Back to the past

Árbær is an old farm just east of Elliðaá in the land of Reykjavík. It can be said that today Árbær / Árbær Open Air Museum is in the middle of the capital. The land was deserted in 1950. Seven years later, the Reykjavík City Council agreed to renovate the old farmhouse and establish a collection of old houses with cultural-historical value. The first house to be moved from the centre of Reykjavík is Smiðshús in 1960, a year later came the historic Dillonshús. Most of the houses in the area have been moved from the centre of Reykjavík. Árbæjarsafn seeks to give an idea of ​​life and architecture in the capital in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The museum is open all year round and is part of the Reykjavík City History Museum.

A toy horse waits for visitors in the storm on the museum’s main square.

Skrúðshús Árbær Church. The old church was initially built at Silfrastaðir in Skagafjörður in 1842 and moved and rebuilt at Árbæjarsafn 1960-1961. The designer of Silfrastaðakirkja was Jón Samsonarson, the foreman, member of Alþingi and farmer in Keldudalur in Hegranes. You can see the Smáíbúða neighbourhood in the far distance.

Reykjavík 05/01/2022  11:23 & 12:21 –  A7R IV : FE 1.2/50mm GM

Photographs and text: Páll Stefánsson