to watch a new documentary about Icelandic reindeer and a short animated film based on a section of the Independent People by Halldór Laxness, a twentieth-century Icelandic writer and a Nobel Prize winner. –SP

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Admission: Adults (18+) 1,000 ISK

Opening hours: 1 June to 31 August:

Mon–Friday 11:30-19:00.

Sat–Sunday 10:30-18:00.

Winter: Thu–Friday: 11:00-16:00

 

The East Iceland Heritage Museum

 

 

Minjasafn Austurlands

Laufskógum 1 • 700 Egilsstaðir

+354 471 1412

minjasafn@minjasafn.is

www.minjasafn.is