Spooky houses

In the middle of the Cold War, in 1953, the Americans built a military base and radar station on Straumnesfjall, north of Aðalvík in Hornstrandir. The military base was closed down in 1962, and the buildings have stood up there on this remote mountain ever since. It’s a memorial of the unrest and tension that existed between the great powers, the Soviet Union and the United States. It is an amazing experience to walk from Látur to Aðalvík and see these structures up on Straumnesfjall. My children’s great-grandfather once told me, but he was from Aðalvík, that you could see a mirage of Greenland on a good day up on the mountain. Whether this is correct should be left unsaid, but the mountain is the shortest distance to Greenland from Iceland, just over 300 km / 180 mi.

The houses are the property of the Icelandic state. In 1991, the area was cleared of toxins and loose debris that could threaten people and animals.

The ruins on Straumnesfjall, which rises 430 meters / 1411 ft above sea level.



Hornstrandir  20/08/2020 16:32 / 16:35 – A7R IV : FE 1.4/85mm GM & RX1R II : 2.0/35mm Z

Photographs and text: Páll Stefánsson